Monday , December 6 2021

Hotel and catering: insurers are forced to act


“It solves the problem with the ax, and it is never the right solution, but if the insurers themselves do not find a way out, we will have no choice but to keep this mandatory levy from 1.2 billion euros.” Asked on Friday about RMC, economic, financial and recovery Minister Bruno Le Maire took a tougher line against insurers, accusing them of not supporting their customers in the hotel sector, cafes and foodservice (UNHCR), hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis and containment.

If they do not commit to freezing contributions to multi-risk professional contracts for 2021 this Monday, 7 December, Bruno Le Maire threatens to pay them a penalty tax of EUR 1.2 billion. The Senate has already adopted an amendment to this tax, which could be adopted by the Assembly in the second reading of the Finance Bill in the coming days.

A very dissuasive tax

Insurers take the threat posed by the Minister very seriously. They have multiplied the consultation meetings this week under the auspices of the French Insurance Federation (FFA, which brings together more than 260 insurers), and discussions that have continued throughout the weekend are coming to an end. “The profession has every interest, because this € 1.2 billion tax, which represents 2% of their annual turnover, is not comparable to the activities required for bonuses,” is a good observer in the industry, who estimates it to be “ten times more expensive”. .

Between the stone and the hard spot, several insurers contacted say they are already ready to agree to freeze their premiums in the HCR sector next year. But we should not wait for a common agreement on Monday. “FFA cannot make price commitments on behalf of its members, as this would be comparable to a price agreement,” the Federation warns. Therefore, insurers should make the notification individually. However, the federation should not come to Berry empty-handed. It should meet with the Executive Board just before the meeting with Bruno Le Maire, where it will have to take a number of additional steps. One way to show the minister that he has been heard when he asks for the bonus freeze to be “minimal”.

Other future concessions

This weekend, according to our information, the three obligations under discussion are “close to the contract”, according to the insurer. The first is to extend the freezing of the multi-risk professional premiums granted to the UNHCR industry to all VSEs and SMEs eligible for the Solidarity Fund, which have also been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis. And all companies covered by the Solidarity Fund should also freeze their premiums for their health and welfare contracts in 2021. “Two or three insurers are still confident, but we are on the right track,” confirms close discussions.

The last element of the debate – the insurance intermediary could also see his area of ​​competence on companies. Until now, he has been called upon to manage disputes between individuals and insurers, after which he would have been called upon to intervene in the event of a dispute between an SME and their company.

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