Covid: AXA deals with 80% of its restaurant customers

Posted on Nov 18, 2021, 1:23 PMUpdated Nov 18, 2021, 1:26 PM

This is a chapter that is closing for AXA France. On Thursday, the insurer said it had entered into a transaction process with 80% of restaurant owners to whom it had reached out to try to turn the page on the covid-19 crisis and debates on its coverage of losses suffered by companies because of the confinements.

This summer the group had put 300 million euros on the table to try to seduce some 15,000 restaurant customers with its standard contract including an extension of guarantee for operating losses following an administrative closure.

This offer – considered late by some observers – could be seen as a way for the insurer to restore its image. It also aimed to convince the most dissatisfied to give up any legal battle.

Customers were offered a sum equivalent to 15% of the turnover of their catering activity during the closures between March and October 2020. Or the equivalent of 50% of the shortfall during the period, AXA said. .

Postponement of a month and a half

The group had given until the end of September to accept its offer of compensation for the losses suffered during the confinement. On September 29, this deadline was extended to November 15. Restaurant owners did not necessarily have time to look at AXA’s offer during the summer season marked by the reopening of their sector, lawyers defending restaurateurs said.

AXA France has not announced any new postponement, de facto closing the crisis management window opened this summer. “We are satisfied with the progress made with our customers,” said the boss in France of the insurer, Patrick Cohen, in September after announcing an amicable process initiated “with more than 70%” of targeted customers.

No information on pending litigation

The group does not communicate on the number of disputes in progress. This summer, he spoke of some 1,500 disputes on nearly 15,600 customers concerned (including 15,000 restaurateurs). The outcome of the legal battles remains uncertain. To date, Courts of Appeal have ruled sometimes in favor of AXA, sometimes in favor of restaurateurs. A decision from the Court of Cassation is not expected before the end of next year.

Customers who have not grasped AXA’s outstretched hand can of course be restaurateurs determined to go all the way on the legal front. However, the offer made by the insurer was also valid for those who had not taken legal action against AXA.

It is therefore possible that some restaurateurs did not follow up on the insurer’s proposal, given the aid already received and lack of time or interest to initiate new administrative procedures. Other restaurateurs may have gone bankrupt.

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