majors modify their offers to counter low rates


Guilio Terzariol, group financial director Allianz, said during a conference call on the results of the third quarter that the German group today had to "really think about new products" that it plans to introduce on the market .

A statement that does nothing in the phrase launched at the gate. If he evoked this idea, it is because the world of insurance, especially that of life insurance, must today deal with a major problem: that of low or even negative rates.

Last month, the Governor of the Bank of France, Francois Villeroy de Galhau, reminded insurers of the need to boost their efforts in two directions: "the decline in rates served", on the one hand, "the diversification of products and of the business model ", on the other.

Insurance puzzle

The problem is that the business model of savings collectors has not been developed to take into account such low rates. To maintain the funds in euros constituting the bulk of life insurance envelopes in France (those who deliver a guaranteed return while ensuring the liquidity of invested capital) represents the squaring of the circle. And this weighs on the profitability of insurance companies.

As a reminder, in 2018, the remuneration paid did not exceed 1.8% for the euro supports, underlines the French Federation of Insurance (FFA). Once the tax system is applied, yields are now hardly rising above the level of inflation (1.1% in September). And the year 2019 does not look any happier from this point of view. She would be even worse. Some experts rely on a remuneration of funds in euros of only 1.4%.

Result: both insurers and savers (those having opted for a cautious approach), the decline in rates is not the accounts of anyone.

The famous Darwinian theory that adaptability is the watchword for survival has not escaped them. Insurers therefore revise their way of working in turn. And everyone is going for its strategy.

Each his technique

When the social protection group AG2R La Mondiale decides to strengthen its solvency margin by placing a debt issue of 500 million euros to meet, in its own way, this policy of particularly low rate, Suravenir, the subsidiary of Credit Mutuel Arkea, which specializes in personal property insurance, is also working on a 540 million recapitalization operation by its parent company. One last move that Sogecap, Societe Generale's life insurance subsidiary, is also about to follow, as detailed The echoes.

Some players such as Allianz France, Generali France or Aviva to mention that they had already taken the party to require at least 30% of units of account (SICAV, FCP …) within contracts, with a minimum investments of more than 100,000 euros. Media that potentially generates a better return but whose capital is no longer guaranteed.

Despite this, life insurance continues to appeal to French savers. Their low appetite for risk is a major asset for insurers. In July 2019, the net collection reached 1.6 billion euros, points the FFA. A few months earlier, last April, she was briskly crossing the 3.4 billion euros. Before that, we had to go back to 2012 to observe such a monthly amount.

From this point of view, insurers can continue to sleep soundly. It remains to be seen whether this dynamic will continue for a long time. Encouraging new policyholders to incorporate more risks should they make large investments in their life insurance portfolio may make them want to revise their strategy. The low rates have not yet been the reason for the collection. But until when?

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