The mail is gone on Monday night. In this letter addressed to the Prime minister, Édouard Philippe, we unfold, the main trade union of the cafes, hotels and restaurants, the UMIH (Union of trades and industries of hospitality), is coming to red cannon balls on the insurers. And demand the government intervene to pressure the occupation to allow for " compensation for operating losses resulting in the prohibition measures imposed within the framework of the state health emergency ".
Since the closure of restaurants and cafés, insurers explain that the consequences of a pandemic are not compensable, except in the case of contracts, " poorly written ", very much in the minority, the clauses of which open the door to a compensation of the operating losses related to the closure even if the original intention was not to cover a pandemic.
Read also Yves Camdeborde : "The bistronomie is in induced coma"
At the end of the last inter-ministerial committee on tourism, on may 14th, no further action had been announced by the French Federation of insurance (FFA) despite the plan of 18 billion euros unveiled by Edward Philip to help the sector. However, the UMIH is estimated that the government has taken " a strong set of commitments (...) in favour of the implementation of a solution, a tripartite between the government, insurers and the sector of cafés, hotels, restaurants and nightclubs (CHRD), allowing compensation for operating losses resulting in the prohibition measures imposed within the framework of the state health emergency ".
Read also What is really the plan for the tourism sector
The threat to pass by the law
" Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, secretary of State, had indicated as early as may 11 that, in the absence of an agreement between the stakeholders of the sector of cafés, hotels and restaurants, nightclubs and insurers, the legislative route would be a serious option ", underline Roland Héguy, the president confederal union, and its vice-president, both signatories of this letter, to ask the executive to keep your word. Some mps, including in the majority, are considering imposing a tax on the insurance industry... This last is thought to have been the rendezvous of the crisis. He is committed to play contracts covering the operating loss poorly written that do not exclude explicitly the pandemic.
Affected too by the crisis, insurers are especially in before the $ 3.2 billion of commitments that they have put on the table, of which 400 million euros to contribute to the solidarity fund set up by the government to indemnify the liberal professions, the self-employed, very small enterprises and microentrepreneurs.
do you know of a single other profession that contributes as much to the solidarity fund ?
On this sum, which includes more than 1.5 billion of investment promised in the French companies, more than a billion euros would be signposted towards the tourism sector, including $ 600 million of contractual indemnities, 300 million of "gestures extracontractuels" (such as bonuses, mutual announced by the Crédit mutuel), or 150 million investment in the own funds of companies in the sector to come and about 80 million under the solidarity fund. "Do you know of a single other profession that contributes as much to the solidarity fund ? It is the only sector which contributes, " said a senior officer in the sector, believing to be unjustly attacked. Insurers and their representatives refuse to take more measures of solidarity at the level of the entire sector. It is up to each of the FFA members to announce potential measures of additional support according to their situation. Matignon was, until now, on the same line.
The threat of collective proceedings in court
But the industry is struggling to convince the public of its commitment. All that Friday, Axa has been convicted in summary proceedings by the commercial court of Paris to indemnify and hold harmless, on an interim basis, the restaurateur parisien, Stéphane Manigold, for operating losses sustained by any of its establishments, The Bistro next to Flaubert, in which the insurance contract was ambiguous. Axa says it wants to appeal this decision.
Tuesday morning on RTL, Thomas Buberl, ceo, has estimated to be less than 10 % of its contracts with restaurant owners that they were " poorly written ". And he has tried to show solidarity by announcing $ 500 million for additional investments in SMES and large companies intermediaries to strengthen their own funds. A gesture that was not enough to calm the UMIH.
In a second letter of 25 may – internal to the organization, this time the confederation is threatening to resort to collective procedures in justice " against insurers who refuse their warranty or offer of compensation insufficient and against the French Federation of insurance because of his communication and words in order to make us believe that there is no solution to guarantee insurance in the present situation ".
The UMIH is also threatening to move out of insurers in the future. She claims working at an insurance offer to propose to the companies in the sector, which " would cover the real needs of (the) profession ". The offer, which was distributed without a brand, could be ready from September. A working group has been formed.