At Covéa, we put people first in supporting personal injury victims

As a mutual insurance group, supporting personal injury victims is a priority for Covéa, which strives to develop and implement solutions for each life event. To find out more, we talked to the Group’s Head of Personal Injury Compensation, Hélène Debrosse.

What is personal injury and what consequences can it have?

illustration

Hélène Debrosse: Personal injury is physical or mental harm that is caused to someone. This kind of injury – which could be a sprain, fracture, burn or head injury – varies tremendously and can happen at any time: on the road, at home, at work, on holiday, during a recreational activity, as well as during a medical procedure. For the victims, the consequences of this type of accident can range from a minor injury to more serious damage to the spinal cord or neurological system, or even death. In addition to the physical impact, the repercussions can be psychological, social and financial. A personal injury can result in medical fees, loss of income and costs relating to home or vehicle adaptations. The amount covered by insurance is determined on the basis of the resulting level of impairment (under the French system, “AIPP” or “Atteinte à l’Intégrité Physique et Psychique”, expressed as a percentage scale). For example, a leg amputation can have a rating of over 50% and require specific measures such as auxiliary care at home.

11 million

The number of people involved in accidents each year in France.

450,000

The number of victims receiving compensation each year in France.

€5 bn

The amount of compensation paid out by insurance companies each year.

Why is supporting victims a priority for the Covéa Group?

Hélène Debrosse: Covéa takes a different approach by providing personalised and tailor-made support for victims on top of compensation. As each accident and its effects are unique, we need to offer a unique response in each case, in accordance with our mutualist values. We do not leave victims to struggle with their challenges alone. With its specialist teams – including personal injury inspectors covering the whole of France, claims handlers, social support assistants, architects and medical professionals – Covéa’s Personal Injury Department is always on hand to listen and make suggestions. Our support begins as soon as we make initial contact with the victim, with our multidisciplinary teams covering three main areas: medical support and rehabilitation, legal and administrative assistance, and psychological and social support. Most cases go on for more than four years, sometimes much longer. Throughout this process, we work in tandem with victims to understand their specific needs, concerns and goals. By doing so, we help victims meet their essential requirements, adapt their living conditions, reintegrate into society and think about how to rebuild their lives. When it comes to compensation, we prefer amicable negotiations, which account for 75% of payouts.

What is the role of personal injury claims handling in insurance?

Hélène Debrosse: Handling of personal injury claims is a central part of what we do. In most cases, this involves insurers covering the costs of victims of accidents caused by their own policyholders in civil liability personal injury claims. As compensation for civil liability claims is generally unlimited, personal injury claims represent a high financial cost despite making up just a small percentage of cases – less than 5% for the Covéa Group and its MAAF, MMA and GMF brands. Some cases can amount to tens of millions of euros including auxiliary care, loss of income and healthcare costs. In this regard, personal injury is what mutual risk insurance is all about. For example, imagine how many motor insurance premiums need to be paid to provide compensation for a claim estimated at €2 million. In addition to the financial aspects, as a mutual insurance group, Covéa puts people at the heart of what it does, promising comprehensive and specialist support throughout the process of victims getting their lives back together.

Prevention: a central aspect of our role as an insurer

Covéa aims to apply its in-depth knowledge of risk and, in order to better anticipate risk, helps to raise awareness, develops partnerships and contributes to research.

Learn more