Affinity insurance: principle, advantages and disadvantages


What is affinity insurance?

The expression “affinity insurance” includes all insurance and guarantees of all kinds that are offered to the buyer of a high-tech product (such as stereo-photo, video-computer, television) or household appliances, by the seller. for sale incidental to the product purchased.

This is how purchasers of mobile phones, tablets or laptops can be offered a contract covering, depending on the case, breakage, theft, oxidation, etc. The purchaser of a household appliance or television product is systematically offered the joint subscription of an extended warranty.

But affinity insurance also concerns the purchase of certain services such as travel and stays. This is how the travel agency can offer, in addition to the sale of trips or stays, cancellation insurance, theft of luggage and assistance.

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Advantages and disadvantages of affinity insurance

A priori, affinity insurance seems to be a good deal for the customer who has just purchased a television, for example. This purchase is normally accompanied by a two-year legal warranty (conformity warranty and warranty against hidden defects) and if the customer accepts the warranty extension offered by the seller, the television will be covered for 5 years in the event of a breakdown. It protects the purchased product against the risks to which it may be exposed and which should normally provide for the assumption of repair costs, or reimbursement in the event of theft. But this benefit is often not as complete as the insured had imagined.

Contracts subscribed too often without knowing what they really cover

However, the guarantees of this type of insurance are generally far from being presented with clarity for 3 reasons:

  • Sellers are not insurance professionals. They only have a basic knowledge of the product, of which they only give the outline to the customer, often failing to present the exclusions, the obsolescence applied, the deductibles, the limits, etc.
  • Sellers devote very little time to presenting this contract, which they very often sell with great persuasion, not to say insistence (this is the case for almost 20% of contracts signed according to the results of an already old study).
  • The sellers are interested in the sale of this contract since they receive a fixed remuneration on each sale.

Before signing, ask to read the general conditions and have them explain how the guarantees work (which risks are covered? Is there a deductible? Is its amount indexed? If so, on which index? Are there exclusions – parts, but also non-guaranteed events? Is the compensation exercised on the basis of replacement for new or deducted obsolescence? In the latter case, how is obsolescence calculated? What is the ceiling annual guarantee – in value and in number of claims -, etc.).

Good to know : the seller is required to provide you with the standardized insurance product information document (IPID) provided for by article L.1122-4 of the Insurance Code as well as the information notice. He must also inform the customer that it is possible for him to acquire the good or service from the supplier separately.

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An often high cost in relation to the many limitations and exclusions

These warranty extensions are expensive since they represent 10 to 20% of the price of the new device. But the warranty will only intervene to cover the repair or replacement of the device after the legal warranty has expired. Indeed, if the product has a defect, you must first invoke the legal guarantee of conformity valid for 2 years. After 2 years, the legal warranty expires. It is only then that the affinity guarantee contracted upon purchase of the device can be implemented…

To note : if the problem occurs within 6 months after purchase, the consumer does not have to prove that the breakdown is due to a defect that existed before the sale of the product.

This commercial guarantee is therefore only interesting if:

  • the buyer does not have to prove the existence of a defect,
  • the loan of a replacement device is planned during the repair,
  • the return of the product to the manufacturer is organized by the seller, and if all costs and possible damage caused by the breakdown are covered.

Guarantees that duplicate those you may have elsewhere

Before subscribing, check that the equipment you are going to acquire will not benefit from the guarantees that you may have in your multi-risk home insurance contract, or those attached to your bank card if you have a premium, gold or other high-end formula. range (and provided you have paid for the device with this card).

To note : there are insurers on the market who offer contracts covering all the electronic equipment (smartphone, tablet, laptop, etc.) of a family, whether they are nomadic or at the insured’s home, in the event of breakdown, breakage or theft outside the home.

This type of contract grouping together all of your devices with the same insurer in a global contract will be easier to manage (1 single contact) and above all much more economical than the addition of a contract per equipment.

Good to know : in addition to multimedia equipment, some insurers also offer to guarantee your household appliances and your various leisure equipment (sports equipment, electric mobility devices – scooters, bicycles, Segway, etc. -, gardening and DIY equipment, etc.) .

If you want to protect your miscellaneous equipment, favor this type of contract, but before subscribing, don’t forget to ask your interlocutor in order to keep in mind the scope of the guarantees and their operation, limits, exclusions and deductibles.

How do I end affinity insurance?

These contracts are generally taken out for one year with tacit renewal. From the end of the first year of insurance, you can therefore terminate it subject to compliance with a 2-month notice given by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt.

Affinity insurance also benefits from termination under the Hamon law. The consumer can therefore terminate his contract at any time, once the first year of insurance has ended, by sending a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt. Termination taking effect one month after receipt of the letter.

Good to know : the law grants a right of withdrawal for a period of 14 days to renounce the signed contract. You must return or copy the withdrawal slip which must appear in the contractual documents. Then return the slip after completing it to the insurer. Your contract is deemed never to have existed and you will benefit from a full refund of the contributions and fees paid.

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