Insurance: cancellation at any time will soon be extended

This is a real step forward for consumers. In an opinion made public on Thursday, May 5, the Financial Sector Advisory Committee (CCSF) came out in favor of harmonizing the conditions for terminating insurance contracts.

“Insured persons often get lost in the different cases of termination and do not understand under what conditions and when they can terminate their insurance contracts”, explained the consultation body in a press release. Faced with this observation made by the Insurance Mediator last September, the Committee decided to set up a working group to reflect on a possible harmonization of notice periods. After five meetings between November 2021 and April 2022, the Committee unanimously adopted an opinion which can be implemented by insurers by July 1, 2023.

Simplification of the termination of insurance contracts

He proposes that “all individual or collective insurance contracts, covering insured persons outside their professional activities, can be canceled at any time after the first year of subscription”. This legislation, already in force for multi-risk home insurance, car insurance and health insurance, can therefore be extended to animal insurance, legal protection insurance contracts and life accident guarantees (GAV).

On the other hand, this termination at any time does not concern insurance contracts (invalidity/incapacity/death) and dependency, seasonal contracts (school contracts, hunting contracts), as well as contracts covering yachting and motorized and non-motorized personal transport.

As a result of this harmonisation, the Committee proposes that, for all contracts that can be terminated at any time after one year of subscription, the information obligations resulting from the Chatel law be removed in order to simplify the legislation and thus the information that must be given to policyholders ». As a reminder, since 2005 this has required insurers to inform their customers of the possibility of not renewing their contract on an annual basis. From now on, the insurer will simply have to inform the insured each year of the annual amount of the premiums and remind him that his contract can be terminated at any time.

Extension of the waiver period for affinity contracts to 30 days

Finally, the Committee looked at the conditions for terminating affinity insurance contracts, more commonly known as “guarantee extensions”. He thus noticed that some offered commercial free of charge for the first month, which could lead some policyholders to find themselves committed without their knowledge since they let the 14-day withdrawal period pass. Thus, the consultative body estimated that this period should be extended to 30 days from the subscription or the end of the free period. Contracts of the cancellation or travel type and guarantees for a period of less than 1 month are not affected by this measure.

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