Can we oppose a car insurance malus?

The bonus-malus is a coefficient that is used in the annual calculation of the auto insurance premium. It is established according to the insured’s driving habits. When the latter has a good behavior, he is rewarded by a reduction in the coefficient. On the other hand, when his liability is incurred in a claim, he is penalized by an increase in the coefficient. Can we oppose a car insurance malus?

In which cases can one oppose a malus

Article a121-1 of the insurance code stipulates that certain claims cannot be subject to an increase. This is the case for claims where the liability of the insured is not engaged. Sometimes insurers make the mistake of taking them into account when calculating the coefficient. You have the right to object to an unjustified car insurance penalty.

Thefts, fires, glass breakage, parking accidents without an identified third party and accidents occurring during a case of force majeure are also claims not to be taken into consideration.

You can find out your bonus-malus at any time by asking your insurance company for your informations report. You will also find it on the last expiry notice received.

Why contest an unjustified penalty?

As the penalties disappear from the car insurance file after two years without an accident, some drivers prefer to wait and not engage in opposition proceedings. However, the bonus-malus coefficient has a significant impact on the auto insurance premium. Indeed, it suffices to make an auto insurance estimate to realize the weight of the bonus-malus.

Understood between 0.5 and 3.5, the bonus-malus is recalculated each year based on the history of the last twelve months. During the first subscription to an auto insurance contract, the driver starts with a neutral coefficient, equal to 1. A year spent without claims makes it possible to reduce the coefficient by 5% : it takes 13 years of good behavior to reach the lowest level, i.e. 0.5. On the other hand, each claim declared will increase the coefficient by:

  • 25% when the insured is responsible. The old coefficient is multiplied by 1.25.
  • 12.5% when the insured is semi-responsible. The old coefficient is multiplied by 1.125.

Let’s take an example : an insured with a neutral coefficient has an insurance premium of 600 €. Upon receiving his notice of expiry, he learns that his liability is fully engaged in two claims. Its bonus-malus will therefore undergo 2 increases, bringing the coefficient to 1.56 (1 x 1.25 = 1.25. 1.25 x 1.25 = 1.56). Thus, the new amount of his insurance premium will be 936 € (600 x 1.56), which represents an increase of €336. If these two claims are unjustified, the opposition procedure would allow him to save a considerable amount on his annual insurance premium.

Have a coefficient greater than 1, in addition to being a financial weight, complicates the subscription to car insurance. Indeed, some insurers tend to refuse “impaired drivers”which must call on specialized companies.

How to oppose a malus with the insurance?

To oppose a malus with your car insurance, you must send a challenge request by registered mail with acknowledgment of receipt. You will attach to this letter, all the supporting documents showing that the penalty applied is unjustified (amicable report, expert report, administrative letter, minutes, etc.). Remember to keep a copy of the letter and the documents sent in the event of a dispute with the insurance.

If this procedure does not lead to any results, you have the possibility of appealing to the insurance mediator, whose role is to find an amicable solution, by serving as an intermediary between you and the insurer. Note that you have two years after the annual deadline relating to the unjustified loss to oppose the penalty.

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