They are unanimous. 86% of insurers and wholesale brokers, 79% of insurance intermediaries and 75% of credit brokers have observed “bottlenecks” in the application of mechanisms allowing borrowers to compete with loan insurance (the famous death insurance -invalidity) offered by their bank. These figures, taken from the report of the Consultative Committee of the Financial Sector (CCSF) and published on November 11, show that the liberalization of this market is far from being effective. True, average prices have fallen in 10 years, with decreases of up to 40%, notes the Committee. But alternative insurers, competitors of banks in this market, deplore that many requests for borrowers are still unsuccessful …

Because since 2010, and the Lagarde law, a borrower has two choices for his borrower insurance when signing the loan: accept the contract of his bank or opt for competition by choosing external insurance, that is to say say that of a specialized insurer, most of the time much less expensive and also protective. Two other laws have strengthened the competition between contracts. A borrower can terminate his insurance at the end of the first year (Hamon law), and failing that, each year on the anniversary date of the contract (Bourquin law). On paper, the possibilities offered to individuals are not lacking. Except that banking institutions tend to turn a deaf ear to these requests.

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This is how UFC-Que Chooser filed a lawsuit against LCL for obstructing competition, based on “numerous complaints” from customers. “The practices put in place by LCL prevent consumers wishing to change borrower insurance from turning to the competition” thus estimated the association. Despite the obligation for banks to respond no later than 10 days after receipt of the request for changes in borrower insurance, LCL would have shown “silence” for several months, “in all illegality”, explains UFC-Que Choisir. A maneuver that would allow the Crédit Agricole subsidiary to touch during this time the premiums for its loan insurance.

But other reasons can be a source of misunderstanding or even conflict between the customer and his bank. The question of the “anniversary date of the contract”, the date on which the borrower can request a substitution of his borrower insurance contract, is still not clearly decided, despite a clarification of the CCSF on this subject in 2018. In the event change of borrower insurance, it is the anniversary date of the signing of the loan offer that must be retained for the mandatory notice period. But according to the latest CCSF report, this clarification is far from having made the process easier.

Late and incomplete responses

When the bank deigns to respond, it can also do so very late. In an in-depth study, Securimut, a Macif subsidiary specializing in creditor insurance, stated that at Société Générale, 62% of responses to requests for a change of insurance are made after 30 days. And the lucky ones who receive a response on time are not at the end of their trouble. For the response to be valid, the email or letter must include verification of the equivalence of guarantees, an explicit termination date as well as the conformity of the description of the loans covered. “These figures show that just over 40% of substitution requests are followed by a single and complete response from the bank, even though only half get a response on time,” Securimut said. Without a complete answer, the change of insurance cannot take place.

Your bank did not deign to respond to your request for a change in mortgage insurance? Have you been refused for reasons that you consider unjustified? Has your change of insurance more generally turned into a puzzle? Do not hesitate to tell us about your disappointments and contact us by email at