“It is about problems with an ax and it is never the right solution, but if the insurers themselves cannot find the way out, we have no choice but to maintain this mandatory charge. of 1.2 billion euros. “When Bruno Le Maire, Minister of Economy, Finance and Recovery, was asked about RMC on Friday, he set his tone to insurers, who were accused of their customers in the hotel sector, cafes and food service (UNHCR) – hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis and control.
If they fail to commit next Monday, December 7, to freeze the contributions of their professional multi-risk contracts for 2021, Bruno Le Maire threatens to make them pay a punitive tax of 1.2 billion euros. An amendment providing for this tax has already been passed by the Senate and could be passed by the Assembly in the coming days as part of the second reading consideration of the Finance Act.
A very deterrent tax
The threat posed by the Minister is taken very seriously by insurers. They multiplied this week’s consultation meetings under the auspices of the French Insurance Federation (FFA, which brings together more than 260 insurers) and the discussions, which continued throughout the weekend, are about to be concluded. “The profession has every interest in it, because this tax of 1.2 billion euros, which represents 2% of their annual turnover, is incomparable to the actions requested on the premiums,” says a good observer of the sector, who estimates that this tax “is much ten times more expensive”.
Between a rock and a hard place, several insurers contacted say they are already prepared to freeze their premiums in the HCR sector next year. But we cannot expect a common agreement on Monday. “The FFA cannot make a price commitment on behalf of its members, because that would be comparable to a price agreement,” warns the Federation. Insurers must therefore make the announcement individually. However, the Federation cannot come to Bercy empty-handed. It must meet with its executive council just before meeting Bruno Le Maire, where it must take several additional steps. A way to show the minister that he has been heard if he asks to keep the premium freeze “minimal”.
Other concessions are coming
This weekend, three commitments are under discussion, according to our information “close to an agreement,” according to an insurer. The first goal is to extend the freeze on multi-risk professional bonuses awarded to the HCR sector to all VSEs and SMEs eligible for the Solidarity Fund, which are also severely affected by the Covid-19 crisis. And all the companies targeted by the solidarity fund should also see premiums for their health and wellness contracts frozen by 2021. “Two or three insurers have yet to be convinced, but we are on the right track”, concludes the discussions.
As a final element of discussion, the insurance broker could extend his competence to companies. Called up to date to manage disputes between private individuals and insurers, he would then be called upon to intervene in disputes between SMEs and their company.