“It deals with problems with an ax and is never the right solution, but if the insurers do not find the way out themselves, we will have no choice but to maintain this mandatory levy of 1.2. billion euros. (UNHCR) – is hit hardest by a coronavirus crisis and a lock down.
If they do not commit this Monday, December 7 to freezing the contributions of their professional risk-averse contracts for 2021, Bruno Le Maire is threatening to make them pay a punitive 1.2 billion euro. Parliament has already adopted an amendment that provides for this tax and the Assembly could adopt it in the next few days as part of the second reading examination of the finance bill.
Very dissuasive tax
The threat posed by the minister is taken seriously by insurers. They have multiplied this week the consultation meetings under the auspices of the French Insurance Federation (FFA, bringing together more than 260 insurers) and negotiations, which continued throughout the weekend, are nearing completion. “The profession has every interest in it because this 1.2 billion euro tax, which represents 2% of their annual turnover, compared to the action demanded on the premiums”, blows a good observer to sector, which estimates that this tax is “ten times more expensive broadly”.
Between a rock and a hard place, several insurers contacted say they are already ready to agree to freeze their premiums in the HCR sector next year. But we shouldn’t expect a common deal on Monday. “The FFA cannot commit to prices on behalf of its members, because that would be tantamount to a price agreement”, warns the Federation. Insurers should therefore make the announcement individually. However, the Federation should not come to Bercy empty-handed. He must meet his executive council just before meeting Bruno Le Maire where he should take several additional steps. One way to show the minister that he was heard when he asked for the freeze premiums to be “minimum”.
Other concessions to come
This weekend, there are three commitments that are being discussed, to our knowledge, “close to agreement”, according to an insurer. The first aims to extend the freeze on multi-risk professional bonuses given to the HCR sector to all VSEs and SMEs eligible for the unity fund, which are also highly affected by the Covid-19 crisis. And all the companies targeted by the solidarity fund should also see the premiums for their frozen health and welfare contracts in 2021. “Two or three insurers are still convinced but we’re on track”, will bring the negotiations to a close.
The last element in a debate, the insurance intermediary could see its area of competence extended to companies. To date, it has been asked to manage disputes between individuals and insurers, then it would be called upon to intervene in the event of disputes between SMEs and their company.