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Sunday, October 1, 2023

Automobile, home, health… the price of insurance risks soaring in 2024

While inflation continues to increase in France (+4.9% in August), will consumers also be penalized by the prices of their various insurance policies next year? Automobile, health, housing… in 2024, the purchasing power of households will be further reduced by the increase in various insurance contracts, warns the Facts & Figures firm in its estimate of September 18. It is on mutual health insurance and home insurance that the increases should be the steepest: +8% expected in 2024, compared to +4% for car insurance which has nevertheless seen the increase in the price of spare parts being amortized by the decline in the number of accidents on the road.

Above all, the bill increases year after year. Last year, already because of inflation, Facts & Figures predicted increases of 3% to 5% in automobile insurance (with a higher “intensity” on SUV vehicles that are very expensive in repairs), while the frequency claims returned to their pre-health crisis level, and 3% in home insurance. The percentage increase would therefore be doubling.

To establish these results, Facts & Figures anticipate price increases in costs for the insured, on which an insurer bases itself to establish its contracts. Thus, in addition to the surge in the price of spare parts linked to that of raw materials, the strategy consulting firm adds in particular the evolution of the cost of automobile labor, up +5.3%. in the 2nd quarter of 2023 over a rolling 12-month period.

For healthcare costs, significant increases in costs are almost widespread: “consultation of general practitioners: -0.5% over seven months and +1% annually, consultation of specialist doctors: +7.5% over seven months and +6.6% annually, dental care: +6.9 % over seven months and also annually… », details among other things Facts & Figures. Among the expected strong increases, medicines increased by +7.1% over seven months and +7% annually.

Also, for insurers, the increase in the price of medical consultations from 25 euros to 26.5 euros from November 2023 will generate an estimated cost of 100 million euros for insurers.

Will insurers pass on all the increases?

However, insurers have already announced an increase in 2024, certainly, but contained. Insurance price increases “will revolve around inflation”, Adrien Couret, general director of the Aéma group, promised to AFP at the beginning of September. This statement from the boss of the entity bringing together the insurers Macif, Aésio and Abeille illustrates the reluctance of the sector to make new commitments after a year of effort, according to an article published Thursday by Argus de l’assurance.

In question, the insurers regularly recall having to deal with the increase in natural disasters, but also with very significant inflation in the cost of repairs, particularly in the automobile sector.

However, Elisabeth Borne’s government wants a new gesture of moderation for the profession. “Honestly, the situation is very hard for insurers this year but we will reiterate, like last year, our call for moderation of prices for everyday insurance”Bercy had indicated to the specialized media.

In September 2022, the insurers had committed to keeping tariff increases below the inflation level for 2022 and 2023.

But in addition to natural disasters, another unforeseen event was added in France last June. The damage linked to urban violence which followed the death of a teenager killed on June 27 by a police officer will in fact cost 650 million to insurers, estimated the professional federation, more than double the 280 million euros anticipated.

The last sector concerned is that of reinsurance (the insurance of insurers), the prices of which will also increase. Lhe Munich Re group, whose core business is to guarantee the risks taken by insurers, confirms “its annual objective and intends to generate a total profit of 4 billion euros over the whole year”says a press release.

The cost of drought on houses in France

A total of 1,022 municipalities hit by drought in 2021 and 2022 have been recognized as being in a state of natural disaster, according to a decree published in the official journal.

Houses built on clay soils are at risk of cracks due to ground movements caused by alternating periods of rain and drought. This phenomenon is called shrinkage-swelling of clay soils (RGA).

“More than half of the individual houses in France, or 11.1 million, would potentially be affected and 3.3 million of them would be strongly impacted,” estimate the insurers.

In 2022, the cost of drought on homes has been estimated at more than 3 billion euros, a record since the creation of the “Natural Disasters” regime in 1982.

(With AFP)