Understanding the statutory motor ‘bonus-malus’
The Civil Liability ‘bonus-malus’ scale has 25 levels numbered from 22 to - 3. - 3 corresponds to the maximum bonus and 22 to the maximum possible penalty.
If you are insuring a vehicle for the first time, you start in the middle of the ‘bonus-malus’ scale, i.e. at 11, the basic degree that corresponds to an insurance premium rate of 100%.
Then, every year without an accident takes you down a notch on this scale. For example, after 4 years without an accident, your Civil Liability bonus is 7.
On the other hand, if you cause an accident, you climb 3 points on the Civil Liability ‘malus’ scale. This means that if you started off at the basic level (11), you will be at 14 the following year.
Note that each time you climb up or down the Civil Liability scale, part of your premium changes: only the amount that corresponds to the Civil Liability insurance cover. The amount related to your other insurance cover (theft, fire, etc.) does not change. This has the advantage of making the penalties (malus) less severe than in some other countries where insurers increase the entire premium.