Life insurance: Internet, private management, agency or bank, which to choose?, Life insurance: internet, private management, agency or bank: which to choose?


Life insurance suffers from two prejudices. The first is that it would only be a contract to allow his relatives to receive a certain amount of money if ever something bad happened to us. This is partially true: it does include a beneficiary clause to designate the people who will receive the capital in the event of the holder’s death. They will then benefit from an abatement of €152,500 on the taxation of transmissions. They will then, for the additional sums, be taxed at a rate which, compared to inheritance tax, is often advantageous: 20% up to €852,500, then 31.25% beyond that. But beware, this is not death insurance, with which the beneficiaries receive a predefined capital, regardless of the amount you have paid. With life insurance, they will only receive the sums invested.

The second prejudice is that according to which it would not be possible to withdraw the sums invested before eight years. Which is completely false. Simply, it is fiscally more interesting to wait for this deadline: before, capital gains are taxed at the single flat-rate levy (PFU), ie 12.8% tax and 17.2% social security contributions; afterwards, they are still subject to social security contributions, but benefit from a tax reduction of €4,600 (€9,200 for a couple) and a reduced rate of 7.5% beyond that. However, this discount is only valid for outstanding amounts of less than €150,000: after that, the tax reverts to the PFU.

Internet raises doubts

Another concern is whether their money is safe with life insurance. Admittedly, it is not possible for the capital to decrease on the fund in euros (unlike unit-linked units, invested in the markets), but fees may apply, starting with the deposit fees, traditionally 1%. at 3%. However, Internet players do not apply entry fees. The question then is whether these intermediaries are really serious. “You must ensure that the broker is approved by the Prudential Control and Resolution Authority (ACPR)advises Philippe Crevel, director of the Circle of savings. And it is better to avoid sites domiciled outside the European Union. » Secondly, online players are neither more nor less secure than those on the street. Moreover, the two mix today: for example, Meilleurtaux.com has more than 350 physical agencies throughout France. “The first step when talking to an investor is to clearly define our role as a broker, explains Stellane Cohen, president of Altaprofits. Our task is to select the best life insurance on the market, but it is with the insurer that the client signs the contract. There is indeed always a company behind a broker, it is the company that is the depositary of the funds. There are big names, such as Aviva, Generali, Suravenir, etc. Websites are often only commercial intermediaries, and the most serious of them go so far as to build their product with the insurer.

Bankruptcy: possible, but well supervised

Consequently, in the event of the bankruptcy of a broker, the client is not supposed to perceive the effects on his capital. “The disappearance of brokers is quite common, because they are often small structuresdetails Stellane Cohen. The brokerage portfolio will be taken over by another intermediary or the insurer itself. » This often happens discreetly.

The same is true if an unscrupulous broker personally cashes checks from his clients… “There was a case like this in Normandysays Philippe Crevel. But the insurer returned all the funds. » The scam did not even need to be carried out via the Internet: the danger is not necessarily where you think.

Now, if the insurance company goes bankrupt, each client can benefit from €70,000 thanks to the Personal Insurance Guarantee Fund. “It’s an extreme case.puts Philippe Crevel into perspective. Not only are there prudential processes which should make it possible to avoid reaching this point, but the public authorities prefer a takeover by another company. » Stellane Cohen abounds: “There is a principle of solidarity which enjoins the companies to take over the contracts of the defaulting one. » Otherwise, they risk creating a systemic crisis, which they all prefer to avoid. We can always imagine the worst, but life insurance, even via the Internet, offers great security.

What happens if the insurer goes bankrupt?
What happens if the insurer goes bankrupt?


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