The bonus-malus is a system of modulation of the insurance premium according to the behavior of the insured. This modulation takes place at each annual due date, on the basis of claims involving the liability of the insured. The basic premium is reduced in the absence of a claim, and increased when there have been one or more claims.
On the first subscription, your coefficient is equal to 1 and you pay your basic premium; then, each year, the reduction-increase coefficient is applied to the basic premium.
5% less per claim-free year
If you do not have an at-fault accident, the premium will drop year after year by 5% each time. If the first year you pay 1, the second you will pay 1 x 0.95 or 0.95.
The following year, it will be 0.95 x 0.95, or 0.90 and so on. In the best case, it will take you 13 years to reach the maximum bonus of 0.50. According to the insurers, once you have reached this bonus and it remains at this point for three years, the first at-fault accident that occurs does not lead to the application of the penalty.
What calculation for the penalty?
For each responsible accident, the insurer will add a penalty of 25%. If you have a premium of 1, the first accident will bring your premium to 1 x 1.25, or 1.25. If your bonus is 0.68, the next bonus will cost you 0.68 x 1.25, or 0.85.
If the responsibility for the accident is shared with the other vehicle, the penalty will be 12.5% (hence a multiplication by 1.125). If you accumulate several responsible accidents, the maximum penalty is 3.5, which means that you will pay a premium 3.5 times greater than your basic premium.
Not all vehicles are subject to the bonus-malus
The bonus-malus system applies to all land motor vehicles, except for exceptions indicated in the insurance contract.
The exceptions concern in particular 2 or 3 wheels, (up to 125 cm3 or 11 kW of power), collector cars (more than 30 years old and a collection gray card because you must own a classic vehicle as your first car ), vehicles of general interest (firefighters, SAMU, police) and agricultural and forestry machinery.
Auto claims excluded from the bonus-malus
All claims are not taken into account in the calculation of the bonus-malus; your responsibility must be fully or partially engaged (+ 25% or + 12.5%).
The claims excluded are as follows: parking accidents without an identified third party, car theft, car fires, glass breakage. As a reminder, after two years without a responsible claim, your reduction coefficient disappears and returns to 1.
Finally, in the event of a change of insurance, you keep your bonus-malus coefficient and the insurer must issue you with a statement of information.