Many insurance contracts include “fuzzy” exclusion clauses whose invalidity has been recognized by the courts, denounced this Monday, August 30, the insurance mediator, who also criticized the “forced sale” of contracts in the field of telephony. “Lack of maintenance”, “negligence”, a house which was not built according to “the rules of the art”, are as many vague concepts condemned by the courts but which persist. “The Insurance Code requires (exclusion clauses) that they be on the one hand in very visible characters, on the other hand ‘formal and limited’, that is to say precise”, explains Arnaud Chneiweiss, the insurance mediator in his annual report. Saying “shocked” that the profession does not draw the consequences of court decisions rendered, sometimes for more than 20 years by the Court of Cassation, he recalls that an exclusion clause should not be subject to interpretation. Otherwise, he explains to AFP, “it’s too easy for the insurer”.

This call to order comes after more than a year of legal battle between insurers and independents over pandemic risk coverage. To try to settle the disputes, the French insurer Axa has also put on the table 300 million euros, without fully convincing many restaurateurs. Of the 17,350 referrals received in 2020, Mr. Chneiweiss also deplores the “still disproportionate” share represented by affinity insurance, that is to say, the subscription of which is optional and complementary to the sale of a good or a service, relative to their market share. “Regarding ‘nomadic products’, and in particular mobile phones, we regularly deal with cases where insured parties dispute having wished to subscribe to an insurance contract, at the point of sale, in addition to the purchase of a good. or a service “, explains the mediator.

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Referring to situations that can be likened to “forced sale”, or even to “fraud”, the mediator testifies to consumers discovering the debit more than fourteen days after the subscription, corresponding to the withdrawal period set by the Code of the consumption. In some cases, the seller lied by claiming that the withdrawal was possible after the first month, which was offered. “Behaviors should change because it is not possible that insurers are not aware of this type of behavior”, lambasted Mr. Cheniweiss at a press conference. In addition to better training for sellers, mediation pleads for an extension of the withdrawal period to one month.

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