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 Kévin Spreux, development director of Prelys Courtage, the company that accompanied Emma.
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 is in remission from 2020 does not change anything: “We keep a cancerous label”, Emma observes, for which 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.
Like her, many people have embraced this legislative change 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 firm 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 high 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 shortening 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 which has a price”, he observes he. 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 a tripling of calls during the first week of September, as the new legislation applied to the old loans, according to Olivier 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.