“I no longer have fire and damage insurance since 1er January,” confides the mayor of a small town in the Ile-de-France region, who prefers to remain anonymous. According to him, the fault lies with the series law, after two fires of electrical origin and one of criminal origin in three years. “No one wants to insure me anymore or under crazy conditions,” continues the elected official, fortunately spared by the riots triggered by the death of Nahel, killed in June by a police officer.
In Arcueil (Val-de-Marne), Mayor Christian Métairie had to “pinch himself” to understand that the letter sent by his insurer at the end of the summer was “not a joke”.
While the municipality, which pays 50,000 euros in annual insurance contributions, sent him an invoice of 30,000 euros for broken windows due to the riots, she learned that the latter intended to increase his deductible by 1 500 euros to 2 million euros. “If a school burns and there is a million euros in damage, we will no longer be reimbursed,” criticizes the elected EELV.
“An unprofitable market”
“The insurer is someone who lends you an umbrella when the weather is nice and asks you for it when it rains,” quips Laurent Garcia, mayor of Laxou (Meurthe-et-Moselle), shocked by the unilateral termination, at 1er January 2024, of “all municipal contracts”, even those concerning “municipal police mountain bikes”, after the vandalization of a cultural center during the riots.
According to the France Insurers federation, the riots generated a cost of 730 million euros, including 200 million for communities.
In an article published Monday in the daily newspaper “Le Monde”, the Association of Small Towns in France (APVF) warns of this disengagement, accusing insurers of “deserting an unprofitable market”.
Dinan lets its ramparts fall
According to the association, the proliferation of unilateral terminations, “perfectly legal”, no longer concerns only the municipalities most exposed to environmental risks but also those “whose claims rates are under control”.
To find a new insurer, Dinan (Côtes-d’Armor) has decided to withdraw its 13th century ramparts from its call for tenders.e century, some parts of which collapsed recently… Without success.
“If we can no longer be covered, what about my play areas, my village hall, my school? » asks a mayor of Vienne
Overseas, some cities are even forced to only insure certain floors of their buildings.
“The insurers explained to us that they had a number of communities almost equivalent to the number of hazards encountered, which impacts their model,” observes Christophe Bouillon, president of the APVF, for whom “the communities are no longer insurable “.
“We find ourselves with a knife at our throat,” denounces Sylvie Aubert, mayor of Fontaine-le-Comte (Vienna). “This is an unacceptable hostage-taking. If we can no longer be covered, what about my play areas, my village hall, my school? » asks the elected DVG.
Two groups for 75% of contracts
Alerted by associations of elected officials, the government launched a mission at the end of October, the conclusions of which are expected by April.
“The risks of communities are not shared with the entire insurance world”
Alain Chrétien, Horizons mayor of Vesoul and co-pilot of this mission, dates this situation back several years. “We have had an accumulation of social tensions since the yellow vest crisis and a worsening of the consequences of global warming which mean that today the world of insurance is at the end of a system,” he analyzes.
With the particularity according to him that the community market, valued at 1.7 billion euros out of a total turnover of 238 billion, is “very limited”, Groupama and Smacl between them bringing together 75% of the contracts.
“The risks of communities are not shared with the entire insurance world. As soon as there is a problem in a community, it affects the entire system,” he continues.