“The natural disaster compensation fund is in deficit”, declares Thursday, August 11 on franceinfo the general manager of the insurance comparator Assurland Olivier Moustacakis. However, in the face of successive heat waves and the lasting drought that is setting in in France, cracks are multiplying on buildings and “insurers expect the bill to increase” any further.
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“To rebalance the diet”Olivier Moustacakis estimates that the 12% tax collected on home insurance contracts to finance the compensation fund “must go to 18%”. After cracks appear on a building, “the municipality must have been declared a natural disaster in order to be able to start the process” and “It’s a bit of an obstacle course”.
franceinfo: Do we have an idea of the average time to obtain compensation for the appearance of cracks due to drought?
Olivier Moustacakis: Drought is a very complicated file because the municipality must have been declared a natural disaster to be able to start the process.
“Unfortunately, since there is a counter-expertise and depending on the nature of the crack and its origin, it can take years. After two years, almost half of the files are closed without further action.”Olivier Moustacakis, CEO of Assurland
This is a subject that is all the more worrying as insurers expect the bill to increase. From 1989 to 2011, there were around fifteen billion euros in compensation due to drought. From today to 2050, they foresee 43 billion euros.
Is this why insurers seem more finicky year after year?
The insurer is not fussy. There is a natural disaster compensation fund fed by a tax levied on all home insurance contracts. It was 5.5% in 1982 and is now 12%, but this natural disaster branch is in deficit since it makes it possible to collect 1.7 billion euros whereas on average each year there are 2 billion euros in compensation. There is no miracle solution. Prevention is one of them, but it will only have an effect in the medium and long term by carrying out preliminary soil studies before any new construction. Today, if we want to continue with this solidarity scheme, the experts think that this tax should be increased to 18% to rebalance the scheme.
What advice can you give to people who will be affected by these building cracks to avoid disappointment?
The problem is that when there is a drought, the effects are seen after several years. A beginning of crack can be seen only after two years. So, you have to try to see if, in your neighborhood, there are other people affected by the same phenomenon. At this point, you have to contact your municipality because it is it that must compile the file with the prefect. Then, it is the government that will decide whether or not to declare a state of natural disaster. This is when you can take all the steps. It’s a bit of an obstacle course.