Bonus-malus in automobile insurance

Verified 23 April 2020 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

The bonus-malus is a system for modulating the insurance premium according to the behavior of the insured. This adjustment shall be made each year, on the basis of claims involving the liability of the insured person. The basic premium shall be reduced in the absence of an accident and increased where one or more accidents have occurred. In case of a change of insurance, you keep your bonus-malus coefficient and the insurer must issue you an information statement.

The bonus-malus system, also called reduction-increase coefficient, is a formula for reducing or increasing the insurance premium at each annual maturity.

This change is made according to the claims in which your liability has been recognized over a reference period. The absence of a claim during the period allows you to reduce your reduction-increase coefficient.

If there has been one or more claims over the period in which your liability has been recognized, this may result in an increase in your reduction-increase coefficient.

Each year, the reduction-increase coefficient is applied to the reference premium, i.e. the premium calculated at enrollment, to determine the new amount to be paid.

If your coefficient has dropped, you will have a reduction in the reference premium and you will pay less for your insurance.

If your coefficient has increased, you will have an increase in the reference premium and you will pay a higher rate.

The bonus-malus system applies to all land motor vehicles, subject to exceptions, as indicated in the insurance contract. The exceptions relate in particular to 2 or 3 wheels (up to 125 cm3 or 11 kw of power), vintage cars (over 30 years old) and agricultural and forestry machinery.

The claims taken into account for the application of the bonus-malus are those in which your total or partial liability has been recognized, and which have resulted in compensation from the insurer.


the towing of the vehicle may give rise to the application of the malus if the breakdown of the vehicle is linked to a guarantee taken into account for the calculation of the bonus-malus.

The bonus-malus takes as a reference the period of 12 consecutive months preceding by 2 months the annual expiry of the contract.

Example :

For a contract with an annual maturity of 31 December 2020, the reference period shall be 1er November 2019 to October 31, 2020.

The insurer is obliged to apply the bonus-malus rule. However, the reference premium is determined by the insurer, and each insurer has its own reference premiums. You must therefore check the applicable reference premium in the contract.

The vehicle's insurance contributions are calculated according to a bonus-bonus (or bonus-malus) system, which takes into account the accidents reported by the driver.

The starting coefficient is 1.

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For each accident-free year in which a portion of your liability has been retained, you benefit from a reduction of 5% of your previous year's coefficient.

It is therefore sufficient to multiply the coefficient of the previous year by 0.95 to obtain the coefficient of the year, if there has not been an accident involving a share of the insured's liability. By default, the coefficient is rounded to 2 decimal places.

The maximum reduction is set at 50% (coefficient 0.50). Beyond that, the coefficient no longer changes.

Tableau - Illustrated bonus-malus table

Age of the contract

Bonus Coefficient

Calculation of the coefficient

Example with a reference premium of €1,000





1er birthday


1*0.95 = 0.95


2e birthday


0.95*0.95 = 0.9025 rounded to 0.90


3e birthday


0.90*0.95 = 0.855 rounded to 0.85


4e birthday


0.85*0.95 = 0.8075 rounded to 0.80


5e birthday


0.80*0.95 = 0.76


6e birthday


0.76*0.95 = 0.722 rounded to 0.72


7e birthday


0.72*0.95 = 0.684 rounded to 0.68


8e birthday


0.68*0.95 = 0.646 rounded to 0.64


9e birthday


0.64*0.95 = 0.608 rounded to 0.6


10e birthday


0.60*0.95 = 0.57 rounded to 0.57


11e birthday


0.57*0.95 = 0.541 rounded to 0.54


12e birthday


0.54*0.95 = 0.513 rounded to 0.51


13e birthday


0.51*0.95 = 0.48 rounded to 0.5 maximum coefficient


Please note

the coefficient obtained by applying the bonus-malus rule shall be adjusted according to the number of claims registered by the insurance companies during the previous year. This is the technical coefficient of variation for disaster.


For each accident responsible, the insured person is subject to an increase of 25%.

To determine the resulting coefficient, the coefficient is taken before the accident and multiplied by 1.25.

Example :


  • You have a coefficient of 0.68.
  • One 1er The accident will result in a new coefficient, namely: 0.68 * 1.25 = 0.85.
  • If you have a second accident in the same year, your coefficient will increase to: 0.85 * 1.25 = 1.06.

The maximum coefficient shall be 3,5. Thus, for a reference premium of €1,000, the insured person who has a coefficient of 3.5 will pay a premium of €3,500.

When the insured is declared partially responsible for the accident, the increase is 12.5%. In this case, the coefficient will again return to 1 if there is no accident responsible for 2 years.


if you have had a coefficient of 0.50 for at least 3 years, the 1er the responsible accident that occurs does not result in the malus being applied.

Link between bonus and malus

When subscribing to the 1er contract you have a coefficient of 1.

If you do not have an accident involving part of your liability in the first year, you benefit from a reduction of 5%. So your coefficient for the second year will be: 1*0.95 = 0.95.

If you have a responsible accident during the 2ndeme year, you will be subject to an increase of 25%. So your coefficient for the third year will be the coefficient for the second year plus 25% : 0.95*1.25 = 1.1875, rounded to 1.18.

To determine the coefficient of the 4'th year, the coefficient of 3 shall be appliedeme year is a reduction of 5% or an increase of 25% depending on whether or not there was a responsible accident.

You keep your bonus-malus coefficient at the end of your insurance contract. It will be transferred automatically in the following cases:

  • You're changing vehicles
  • You're changing insurers
  • You buy an additional vehicle (provided there are no new usual drivers).

Each year, when your contract expires, your insurer issues you with a statement of information. This document mentions your bonus-malus coefficient and the list of claims liable for the previous 5 annual periods. You can also request this statement at another time.

This statement will be essential if you want to change your insurer.

If you sell your vehicle and do not take back one immediately, your contract will be terminated. If the interruption is less than 3 months and you have not suffered any loss involving part of your responsibility in the year, you will benefit from an evolution of your bonus by signing your next contract.