Insurance, Banking, Energy, Home Loan

Leader of the insurance comparison in France, the comparator helps consumers save on all their “expenses constraints”. Subject to the heart of the news, spending constraints represent a significant part of the French budget. And every year on January 1st, as they recover from the festivities, many changes, reforms and increases come into effect. Auto, health, home, borrower, loans and bank fees, energy takes stock of everything that will change, or not, for consumers as of January 1, 2019.

Auto: fuel taxes, roadworthiness tests, conversion premiums, insurance rate increases…

Auto: fuel taxes, roadworthiness tests, conversion premiums, insurance rate increases ...

  • No increase in fuel taxes

The year 2019 was to begin with an increase in fuel taxes (diesel, gasoline, fuel oil), triggering the movement of “yellow vests” and the anger of the French. Following a major mobilization of motorists in recent weeks, the government finally announced that the fuel would not suffer the increase in taxation scheduled for January 1, 2019.

  • Suspension of the hardening of the technical control

The mobilization of the French, which has been going on since the end of October, prompted the government to make other gestures in favor of motorists, such as the suspension of hardening of the technical control, also planned for the beginning of 2019. This measure was aimed at preventing the circulation of diesel vehicles emitting too much particles.

  • Massive conversion premium development

In mid-November, Philippe also announced his desire to massively increase the automobile conversion premium, which consists of encouraging the replacement of old cars that pollute too much with cleaner vehicles. Depending on the CO2 emission rate of the vehicle and the tax situation of its owner, this premium can be up to 2500 €. In 2018, it was even applied to the purchase of used cars. For 2019, the Prime Minister foresees that its amount can go up to 4000 € for the most modest households.

  • Rising auto insurance rates

If the increase in fuel tax has been frozen, French motorists will still undergo some increases in early 2019, including that of auto insurance rates. An increase which remains moderate since the forecasts speak of an average increase of 1% to 2% due to several elements which, cumulated, cost dear to the insurers and have repercussions on the cost of the premium of car insurance of French. Among these elements: the increase in the number of accidents and the cost of their care, cars increasingly expensive to repair and a rise in the price of spare parts.

  • Increase in the price of tolls

Another increase to be expected for motorists: that of the price of motorway tolls which is estimated between + 0.10% and + 0.40% on the main motorway networks. The origin of this increase is the validation by the State Council of the highway investment plan wanted by President François Hollande in 2016 and which will be partly financed by the increase in toll rates. These investments will notably enable environmental improvements, the construction or restructuring of interchanges, and the creation of car-pooling areas along motorways.

  • Hunting uninsured vehicles

Other reform implemented from 1 January 2019: detection by law enforcement vehicles that are uninsured. During an inspection or an accident, they will be able to quickly consult the Assured Vehicles File and verbalize the motorists who drive a vehicle without insurance. Insuring your car is mandatory in France, even if the vehicle never leaves the garage or is not registered. In the medium term, the automatic number plate readers that are equipped with the authorities will also be able to interrogate this file, as well as the Rennes fines processing center, which will check if the motorists flashed by an automatic radar are well insured. 

Health: student safety, remains at zero charge, tax on the complementary, teleconsultation…

  • More student social security

Since the beginning of the academic year in September 2018, students are no longer affiliated with the student social security system. From now on, it is the Primary Health Insurance Fund which takes care of the management of their health insurance. This is usually that of their parents or legal guardian. Students already attached to student social security for the year 2018-2019 will remain affiliated with it. But from September 1, 2019, all students will be attached to the fund of their place of residence. Future students will no longer have to take steps, they will continue to be affiliated to their current social protection system.

  • Remains zero charge

From 1 January 2019, the French will enjoy full reimbursement of certain dental, optical and aural. All persons benefiting from a complementary health will be able to have access to this offer. This reform, campaign promise Emman Mortiz, will be implemented gradually

– From 2019

By April 2019, the price of most hearing and dental care will be capped. The government indicates on its website an “increase of 100 euros in reimbursement of hearing aids (social security + complementary)”.

– From 2020

The rest of the charge should apply to optical care and some dental care (bridges, crowns). The government website states: “For hearing aids, the ceiling will be lowered by € 200, and the reimbursement will increase by € 50 (or € 250 less dependent on average). “

– from 2021

The remainder at zero charge will apply to all optical, dental and hearing care.

  • Tax on complementary health

A new tax should weigh on the supplementary health insurance organizations. This tax is provided for in the Social Security Financing Bill  for 2019. An amendment voted in the Senate provides for a 40% increase in the additional solidarity tax applied to complementary health insurance contracts.

  • teleconsultation

Since September 15, 2018, teleconsultation acts are covered by the Health Insurance. These teleconsultations are accessible to all insured. It is the turn of the tele-expertise to integrate the reimbursement process by the Health Insurance from February 2019. A certain category of patients will be concerned before expand to all patients by 2020.

Home insurance: higher rates

Home insurance: higher rates

The main information to keep in mind regarding this insurance product in 2019 is the continued rise in its rates compared to 2018. According to the firm Fact & Figures, homeowners insurance should record an average increase in its insurance costs. 1 to 2%, with a majority of contracts subject to an increase of between 0 and 5%. To learn more about the reasons for the rise in home insurance rates.

Borrower insurance: anniversary date of the contract and end of the TSCA tax exemption

  • The anniversary date is the date of signing the loan offer

The first change in 2019 regarding borrower insurance is actually an update. This was to clarify the anniversary date of the contract, essential to terminate his insurance under the Sapin II law. The borrower, between the date of signing the loan, the effective date of the contract or the date of accession to the contract, could quickly feel lost. Now, the Financial Sector Advisory Committee has decided : the anniversary date will be the date of signature of the loan offer, and this for all contracts. This measure will come into effect no later than the second half of 2019.

  • End of the tax exemption of the Special Tax on Insurance Agreements

Another evolution of the product of the borrower insurance, which will play this time less in favor of the insured. The government wishes to put an end to the tax exemption of the Special Tax on Insurance Agreements for all the contracts subscribed from January 2019. This 9% tax concerns only the death guarantee of the contracts, the only party that still remained exempt. The consequence of such a measure would lead to a relative increase in borrower insurance rates, in addition to making it difficult to find a new contract for competition, which is more expensive because it does not have the exemption, unlike the old (if it is signed before January 2019).

This measure had recently been halted by the Senate, which wished to abolish it. However, the National Assembly, final decision-maker, has indeed validated this tax increase which will take effect from 1 January 2019.

Real estate loan: 2019, another great year for real estate purchase

Regarding the mortgage loan, the market notices stipulate that interest rates would rise gradually in 2019. But according to many experts in the sector, this relative increase should in no way alter the attractiveness of rates. 2019 will therefore be another good year for the purchase of real estate. FYI, real estate prices will continue to rise, even slightly, in the largest French cities, with Paris leading the way.

Bank: Freezing banking rates and capping incident expenses for fragile customers

Bank: Freezing banking rates and capping incident expenses for fragile customers

  • Freezing of bank rates

Every year at the beginning of the year, banks present their new pricing schedules. This year, following the crisis of “yellow vests” and their appointment with the President of the Republic on December 11, the major French banks have announced the freezing of their tariffs.

  • Incident fee cap for frail clients

In response to the “yellow vests” movement, the banks also committed to cap banking incident fees for customers in a fragile financial situation.

Energy: extension of the tax credit for the energy transition and eco-loan at zero rate, increase of the amount of the energy check

Energy: extension of the tax credit for the energy transition and eco-loan at zero rate, increase of the amount of the energy check

  • Extension of the tax credit for the energy transition

The Tax Credit for Energy Transition is extended for 2019, before its transformation into a 2020 work premium for the most modest households. As a reminder, they offers a 30% reduction in the amount of energy renovation work directly on the income tax.

  • Extension of the zero interest eco-loan

The zero interest rate eco-loan (eco-PTZ) is finally extended from 2019 until 2021. This aid can finance up to 30 000 euros of energy renovation work, while taking advantage of an interest-free loan. Among the novelties, a person who owns a home of more than two years will now be able to benefit from the loan, and will have the possibility of using it for one and the same task, and no longer for a set of tasks.

  • Increase in the average amount of the energy check

The average amount of the energy check will increase in 2019: it will then increase from 150 to 200 euros per year. 740 million euros in checks will be issued in 2019 against 560 million in 2018, benefiting 3.7 million households.

Compare, change and save with

As every year on 1 January, many things will change for French consumers. But to undergo these increases and modifications is not inevitable. It is possible to change your auto insurer, optimize your health insurance, renegotiate your mortgage and choose a new borrower insurance, buy back your credit, compare different banking offers, change your energy supplier or subscribe to the best internet box offer.