A policyholder requested a disability pension under his/her insurance contract. The insurer refused to award such a pension, referring to a provision of the insurance contract pursuant to which the disability could only be compensated if it appeared during the three years following a sick leave, which was not the case here. The Court of Appeal followed the insurer's argument but the French Supreme Court quashed this decision because the clause of the insurance contract on which the decision was grounded was ambiguous and, therefore, the interpretation supported by the insured should have prevailed. The Supreme Court clearly states in this decision that, under Article L133-2 of the French Consumer Code, in the event of doubt, the contract must be interpreted in favour of the consumer or non-professional. This general rule applies to all consumer contracts, including insurance contracts.

Cour de Cassation, Civ. 2, 1st June 2011