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14 février 2007 3 14 /02 /février /2007 11:15

Le crédit immobilier est un financement par emprunt destiné à couvrir tout ou partie d'un achat immobilier, d'une opération de construction, ou des travaux sur un bien immobilier existant. Cette activité a été créée en France en 1971.


Types de biens concernés

Il concerne le plus souvent un logement (prêt habitat), utilisé par le propriétaire soit pour sa résidence principale ou secondaire, soit pour le louer à un tiers. Il peut concerner aussi un immeuble de rapport dans sa totalité, ou encore de l'immobilier d'entreprise.

Caractéristiques habituelles

Un crédit immobilier est le plus souvent :

  • établi sous forme de prêt d'un montant précis (encore qu'il existe aussi dans des cas particuliers des formules d'ouverture de crédit immobilier pouvant être utilisé par tirages à l'intérieur d'un plafond total)
  • accordé par une banque ou un organisme financier spécialisé.
  • établi sur une durée longue (plusieurs années ou décennies) sauf en cas de prêt-relais couvrant une période d'attente entre l'achat d'un bien immobilier et la revente d'un autre bien où une autre rentrée financière attendue)
  • à taux fixe sur toute la durée du prêt immobilier (c'est du moins le cas le plus courant en France), ou bien taux révisable.
  • lié à un apport personnel. Cependant, un financement de la totalité de l'acquisition (coût d'acquisition du bien + frais de notaire + coût de la garantie) est toujours possible.
  • remboursables par mensualités constantes
  • avec une garantie de prêt sur le bien financé
  • accompagnée d'une assurance décès invalidité sur l'emprunteur, de frais de dossier
  • limité à une partie de la valeur du bien, en général un apport personnel situé entre 10 et 30 % est exigé.

La Taux Effectif Global (TEG) est le coût total du prêt consenti à l'emprunteur exprimé en pourcentage annuel du montant de ce prêt. Le TEG est calculé à partir du taux nominal. C'est l'indicateur du coût global de votre prêt.

Les différents types de prêt immobilier

D'un point de vue technique, il existe plusieurs types de prêt :

  • Le prêt amortissable
  • Le prêt in fine
  • Le prêt progressif ou dégressif
  • Le prêt palier
  • Le prêt modulable

Société de courtage en prêt immobilier

A l'heure actuelle, il existe plusieurs dizaines de sociétés dont l'activité est uniquement dédiée au courtage en prêts immobiliers, mais rare sont celles qui ont une dimension nationale. En pleine croissance avec le marché actuel, et la baisse des taux d'intérêts (notament l'OAT Obligation assimilée du Trésor, qui n'a pas cessé de baisser depuis près de 10 ans) ces sociétés sont litéralement aspirés vers le haut. On peut citer dans l'ordre de leur importance, quelques uns des spécialistes les plus connus sur le marché français :

  • CAFPI (Conseil à L'Accession et au Financement en Prêt Immobilier). Créateur de l'activité en 1971.
 Avec 90 agences et 600 conseillers c'est le N°1 en France et dans les dom/tom.
  • Meilleurs Taux.com (demandes en ligne, conseils et astuces, c'est le spécialiste du crédit sur internet)
  • ACE (30 agences, le spécialiste du taux fixe)
  • Empruntis (un courtier bancassurance)

Ils font tous le même travail, mais n'ont pas la même organisation et méthode de travail.


 

Source : Wikipedia

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14 février 2007 3 14 /02 /février /2007 11:08

La vocation d'origine de l'assurance-vie est de garantir le versement d'une certaine somme d'argent (capital ou rente) lorsque survient un événement lié à l'assuré : son décès ou sa survie. Il convient néanmoins de faire le distinguo entre l'assurance en cas de décès dite « assurance décès » et l'assurance en cas de vie qui elle est réellement la seule à pouvoir s'appeler « assurance vie », et qui ne concerne que la partie épargne du contrat d'assurance.

Elle permet aussi de faire fructifier des fonds tout en poursuivant un objectif à long terme : la retraite, un investissement immobilier, etc. Elle offre aussi d'importants avantages fiscaux en matière de succession.

Un contrat d'assurance-vie doit avoir une durée déterminée à la souscription, reconductible ou non selon les contrats par prorogation d'année en année.


Les acteurs en présence

  1. Le souscripteur : c'est celui qui s'engage envers l'assureur, il est le propriétaire du contrat et choisit les bénéficiaires en cas de décès ;
  2. L'assuré : c'est la personne sur laquelle repose le risque (décès), il doit être consentant pour les assurances en cas de décès, c'est lui qui remplit le questionnaire médical le cas échéant ;
  3. le bénéficiaire : en cas de vie le souscripteur est généralement le bénéficiaire, en cas de décès il est celui qui a été désigné par le souscripteur. Il peut être désigné directement (nom, prénom) ou indirectement (le conjoint, les enfants, etc.) mais une clause figurant en dehors du contrat est également valable (sur un testament ou déposée chez le notaire par acte authentique).

Supports d'investissement

On distingue deux types de contrat :

  • Les contrats en euros ;
  • Les contrats multisupport, qui comportent à la fois un fonds en euros et des unités de compte.

Les sommes versées sur un contrat en euros, tout comme celles placées sur le fonds en euros d'un contrat multisupport, sont garanties par l'assureur : elles ne peuvent pas baisser et sont revalorisées chaque année d'un intérêt ; la participation aux bénéfices (parfois composée d'un taux minimum garanti connu d'avance et d'un taux variable connu en fin d'année). En contrepartie de cette sécurité, les gains sont généralement limités.

Les unités de compte disponibles sur les contrats multisupport peuvent être des actifs financiers de tout type (le plus souvent des fonds en actions ou obligataires). C'est l'assureur qui détermine les unités de compte proposées pour chaque contrat. Les sommes investies sur les unités de compte ne sont pas garanties et présentent donc un risque pour le souscripteur.

Les modes de gestion

Le souscripteur peut choisir entre plusieurs modes de gestion proposés dans les contrats multisupports :

  • la gestion profilée : le souscripteur laisse aux experts financiers le soin de choisir les valeurs et la répartition des actifs (actions, obligations, etc.) selon le profil qu'il a déterminé, du plus prudent au plus dynamique ;
  • la gestion libre : le souscripteur choisit lui même les fonds sur lequel il va investir ;
  • la gestion à horizon, ou pilotée : la répartition entre les classes d'actifs se fait selon un schéma dépendant de l'âge du souscripteur, très risquée au début puis de plus en plus sécuritaire lorsque le contrat arrive à son terme.

Contrats collectifs

La plupart des contrats proposés sur le marché sont dits collectifs : l'assuré est représenté auprès de l'assureur par une association d'assurés. Tout changement du contrat se fait alors par négociation entre l'assureur et l'association. Par opposition, les contrats individuels sont passés directement entre assureur et souscripteur, et tout changement du contrat ne peut dès lors se faire qu'avec le consentement préalable du souscripteur.

Bien qu'un contrat individuel soit donc plus sécurisant pour le souscripteur, il augmente aussi le risque que l'assureur renonce à moderniser régulièrement son contrat (ajout de nouveaux supports d'investissements, de nouveaux services, baisse de certains frais, etc.).

Frais

Les frais que l'on trouve habituellement dans un contrat d'assurance vie sont souvent exprimés en pourcentage des sommes investies et peuvent être :

  • des frais d'entrée (ou frais commerciaux), versés une seule fois au moment du versement des fonds ;
  • des frais de gestion, payés annuellement sur les sommes en compte ;
  • des frais d'arbitrage, payés en cas de changement des supports d'investissement dans un contrat multisupport.

En France, l'émergence de courtiers et de banques en ligne aux politiques commerciales agressives a mené à l'apparition de contrats à frais réduits, avec souvent la suppression de frais d'entrée et des frais de gestion modérés.

Régime fiscal

En France, le régime fiscal de l'assurance vie fut particulièrement avantageux mais a cependant connu au fil des dernières années des restrictions importantes.

Les gains tirés d'un contrat d'assurance vie sont imposés uniquement en cas de rachat (retrait de fonds), total ou partiel. Ils sont calculés au prorata des sommes retirées : en rachetant 10% du total du contrat, l'imposition ne se fera que sur 10% des intérêts générés depuis son ouverture.

Pour les contrats ouverts ou versements effectués depuis 1998, le contribuable peut opter soit pour l'intégration à l'impôt sur le revenu de ses gains, soit pour un prélèvement libératoire selon barème suivant :

Age du contrat Taux Abattement
Moins de 4 ans 35% (aucun)
Entre 4 à 8 ans 15% (aucun)
Plus de 8 ans 7,5% 4600 € (le double pour un couple marié)



L'abattement de 4600€ est acquis quel que soit le choix d'imposition (IR ou Prélèvement libératoire) pour l'ensemble des contrats du contribuable. Pour éviter l'impôt, il est judicieux de faire un retrait annuel dont les intérêts ne dépassent pas le montant de l'abattement. S'ajoute à cette imposition des prélèvements sociaux (de 11% en 2006) prélevés soit annuellement sur un contrat en euros, soit au moment d'un rachat sur les contrats multisupports (ce qui est plus avantageux).

Un contrat d'assurance-vie entre dans l'assiette de l'impôt de solidarité sur la fortune. À noter que contrairement à une enveloppe fiscale comme par exemple le PEA, il n'existe pas de plafond de versement ni de restriction sur les retraits ou versements.

Régime successoral

Lors de l'ouverture d'un contrat d'assurance-vie, le souscripteur peut désigner un ou des bénéficiaires. En cas de décès de l'assuré, les bénéficiaires reçoivent l'intégralité des capitaux avec :

  • pour les contrats ouverts et capitaux versés avant les 70 ans du souscripteur : une imposition forfaitaire de 20% au delà d'un abattement (en 2006) de 152 500€ par bénéficiaire ;
  • pour les contrats ouverts ou les capitaux versés après les 70 ans du souscripteur : les primes versées bénéficient d'un abattement unique par souscripteur de 30 500€ au delà intégration dans la masse successorale et paiement des droits de succession selon le barême. La totalité des intérêts est exonérée de droit de succession.
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12 février 2007 1 12 /02 /février /2007 22:36

Vehicle insurance (or Auto insurance, car insurance, motor insurance) is insurance consumers can purchase for cars, trucks, and other vehicles. Its primary use is to provide protection against losses incurred as a result of traffic accidents. An insurance company may declare a vehicle totally destroyed ('totaled' or 'a write-off') if it appears replacement would be cheaper than repair.


Coverage levels

Insurance can cover some or all of the following items:

  1. The insured party
  2. The insured vehicle
  3. Third parties

Different policies specify the circumstances under which each item is covered. For example, a vehicle can be insured against theft, fire damage, or accident damage independently.

Public policy

In many countries it is compulsory to purchase auto insurance before driving on public roads. In the United States, penalties for not purchasing auto insurance vary by state, but often involve a substantial fine, license and/or registration suspension or revocation, as well as possible jail time in some states. Usually the minimum required by law is third party insurance to protect third parties against the financial consequences of loss, damage or injury caused by a vehicle. Typically, coverage against loss of or damage to the driver's own vehicle is optional - one notable exception to this is in Saskatchewan, where SGI provides collision coverage (less a $700 deductible) (such as a collision damage waiver) as part of its basic insurance policy. In South Australia Third Party Personal insurance from the State Government Insurance Corporation (SGIC) is included in the license registration fee. South Africa allocates a percentage of the money from petrol into the Road Accidents Fund, which goes towards compensating third parties in accidents.[1] Most countries relate insurance to both the car and the driver, however the degree of each varies greatly.

Basis of premium charges

Depending on the jurisdiction, the insurance premium can be either mandated by the government or determined by the insurance company in accordance to a framework of regulations set by the government. Often, the insurer will have more freedom to set the price on physical damage coverages than on mandatory liability coverages.

When the premium is not mandated by the government, it is usually derived from the calculations of an actuary based on statistical data. The premium can vary depending on many factors that are believed to have an impact on the expected cost of future claims.[2] Those factors can include the car characteristics, the coverage selected (deductible, limit, covered perils), the profile of the driver (age, gender, driving history) and the usage of the car (commute to work or not, predicted annual distance driven).[3][4]

Gender

Men average more miles driven per year than women do, and have a proportionally higher accident involvement at all ages. Insurance companies cite women's lower accident involvement in keeping the youth surcharge lower for young women drivers than for their male counterparts but adult rates are generally unisex. Mistaken reference to the lower rate for young women as "the women's discount" has caused confusion that was evident in news reports on a recently defeated EC proposal to make it illegal to consider gender in assessing insurance premiums.[5] Ending the discount would have made no difference to most women's premiums.

Age

Teenage drivers who have no driving record will have higher car insurance premiums. However young drivers are often offered discounts if they undertake further driver training on recognised courses, such as the Pass Plus scheme in the U.K. In the U.S. many insurers offer a good grade discount to students with a good academic record and resident student discounts to those who live away from home. Generally insurance premiums tend to become lower at the age of 25. Senior drivers are often eligible for retirement discounts.

Distance

Some car insurance plans do not differentiate in regard to how much the car is used. However, methods of differentiation would include:

Reasonable estimation

Several car insurance plans rely on a reasonable estimation of the average annual distance expected to be driven which is provided by the insured. This discount benefits drivers who drive their cars infrequently but has no actuarial value since it is unverified.

Odometer-based systems

Cents Per Mile Now[6](1986) advocates classified odometer-mile rates. After the company's risk factors have been applied and the customer has accepted the per-mile rate offered, customers buy prepaid miles of insurance protection as needed, like buying gallons of gasoline. Insurance automatically ends when the odometer limit (recorded on the car’s insurance ID card) is reached unless more miles are bought. Customers keep track of miles on their own odometer to know when to buy more. The company does no after-the-fact billing of the customer, and the customer doesn't have to estimate a "future annual mileage" figure for the company to obtain a discount. In the event of a traffic stop, an officer could easily verify that the insurance is current by comparing the figure on the insurance card to that on the odometer.

Critics point out the possibility of cheating the system by odometer tampering. Although the newer electronic odometers are difficult to roll back, they can still be defeated by disconnecting the odometer wires and reconnecting them later. However, as the Cents Per Mile Now website points out: "As a practical matter, resetting odometers requires equipment plus expertise that makes stealing insurance risky and uneconomical. For example, in order to steal 20,000 miles of continuous protection while paying for only the 2,000 miles from 35,000 miles to 37,000 miles on the odometer, the resetting would have to be done at least nine times to keep the odometer reading within the narrow 2,000-mile covered range. There are also powerful legal deterrents to this way of stealing insurance protection. Odometers have always served as the measuring device for resale value, rental and leasing charges, warranty limits, mechanical breakdown insurance, and cents-per-mile tax deductions or reimbursements for business or government travel. Odometer tampering—detected during claim processing—voids the insurance and, under decades-old state and federal law, is punishable by heavy fines and jail."

Under the cents-per-mile system, rewards for driving less are delivered automatically without need for administratively cumbersome and costly technology. Uniform per-mile exposure measurement for the first time provides the basis for statistically valid rate classes. Insurer premium income automatically keeps pace with increases or decreases in driving activity, cutting back on resulting insurer demand for rate increases and preventing today's windfalls to insurers when decreased driving activity lowers costs but not premiums.

GPS-based system

In 1998, Progressive Insurance started a pilot program in Texas in which volunteers installed a GPS-based technology called Autograph in exchange for a discount. The device tracked their driving behavior and reported the results via cellular phone to the company.[7] Policyholders were reportedly more upset about having to pay for the expensive device than they were over privacy concerns.[8]

In 1996, Progressive filed for and obtained a US patent (US patent 5,797134) on their process. Progressive has also filed corresponding patent applications in Europe and Japan. UK auto insurer, Norwich Union, has obtained an exclusive license to Progressive's European patent application. They have recently completed a successful pilot test of the technology and it is now available commercially under the tradename "Pay As You Drive™"[9]

OBDII-based system

In 2004, Progressive launched another pilot program to allow policyholders to earn a discount on their premiums by consenting to use its TripSense device. TripSense connects to a car's OnBoard Diagnostic(OBD-II) port, which exists in all cars built after 1996. The discount is forfeited if the device is disconnected for a significant amount of time.[10]

Auto Insurance in the United States

Coverage Available

The consumer may be protected with different coverage types depending on what coverage the insured purchases.

In the United States, liability insurance covers claims against the policy holder and generally, any other operator of the insured’s vehicle, provided they do not live at the same address as the policy holder and are not specifically excluded on the policy. In the case of those living at the same address, they must specifically be covered on the policy. Thus it is necessary for example, when a family member comes of driving age they must be added on to the policy. Liability insurance sometimes does not protect the policy holder if they operate any vehicles other than their own. When you drive a vehicle owned by another party, you are covered under that party’s policy. Non-owners policies may be offered that would cover an insured on any vehicle they drive. This coverage is available only to those who do not own their own vehicle and is sometimes required by the government for drivers who have previously been found at fault in an accident.

Generally, liability coverage does extend when you rent a car. Comprehensive policies ("full coverage") usually also apply to the rental vehicle, although this should be verified beforehand. Full coverage premiums are based on, among other factors, the value of the insured’s vehicle. This coverage may not apply to rental cars because the insurance company does not want to assume responsibility for a claim greater than the value of the insured’s vehicle, assuming that a rental car may be worth more than the insured’s vehicle. Most rental car companies offer insurance to cover damage to the rental vehicle. These policies may be unnecessary for many customers as credit card companies, such as Visa and MasterCard, now provide supplemental collision damage coverage to rental cars if the transaction is processed using one of their cards. These benefits are restrictive in terms of the types of vehicles covered.[11]

Liability

Liability coverage provides a fixed dollar amount of coverage for damages that an insured becomes legally liable to pay due to an accident or other negligence. For example, if an insured drives into a telephone pole and damages the pole, liability coverage pays for the damage to the pole. In this example, the insured also may become liable for other expenses related to damaging the telephone pole, such as loss of service claims (by the telephone company).

Liability coverage is available either as a combined single limit policy or as a split limit policy:

Combined Single Limit

A combined single limit combines property damage liability coverage and bodily injury coverage under one single combined limit. For example, an insured with a combine single liability limit strikes another vehicle and injures the driver and the passenger. Payments for the damages to the other driver's car, as well as payments for injury claims for the driver and passenger, would be paid out under this same coverage.

Split Limits

A split limit liability coverage policy splits the coverages into property damage coverage and bodily injury coverage. In the example given above, payments for the other driver's vehicle would be paid out under property damage coverage, and payments for the injuries would be paid out under bodily injury coverage.

Note that bodily injury liability coverage is also usually split as well into a maximum payment per person and a maximum payment per accident.

Collision

Collision coverage provides coverage for an insured's vehicle that is involved in an accident, subject to a deductible. This coverage is designed to provide payments to repair the damaged vehicle, or payment of the cash value of the vehicle if it is not repairable. Collision coverage is optional. Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) is the term used by rental car companies for collision coverage.

Comprehensive

Comprehensive (a.k.a. - Other Than Collision) coverage provides coverage, subject to a deductible, for an insured's vehicle that is damaged by incidents that are not considered Collisions. For example, fire, theft (or attempted theft), vandalism, weather, or impacts with animals are just some types of Comprehensive losses.

Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage

Uninsured/Underinsured coverage, also known as UM/UIM, provides coverage if another at-fault party either does not have insurance, or does not have enough insurance. In effect, your insurance company acts as at fault party's insurance company.

In the United States, the definition of an uninsured/underinsured motorist, and corresponding coverages, are set by the state you reside in.

Loss of Use

Loss of Use coverage, also known as rental coverage, provides reimbursement for rental expenses associated with having an insured vehicle repaired due to a covered loss.

Loan/Lease Payoff

Loan/Lease Payoff coverage, also known as GAP coverage or GAP insurance, [12] [13] was established in the early 1980's to provide protection to consumers based upon buying and market trends.

Due to the sharp decline in value immediately following purchase, there is generally a period in which the amount owed on the car loan exceeds the value of the vehicle, which is called "upside-down" or negative equity. Thus, if the vehicle is damaged beyond economical repair at this point, the owner will still owe potentially thousands of dollars on the loan. The escalating price of cars, longer-term auto loans, and the increasing popularity of leasing gave birth to GAP protection. GAP waivers provide protection for consumers when a "gap" exists between the actual value of their vehicle and the amount of money owed to the bank or leasing company. In many instances this insurance will also pay the deductible on the primary insurance policy. These policies are often offered at the auto dealership as a comparatively low cost add on that can be put into the car loan which provides coverage for the duration of the loan.

Consumers should be aware that a few states, including New York, require lenders of leased cars to include GAP insurance within the cost of the lease itself. This means that the monthly price quoted by the dealer must include GAP insurance, whether it is delineated or not. Nevertheless, unscrupulous dealers sometimes prey on unsuspecting individuals by offering them GAP insurance at an additional price, on top of the monthly payment, without mentioning the State's requirements.

In addition, some vendors and insurance companies offer what is called "Total Loss Coverage." This is similar to ordinary GAP insurance but differs in that instead of paying off the negative equity on a vehicle that is a total loss, the policy provides a certain amount, usually up to $5000, toward the purchase or lease of a new vehicle. Thus, to some extent the distinction makes no difference, i.e., in either case the owner receives a certain sum of money. However, in choosing which type of policy to purchase, the owner should consider whether, in case of a total loss, it is more advantageous for him or her to have the policy pay off the negative equity or provide a down payment on a new vehicle.

For example, assuming a total loss of a vehicle valued at $15,000, but on which the owner owes $20,000, the "gap" is $5000. If the owner has traditional GAP coverage, the "gap" will be wiped out and he or she may purchase or lease another vehicle or choose not to. If the owner has "Total Loss Coverage," he or she will have to personally cover the "gap" of $5000, and then receive $5000 toward the purchase or lease of a new vehicle, thereby either reducing monthly payments, in the case of financing or leasing, or the total purchase price in the case of outright purchasing. So the decision on which type of policy to purchase will, in most instances, be informed by whether the owner can pay off the negative equity in case of a total loss and/or whether he or she will definitively purchase a replacement vehicle.

Car Towing Insurance

Car Towing coverage is also known as Roadside Assistance coverage. Traditionally, automobile insurance companies have agreed to only pay for the cost of a tow that is related to an accident that is covered under the automobile policy of insurance. This had left a gap in coverage for tows that are related to mechanical breakdowns, flat tires and running out of gas. To fill that void, insurance companies started to offer the Car Towing coverage, which pays for non-accident related tows.

European Union and United Kingdom Laws regarding motor insurance

In 1930 the UK government introduced a law that required every person who used a vehicle on the road to have at least third party personal injury insurance. Today UK law is defined by the The Road Traffic Act which was last modified in 1991.

The Act requires all motorists to be insured against their liability for injuries to others (including passengers) and for damage to other persons' property resulting from use of a vehicle on a public road or in other public places. This is called Third Party Insurance. It is an offence to drive your car, or allow others to drive it, without at least Third Party insurance.

The insurance certificate or cover note issued by the insurance company constitutes legal evidence that the vehicle specified on the document is indeed insured. The Law says that an authorised person, such as the police, may require a driver to produce an insurance certificate for inspection. If the driver cannot show the document immediately on request, then the driver will usually be issued a HORT/1 with seven days, as of midnight of the date of issue, to take a valid insurance certificate (and usually other driving documents as well) to a police station of the driver's choice. Failure to produce an insurance certificate is an offence.

Insurance is more expensive in Northern Ireland than in other parts of the UK.

Motorists in the UK are required to display a Vehicle excise duty disc in their car when it is kept or driven on public roads. This helps to ensure that most people have adequate insurance on their vehicles because you are required to produce an insurance certificate when you purchase the disc. However it is a known practice for some people to purchase insurance to gain the certificate and then to cancel the insurance and gain a full refund within the statutory 14 day cooling off period.

The Motor Insurers Bureau compensates the victims of road accidents caused by uninsured and untraced motorists. It also operates the Motor Insurance Database, which contains details of every insured vehicle in the country.


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La liste ci-dessous répertorie les principaux groupes d'assurance par région et par ordre alphabétique.


En Europe

Deux particularités européennes, tant pour l'assurance que pour la banque sont le développement de la bancassurance (groupes réunissant les deux métiers) et la forte présente de sociétés mutuelles.

Allemagne

Assurances générales

Réassurance

France

(triées par ordre décroissant de chiffre d'affaire 2005)

Assurances générales

Réassurance

Mutuelles

Institutions de Prévoyances

Italie

Pays-Bas

Royaumes-Uni

Suisse

Réassurance

Dans le monde

Canada

Liste des principales compagnie d'assurance au Canada selon le BAC

  • Allstate Insurance Company of Canada
  • Aviva Canada Inc .
  • AXA Canada Inc.
  • La Capitale assurances générales inc.
  • Chubb Group of Insurance Companies
  • Desjardins Groupe d'assurances générales
  • L'Industrielle Alliance compagnie d'assurance générale
  • ING Canada
  • Meloche Monnex Inc.
  • Groupe Promutuel Federation
  • RBC General Insurance Company
  • SSQ, Société d'assurances générale
  • Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company

Etats-Unis

Réassurance

Ukraine

compagnie d'assurance PROSTO-assurance



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12 février 2007 1 12 /02 /février /2007 22:24

From the point of view of the insurance company there are four general criteria for deciding whether to insure events or not.

1. There must be a larger number of similar objects so the financial outcome of insuring the pool of exposures is predictable. Therefore they can calculate a "fair" premium.

2. The losses have to be accidental and unintentional (i.e., on the insured's part).

3. The losses must be measurable, identifiable in location and time, and definite. An insurer also requires that losses cause economic hardship. This so that the insured has an incentive to protect and preserve the property to minimize the probability that the losses occur.

4. The loss potential to the insurer must be non-catastrophic, i.e., it cannot put the insurance company in financial jeopardy.

Losses must be uncertain of occurrence.

The rate and distribution of losses must be predictable: To set premiums insurers must be able to predict losses accurately. This is done using the law of large numbers, which states that the larger the number of homogenous exposures considered, the more closely the losses reported will equal the underlying probability of loss. If the coverage is unique, the insured will pay a correspondingly higher premium. Lloyd's of London, for instance, often accepts unique coverages (e.g., the insuring of Tina Turner's legs and Jennifer Lopez's buttocks).

The loss must be significant: The legal principle of de minimis dictates that trivial matters are not covered. Furthermore, rational insurance uses existing insurance when the transaction costs dictate that filing a claim is not rational. Actually, de minimis does not come into play here. The reality is that it costs too much to insure frequent and/or small losses. It is much more cost-effective not to transfer a small loss potential to insurance companies by taking the largest deductible that one can stand (given adequate price reduction). As for filing small claims, if the insurance company is contractually obligated to cover a claim, no matter its size, the customer should file it. This is the difference between deciding before the contract the parameters and after following through.

The loss must not be catastrophic: If the insurer is insolvent, it will be unable to pay the insured. In the United States, there is a system of guarantee funds that operate at the state level to reimburse insureds whose insurance companies have become insolvent.[1] This program is run by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).[2] In the United Kingdom, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), which regulates all insurance companies, has its own standards of solvency which are legally required to be adhered to.

To avoid catastrophic depletion of their own capital, insurers almost universally purchase reinsurance to protect them against excessively large accumulations of risk in a single area, and to protect them against large-scale catastrophes.

Additionally, “speculative risks” like those incurred through gambling or through the purchase of company stock are uninsurable. Insurable risks should have accidental and not intentional losses, and they should have economically feasible premiums, meaning that chance of loss must not be too high.


 

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Souscription du contrat

Lors de la souscription du contrat, l'assureur et l'assuré conviennent :

  • d'un évènement ou d'une liste d'évènements, repris dans la police d'assurance (de l'italien médiéval policia : liste), et garantis par l'assureur
  • d'une prime payée par l'assuré à l'assureur.

Avant la souscription, le demandeur d'assurance, futur assuré, remplit un questionnaire visant à informer la compagnie d'assurance sur son risque. À partir de ce document, l'assureur peut effectuer le calcul de la prime d'assurance. Ce calcul statistique tient compte essentiellement de la probabilité de réalisation du risque et du coût des sinistres.

En France, le contrat d'assurance est un contrat de bonne foi. L'assuré est supposé informer de façon exacte et complète l'assureur en réponse à ses questions. Les fausses déclarations faites par l'assuré peuvent conduire à la nullité du contrat.

Survenance d'un événement assuré

Lors de la réalisation d'un des événements listés au contrat, l'assureur assiste l'assuré. Cette assistance est le plus souvent financière et prend alors la forme d'une indemnisation. Mais elle peut prendre d'autres formes, par exemple une assistance juridique ou un rapatriement pour une personne malade à l'étranger.

Par exemple, un armateur assure un bateau et reçoit une somme, fonction du montant souscrit et de la vétusté, si le navire est endommagé ou détruit. Une assurance-vie garantira le paiement d'une pension si l'assuré atteint un certain âge alors que l'assurance-décès produira ses effets dans le cas contraire, etc. Un automobiliste impliqué dans un accident pourra bénéficier de l'appui de sa compagnie d'assurance devant les tribunaux et éventuellement d'une somme pour régler les dommages dont il est responsable...

Fin du contrat

Les contrats d'assurance sont en général à tacite reconduction. L'assuré et l'assureur peuvent dénoncer le contrat à chaque échéance. En France, le code des assurances prévoit également une résiliation possible pour l'assureur après chaque sinistre.

En cas de disparition du risque assuré, par exemple en cas de décès pour un contrat d'assurance sur une personne, le contrat prend naturellement fin.

La loi Chatel* du 28 janvier 2005 a modifié les dispositions concernant les contrats d’assurance à tacite reconduction (article 2) :

Depuis l'entrée en vigueur de la loi Chatel, les prestataires de services doivent informer les consommateurs " au plus tôt trois mois et au plus tard un mois " avant la date limite de résiliation, de la possibilité de ne pas reconduire le contrat.

Si cette information ne leur est pas communiquée dans ce délai, ils peuvent résilier le contrat , à compter de la date de reconduction.

Si l' avis d'échéance et l'indication de la possibilité de resiliation est reçu moins de 15 jours avant la fin de la période de résiliation, ou après cette date, l'assureur doit prévenir l'assuré qu'il dispose d'un délai de 20 jours supplémentaires à compter de la date d'envoi de l'avis pour mettre fin à son contrat.

Si cela n'est pas respecté, l'assuré peut résilier le contrat sans pénalités, à tout moment à compter de la date de reconduction, par lettre recommandée à l'assureur.

Les contrats d’assurance vie, les contrats de groupe et les autres opérations collectives sont expressément exclus du dispositif de renouvellement des contrats d’assurance.

  • A noter que les contrats à tacite reconduction concernés sont ceux qui couvrent les personnes physiques en dehors de leurs activités professionnelles.

Source : wikipedia
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In some sense we can say that insurance appears simultaneously with appearance of human society. We know of two types of economies in human societies: money economies (with markets, money, financial instruments and so on) and non-money or natural economies (without money, markets, financial instruments and so on). The second type is a more ancient form than the first. In such an economy and community, we can see insurance in the form of people helping each other. For example, if a house burns down, the members of the community help build a new one. Should the same thing happen to one's neighbour, the other neighbours must help. Otherwise, neighbours will not receive help in the future. This type of insurance has survived to the present day in some countries where modern money economy with its financial instruments is not widespread (for example countries in the territory of the former Soviet Union).

Turning to insurance in the modern sense (i.e., insurance in a modern money economy, in which insurance is part of the financial sphere), early methods of transferring or distributing risk were practiced by Chinese and Babylonian traders as long ago as the 3rd and 2nd millennia BCE, respectively. Chinese merchants traveling treacherous river rapids would redistribute their wares across many vessels to limit the loss due to any single vessel's capsizing. The Babylonians developed a system which was recorded in the famous Code of Hammurabi, c. 1750 BCE, and practiced by early Mediterranean sailing merchants. If a merchant received a loan to fund his shipment, he would pay the lender an additional sum in exchange for the lender's guarantee to cancel the loan should the shipment be stolen.

Achaemenian monarchs were the first to insure their people and made it official by registering the insuring process in governmental notary offices. The insurance tradition was performed each year in Norouz (beginning of the Iranian New Year); the heads of different ethnic groups as well as others willing to take part, presented gifts to the monarch. The most important gift was presented during a special ceremony. When a gift was worth more than 10,000 Derrik (Achaemenian gold coin weighing 8.35-8.42) the issue was registered in a special office. This was advantageous to those who presented such special gifts. For others, the presents were fairly assessed by the confidants of the court. Then the assessment was registered in special offices.

The purpose of registering was that whenever the person who presented the gift registered by the court was in trouble, the monarch and the court would help him. Jahez, a historian and writer, writes in one of his books on ancient Iran: "[W]henever the owner of the present is in trouble or wants to construct a building, set up a feast, have his children married, etc. the one in charge of this in the court would check the registration. If the registered amount exceeded 10,000 Derrik, he or she would receive an amount of twice as much."

A thousand years later, the inhabitants of Rhodes invented the concept of the 'general average'. Merchants whose goods were being shipped together would pay a proportionally divided premium which would be used to reimburse any merchant whose goods were jettisoned during storm or sinkage.

The Greeks and Romans introduced the origins of health and life insurance c. 600 AD when they organized guilds called "benevolent societies" which cared for the families and paidfuneral expenses of members upon death. Guilds in the Middle Ages served a similar purpose. The Talmud deals with several aspects of insuring goods. Before insurance was established in the late 17th century, "friendly societies" existed in England, in which people donated amounts of money to a general sum that could be used for emergencies.

Separate insurance contracts (i.e., insurance policies not bundled with loans or other kinds of contracts) were invented in Genoa in the 14th century, as were insurance pools backed by pledges of landed estates. These new insurance contracts allowed insurance to be separated from investment, a separation of roles that first proved useful in marine insurance. Insurance became far more sophisticated in post-Renaissance Europe, and specialized varieties developed.

Toward the end of the seventeenth century, London's growing importance as a center for trade increased demand for marine insurance. In the late 1680s, Mr. Edward Lloyd opened a coffee house that became a popular haunt of ship owners, merchants, and ships’ captains, and thereby a reliable source of the latest shipping news. It became the meeting place for parties wishing to insure cargoes and ships, and those willing to underwrite such ventures. Today, Lloyd's of London remains the leading market (note that it is not an insurance company) for marine and other specialist types of insurance, but it works rather differently than the more familiar kinds of insurance.

Insurance as we know it today can be traced to the Great Fire of London, which in 1666 devoured 13,200 houses. In the aftermath of this disaster, Nicholas Barbon opened an office to insure buildings. In 1680, he established England's first fire insurance company, "The Fire Office," to insure brick and frame homes.

The first insurance company in the United States underwrote fire insurance and was formed in Charles Town (modern-day Charleston), South Carolina, in 1732.

Benjamin Franklin helped to popularize and make standard the practice of insurance, particularly against fire in the form of perpetual insurance. In 1752, he founded the Philadelphia Contributionship for the Insurance of Houses from Loss by Fire. Franklin's company was the first to make contributions toward fire prevention. Not only did his company warn against certain fire hazards, it refused to insure certain buildings where the risk of fire was too great, such as all wooden houses.

In the United States, regulation of the insurance industry is highly Balkanized, with primary responsibility assumed by individual state insurance departments. Whereas insurance markets have become centralized nationally and internationally, state insurance commissioners operate individually, though at times in concert through a national insurance commissioners' organization. In recent years, some have called for a dual state and federal regulatory system for insurance similar to that which oversees state banks and national banks.

In the state of New York, which has unique laws in keeping with its stature as a global business center, Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has been in a unique position to grapple with major national insurance brokerages. Spitzer alleged that Marsh & McLennan steered business to insurance carriers based on the amount of contingent commissions that could be extracted from carriers, rather than basing decisions on whether carriers had the best deals for clients. Several of the largest commercial insurance brokerages have since stopped accepting contingent commissions and have adopted new business models.


Source : Wikipedia

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12 février 2007 1 12 /02 /février /2007 18:06

De premières méthodes de transfert de risques sont signalés chez les babylonniens, dès le IIe millénaire av. J.-C. Le système développé est repris dans le Code d'Hammourabi. Si un marchand effectue un prêt pour effectuer un transport, il paye une somme supplémentaire au préteur. Le prêt n'a pas à être remboursé si la marchandise se fait voler.

1000 ans plus tard, les habitants de Rhodes inventent la mutualisation. Les marchands dont les biens arrivent à destination remboursent ceux dont les biens ont été détruits lors d'une tempête.

Les grecs et les romains introduisent l'assurance santé et l'assurance vie. Les Guildes du Moyen Âge remplissent un rôle similaire, en participant aux frais d'obsèques de leurs membres décédés.

L'assurance se complexifie en Europe après la renaissance. À la fin du XVIIe siècle, l'importance croissante de Londres en tant que centre de commerce tire la demande pour des assurances maritimes. Edward Lloyd ouvre un café qui devient un repère pour les marins et les affréteurs, et par la suite une source d'information sur le monde maritime. Il devient un lieu de rencontre pour les personnes cherchant à assurer leurs bateaux, et ceux proposant une couverture. Aujourd'hui encore, le Lloyd's de Londres reste le haut lieu de l'assurance maritime.

Au sens moderne, l'assurance remonte au grand feu de Londres de 1666, qui détruisit 13200 bâtiments. À la suite de cet incendie, Nicholas Barbon ouvre un bureau pour assurer les bâtiments.

Aux États-Unis, la première compagnie est créée en 1732. Benjamin Franklin est le premier, au travers de la Philadelphia Contributionship for the Insurance of Houses from Loss by Fire, il invente la prévention, en refusant d'assurer les maisons pour lesquelles le risque d'incendie est trop fort.


Source : wikipedia

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