Car insurance: why Maaf and Maif lower their rates

Car insurance: why Maaf and Maif lower their rates

Good news for purchasing power: prices for auto insurance contracts have started to fall. Maaf has drawn the first by announcing a 5% retroactive rebate on its 2013 contracts. For 2014, prices will be frozen and some contracts (35% of the total) will benefit from an additional price reduction.

A few days later, the Maif, which claims “the best value for money” market has decided not to wait for its next council to announce, already, a freeze rates. “We will communicate our 2013 rates in a few weeks, it will be at least a drop in prices,” says Pascal Demurger, the general manager of the mutual.

The Hamon law is not in question

Why do prices sting? The insurance comparison website on the Internet Furets.com immediately gives a political-legislative explanation: the Hamon law. Currently under discussion in the Senate, this text should offer consumers the option of terminating their automobile insurance policy at any time during the year. “The Hamon law, if passed, should encourage insurers to be convincing to retain their auto insured,” said in a statement the company Furets. The purpose of the law is to streamline the insurance market, where contract turnover is very slow. The French remain on average seven to eight years loyal to their company.

But insurance companies do not agree. “There is a link of concomitance and not causality with the Hamon law.We had this decision in mind from the beginning of the year,” said Etienne Couturier, president of the Maaf. “Our announcement has nothing to do with the Hamon law,” says Pascal Demurger. The fall in prices, Mutuals swear, is only due to one and only one reason: never have road accidents been so few, and so much the better.

The positive effects of road safety, radar, weather and the crisis

In insurer jargon, the loss ratio (number of killed and injured) has fallen sharply. It has even reached its lowest level in twenty years in July. This phenomenon – itself linked to many factors, including the positive effects of road safety, radar, weather and the crisis that have blocked the French at home – leads to lower costs. These two mutuals decided to pass it on to their policyholders.

In reality, the possible effects of the Hamon law risk being contradictory – and it is in any case too early to measure them. “In the mind of the legislator, there may be price cuts, but if the portfolios turn too much, it will lead to an increase in fees that will ultimately affect the insured, warns Etienne Couturier.The law will have two effects that will will compensate, complete Stanislas di Vittorio, founder of insurance comparison site Assurland.People will change more easily if they are free to do it at any time.But who says more changes, says rising costs

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