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Groupama Assurance-Crédit: “The notion of unlimited guarantee is going to complicate risk calculation”

Interview of Jean-Michel Pérès, CEO of Groupama Assurance-Crédit


The market of financial guarantees for trip and travel operators in France is going to evolve through a transition towards a guarantee that covers the total amount of funds deposited. How are private insurance providers interpreting this change? Today, let’s look at Jean-Michel Pérès’ perspective, CEO of Groupama Assurance-Crédit.



Jean-Michel Pérès, CEO of Groupama Assurance-Crédit - DR : Groupama AC
Jean-Michel Pérès, CEO of Groupama Assurance-Crédit - DR : Groupama AC
TourMaG.com - What do you think of the announcement of the repeal of the October 29th, 2014 order?

Jean-Michel Pérès: We still don’t know how the current text will be replaced. The last order was taken without true dialogue and no impact study. We thought we had solved it, but the government changed position, orienting towards a new system.

So we’ll wait for this new system to be put in place.

TourMaG.com - What will change with putting in place a 100% guarantee of deposited funds for Groupama AC?

J.-M. P.: It had happened, in fact, that the amounts deposited were superior than the amount of the financial guarantee.

This could be due to various causes: the evolution of the job of travel companies, rates that are not adapted to the types of operators, or the tendency to under-evaluate the volume of some services given that calculations are only based on what is officially declared.

To guarantee this risk and prepare for eventual “class actions” against the State, the government chose to orient towards a total guarantee.

This notion of unlimited guarantee will complicate risk calculation.

What will our risk be tomorrow? How will we evaluate it without having a guarantee amount?

It will be necessary to establish a structure, at the governmental level or through inter-professional dialogue, to develop rules and make the system viable.

TourMaG.com - What do you mean by “establishing a structure”?

J.-M. P.: It means determining correct practices that will be respected by both tourism professionals and the guarantee providers.

TourMaG.com - Will this guarantee of covering all of the deposited funds increase your clients’ insurance premium amount?

J.-M. P.: What I can tell you is that this logic would lead to additional costs.

However, for operators who have well evaluated their risks, nothing should change. Those with a stable system will be barely impacted.

TourMaG.com – And for counter-guarantees?

J.-M. P.: Groupama AC doesn't manage counter-guarantees. A priori, we shouldn’t have to ask for some. With us, cases with counter-guarantees are quite the exception.

Will the new regulation shake things up? Normally, it shouldn’t, but it is too early to tell.

TourMaG.com - How will you be represented in the negotiations to come? And what will be your position?

J.-M. P. : We will be represented by the French Federations of Insurance Companies.

Some operators may have to leave this market, but for our situation, since we’re the number 1 private insurer in the tourism sector, we will have no reason to leave.

Written by Céline Eymery translated by Joséphine Foucher the 26/01/2015
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