with the end of the health questionnaire, prices skyrocket

Since June, health questionnaires have been abolished for those who borrow less than 200,000 euros, with full repayment before the age of 60. But this measure drives prices up.

Become an owner? An unthinkable idea a few months ago for Emma, ​​36, struck years ago by uterine cancer. But thanks to the new legislation, she is about to sign the acquisition of an apartment. A positive development but one that drives prices up.

The obligatory insurance of the borrower in fact covers various risks such as death, illness or disability. It protects both borrowers and banks from possible defaults. With the Lemoine law, which came into force on 1 June for new loans, those who borrow less than 200,000 euros are no longer subjected to a health questionnaire to guarantee their credit, also provided that full repayment occurs before the age of 60.

For people who are sick or recently ill, “we go from the impossible to the possible”, says AFP Kévin Spreux, development director of Prelys Courtage, the company that accompanied Emma.

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During her first attempt, she had to undergo a health questionnaire because the credit, beyond the age of 25, took her just beyond 60. As expected, her file was rejected. The fact that she has been in remission since 2020 hasn’t changed anything: “We keep a cancerous label”, observes Emma, ​​for whom the Lemoine law allows “to restore some justice”. By reducing the duration of the loan from 25 to 23 years, you were able to stay within the legal framework and obtain the loan.

Strongly rising prices

Like her, many people have made this change in legislation to try to be better insured, Prelys Courtage testifies. By insuring people previously excluded or whose practices have been accepted upon payment of an additional premium, insurers are nevertheless taking on a risk that they consider difficult to quantify.

This can “create an unexpected effect for people who know they will die,” the head of a mutual insurance company cynically summed up to reporters. If some insurers have promised not to raise their rates, such as CNP Assurances, a subsidiary of the La Banque Postale group and leader in this market, or even to lower them for young people, such as Crédit Agricole, number two in insurance against borrowers, there is far from the case for everyone.

The number of bonuses has increased. In what proportions? According to a study by the Vertone company that compared 1,700 rates of non-bank insurers, before and after the approval of the law, the rates applied to borrowers who escape the health questionnaire jumped by an average of 49%, with very large disparities. Olivier Le Gallo, managing director of the online broker Magnolia.fr, estimates that this increase was around 20%.

The new legal provisions, such as the reduction of the period of the right to be forgotten, which exempts from declaring certain diseases five years after the cessation of therapeutic protocols compared to ten years earlier, are “social progress but that has a price”, he points out. to the AFP.

Explosion of insurance change requests

Another new legislation, with strong repercussions: the possibility to change insurer at any time and no longer only during the first year and then on the anniversary date from the signing of the contract. At Magnolia.fr there was “an incredible explosion of requests” with calls tripling in the first week of September as new legislation applied to old loans, according to Le Gallo.

Borrower insurance is a market that is owned for about 85% by banks, which realize significant margins at the expense of the purchasing power of borrowers, have been denouncing consumer associations and insurers themselves for several years.

In early October, the European insurance regulator also flagged bank insurers, citing “significant risks of harm to the consumer” and “insufficient management of conflicts of interest”.

The termination of a contract entered into through a bank for the benefit of a traditional insurer can save several thousand, or even tens of thousands of euros, without reducing the risk coverage since this change can only be made with equivalent protection. And the banks that used to drag their feet now play “the game and are reactive” to these legislative upheavals, notes Le Gallo.

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