The famous Pompidou Centre in Paris has experienced a few mishaps with its latest exhibition. Accidents have resulted in destruction of two pieces of art and damage to a third on loan from Los Angeles and New York! Read the full story here. Now the battle is on convincing French insurance companies to compensate the museums who loaned the pieces, as well as the individual artists for their losses.
And it will be a battle. Because French insurance companies are notorious for endless bureaucracy, delays and more delays before paying even the simplest of claims. For instance, in early September 2005 our neighbour's apartment flooded, causing damage to his apartment, the hallway and two other apartments, including ours. Of the lot, ours sustained the least amount of damage, warping the door, making it difficult to open and creating a small amount of mould and damage to carpet in the entryway. After filing numerous claim forms to two agencies, three persons - all from the same agency - came on separate occasions to inspect the damage. They were in general agreement that the repair costs would be 500 euros (about $650 or £350).
Even after these three inspections, a bewildering selection of official documents and queries flew back and forth via certified mail. Eleven months later we received a settlement of 485 euros. As for the poor guy whose apartment flooded, he's still trying to resolve his insurance claim. And we're all waiting for the hallway carpet to be replaced. So bonne chance et bonne courage to those seeking compensation from French insurers!