Security window shutters, Are they compulsory in France?

The window shutter is a useful yet attractive addition to any home. I always wondered what the obsession was with window shutters! 

Are shutters necessary?

Window shutters are necessary for the security of every French home and are becoming popular around the world for security and trendy colonial style homes.

But modern windows are secure!

Modern windows do offer advanced insulation and security but still, we religiously open and shut these wooden window coverings. I would say it is tradition plays a strong hand in this obsession. 

Insurance in France

Most French home insurance companies such as AXA or Groupama dictate that your home must be fitted with shutters. In France, it is important to secure your shutters closed when the house is vacated. 

External Window Shutters of Many Colours

As a previous article I wrote ‘Is France Losing the Colour from its Shutters?’ it is clear the tradition surrounding the use of colour is diminishing and it is sad as for many years French culture was founded on artistic expression yet I feel that modern conformism is suppressing our right to express! We make shutters for homes all over France but I still feel sad when customers feel compelled to stain dark brown. Let us be bold and express our personalities by painting our shutters with a paint colour other than brown. The spectrum has a myriad of colours to choose from.

Why make it easy?

This modern world brings us to so many fantastic evolutionary developments but sadly the more we benefit financially the more we are hit negatively with others wanting what we have. These are unsavoury individuals or just those who are desperate want our gains for profit or feed but we want to keep our winnings. 

So we fill our homes with high-value items and as a result, we must protect those items and our security as it is not uncommon for violence to follow theft. Sadly modern times have become expensive so a higher wage is required to maintain this. 

If the unfortunate has nothing it has become increasingly compelling to steal from those who have. This is why securing our homes in France has become more important.

Compulsory insurance

Compulsory Insurance reaches across many sectors in France. Make sure your property is insured while living in France.

In France, it is common to have multiple insurance policies such as:

  • Residents are legally required to ensure their health (les mutuelles)
  • vehicles (assurance automobile)
  • homes whether rented or owned (assurance habitation)
  • School children are also covered (assurance scolaire).

Liability is your responsibility 

Inability to protecting your property and others results in compulsory insurance. It is your responsibility to make sure you are covered for third party cover to protect others. 

Insurance in France is different from what we expect in the UK. I used to use a broker in the UK but large insurance companies have caused the demise of many a small insurance broker.

Insurance brokers are still a thing?

In France, insurance brokers are still commonplace but usually dedicated to one assurance company.

Crime can be prevented

Older generations may say that we never had crime as we do today but frankly most people had nothing to steal.  We would leave our homes unlocked for anybody to wander in yet still we have no crime. 

There was some truth in this statement but times are different. I feel that today we have so much more such as tech and other valuables. The problem is that poverty fueled by social divide is exasperating the domestic crime. If you think you are poor I guarantee there will always be somebody poorer.

Do we own too much stuff?

Today we have become materialistic allowing our obsessions to dictate to our need to own.  we seem to need to buy things on a daily basis scanning through the websites such as Amazon or eBay for bargains. we see a bargain and we feel we must have it because it is so cheap but do we really need it?  probably not but we will still buy it anyhow. this compulsion to purchase whatever we can diminish our bank accounts has provided a marketplace for criminals.

Most theft is conducted by opportunists.

Bad people who see the opportunity because you have left your house unprotected find the temptation too hard to ignore and so they steal our stuff. Today in 2019 and beyond it is becoming more and more important to provide good security to our homes.  

The deterrence provided by door and window shutters is undeniable. Yes, fitting window shutters will help prevent a thief from stealing your belongings. Many insurance companies in France are dictating that you must use your shutters when you vacate your property.

Language and Jargon

If you are not too in tune with French insurance jargon it may be a good idea to find an Insurance broker who speaks good English but if your French that obviously is not an issue. Some insurance companies are specialising in providing services to English expatriates.

Expatriates meaning: people who have made their lives in another country. I personally hate this term as it basically says you are no longer a patriot of your own country or that is how it sounds. Although after all this Brexit rubbish I feel less British and more French.

Shopping Isle insurance companies

Be careful with supermarkets or even in banks offering insurance as they are not all experienced in the field or the services provided by their insurance underwriters. You could be at risk of being given poor advice. In France, it is wise to request a site visit by your insurance broker. 

Shutters add Security

It is clear that any physical intervention will help prevent entry by those unsavoury individuals. The fact that the additional security provided by these shutters (Volets in Francaise) is advisable especially in rural or isolated areas. 

Insurance companies in France insist on us utilising the installed shutters. A handful of insurance companies offer a surcharge for the option to not use shutters but it usually comes at a price.

Shutters Mandatory or Not?

Insurance companies are insisting on homeowners to install security shutters or security railings. Be careful as some insurance companies are not insisting on the correct fitment of shutters but it is clear in some cases that they do insist in the small print. 

Be careful that you have full coverage in the event of a burglary. Insurance companies are notorious for looking for an escape of liability.

But I live in the countryside and there is no crime!

You may be lucky enough like us to live in the countryside. This privilege is also a big risk to theft although crime rates may below. The problem is the vulnerability is obvious as there is a risk where there is little activity! 

We live and work in the countryside and so we are active so visual security is no issue. Remember that when you live in a low population area wood be thieves have time to find a way into your home. We as responsible homeowners must take precautions and any necessary steps to secure our property.

Visual security in the countryside

Living in a country where it is quiet is lovely. The problem is when you go to work or on holiday your biggest asset is left vulnerable as exposed to the risk of violation by criminals. Visual security is a must as a deterrent to crime. 

Thieves are constantly trolling the countryside to find chinks in your properties armour. It stands to reason that adding additional security to your home is a good idea. Shutters help provide security to your home.

Security Grills vs Shutters

It is true that some insurance companies in France are happy for grills to be installed instead of shutters. Be sure that insurance companies such as AXA or Groupama are likely to find reasons within their terms to avoid a payout. 

It is important to follow all insurance requirements as set out in your terms and conditions. Security grills are well suited to lower ground windows or rear windows which do not require any kind of entry. Tools needed to install shutters

Does Quality count?

The simple answer is YES and it is obvious. We pride ourselves in producing a quality product. With many options including material or security mechanisms for securely fastening the shutters. 

In the UK brands such as ‘Chubb or Yale’ is very popular. But in France brand choices for insurance backing are limited such as the popular make ‘Therad’. Based west of Limoges we make shutters in our workshops in Oradour Sur Vayres we take a personal approach to every order.

Are English locks and ironmongery ok for France?

No, simply No and yes I see it all too often. If you want for your insurance to be valid only use French insurance approved locks and security devices. It is too easy to choose your favourite English brands. 

For the same reason of common sense, you should never use English sockets in you French renovation. English or American locking mechanisms use different methods of fixing involving some holes to be bored.

If your UK lock needs replacing you will have to use another from the United Kindom. If you have the common sense to install French locks then in the event of a failure you can just pop to your local Brico and pick up a lock and install it that day.

External Window Shutters of Many Colours

As a previous article I wrote ‘Is France Losing the Colour from its Shutters?’ it is clear the tradition surrounding the use of colour is diminishing and it is sad as for many years French culture was founded on artistic expression yet I feel that modern conformism is suppressing our right to express! We make shutters for homes all over France but I still feel sad when customers feel compelled to stain dark brown. Let us be bold and express our personalities by painting our shutters with a paint colour other than brown. The spectrum has a myriad of colours to choose from.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, shutters are a must for so many reasons, They keep you warm when it is cold, They help keep you cool when it is hot, They protect you from violation of criminals, and they protect you from theft. So yes I do recommend you to fit shutters to all your windows or doors with priority security fittings. If you want to order some shutters you could check out our How to Measure Shutters.

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By Marcus Kett, Woodworking since 1989

head wood malcolm kett memorial

Malcolm the Boat ‘RIP’

Woodworking for me is in my blood as a son of a traditional boatbuilder. My Father Malcolm Kett was highly skilled and inventive individual often referred to as ‘Malcolm The Boat’.

selfie with mortar board

Marcus Kett and my Mortar!

Although I have spent a considerable portion of my life seeking further education and gaining qualifications in woodworking, electrical installations, bricklaying and to top it a degree in photography.

Yes, it is a medley of possible career choices but the one that I felt truly at home with was Woodworking. Woodworking has been my staple career choice that has given my family stability.

Why do I write these guides?

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Well that’s Me

We started to write these guides to help our customers. The idea was to provide the information needed to install our made to measure wooden products that we sell on this website and directly to our local customers.

We soon received feedback from people abroad and interested readers not local to us. I like to help people and I am excited that fellow woodworkers or keen DIYers found guidance in my articles. I intend to carry on writing and producing youtube videos for the purpose of providing useful content. Please share our blog with your friends and anyone that could find interest in the magic of working with wood.


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About Wallybois

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Wally is the middle one

We have lived and worked here in the Limousin Nouvelle Aquitaine since 2010, building window shutters and external doors. Our Volet manufacturing business is based at our home property as a ‘Cottage Industry’. We are a small business operating partly (60%) off the grid and try our best to practice our woodworking ethically.

How did we come up with the trading name ‘Wallybois’? Well, it is simple really, my best buddy ‘Wally’ and the fact that ‘Bois’ is French for wood and we live in France.

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Thank You for visiting

By Marcus Kett, Woodworking since 1989

Based in the Nouvelle Aquitaine of France