how to know your bonus-malus coefficient?

Insuring your vehicle is mandatory. If all motorists have insurance that covers them in the event of a claim, the price of this insurance can vary greatly from one user to another. The reason: the bonus-malus coefficient. The latter determines the insurance premium.

What is a bonus-malus?

The cost of car insurance is determined by several factors. There are obviously the rates charged by the various insurance organizations. These referral bonuses can easily be compared online, thanks to sites such as However, if the contract is important, the cost per year depends above all on the behavior – or rather, the “liabilities” – of the motorist in question. And for good reason, the insured is solely responsible for his bonus-malus coefficient.

The bonus-malus is a system set up to determine and modulate the insurance premium of the insured. More concretely, if the motorist is partially or totally responsible for a claim, the coefficient will be increased. If the insured has caused no loss, the coefficient will on the contrary be reduced. The bonus-malus therefore aims, in a way, to reward “good drivers”, and to penalize the others by making them pay more for their insurance.

How is the bonus-malus coefficient calculated?

A bonus-malus does not remain fixed. Quite the contrary. This changes every year and is based on the last 12 months preceding the two months of annual expiry of the contract. Depending on the events that have occurred or not that year, a coefficient will be applied to your reference bonus. Either an increase or a reduction.

Initially, the coefficient will be equal to 1. The rest will therefore depend on your driving behavior.


Each claim for which you are responsible will increase your coefficient by 0.25 or 25%. If your reference premium is €1,000, your bonus-malus coefficient was 1 and you caused 3 accidents during the year, the insurance premium will be as follows:

  • After the 1st accident: 1 coefficient x 1.25 = coefficient of 1.25
  • After the 2nd accident: 1.25 coefficient x 1.25 = coefficient of 1.56
  • After the 3rd accident: 1.56 coefficient x 1.25 = coefficient of 1.95

Your insurance premium will therefore be increased by 95% and you will pay 1,950 euros instead of 1,000 €.


Each year without involvement (or without liability) in a claim will allow you, on the contrary, to lower your coefficient by 5%. Thus, if your bonus-malus coefficient was 1, it will reduce over time:

  • After 1 year: 1 coefficient x 0.95 = coefficient 0.95
  • After 2 years: 0.95 coefficient x 0.95 = coefficient of 0.90
  • After 3 years: 0.90 coefficient x 0.95 = coefficient of 0.86

After 3 consecutive years, your insurance will therefore be reduced by 14%. With a referral bonus of €1,000, the bonus will thus amount to €140. Finally, even if your driving behavior is exemplary during the following years and decades, the bonus-malus coefficient can never fall below 0.50.

Can you reset your bonus-malus coefficient by changing insurer?

Whether your bonus-malus coefficient is low or high, it may be wise to change insurance, as the organizations all charge their own rates. If these reference premiums vary from one insurer to another, your future insurance company will always require a statement of information indicating your bonus-malus coefficient to prepare the new contract.

This document, also specifying all the accidents for which you have been responsible over the last 5 years, is sent to you each year by your organization at the end of your contract. However, it can be sent to you at any time, at your request.

This content was produced in partnership with BFMTV’s editorial staff did not participate in the production of this content.

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