The independent worker is a notion that covers a wide range of jobs. These include company managers, tradesmen and women, retailers, young entrepreneurs and the liberal professions. The one thing they have in common, in France, is that – contrary to 90% of the active population – they do not have employee status and so do not have such wide social insurance cover. Complementary – 2nd tier – solutions do exist with covers that are more and more adapted to the most varied situations and needs
Complementary healthcare plans are becoming the norm with independent workers too
Non-salaried workers, just like employees, benefit from basic – 1st tier – healthcare cover. Just like employees, they are partially reimbursed for visits to the doctor, and practically on their own when it comes to optical or dental care. Whilst the widespread use of complementary healthcare plans means employees benefit from a minimum level of complementary cover, the same is not true for independent workers. They do have the possibility of taking out complementary insurance, with tax breaks, under the so-called Madelin Act. Products recently launched in this area respond much better to their needs in terms of flexibility and simplicity. For example, products selected by Gerep offer 6 or even 8 levels of cover as well as innovative services such as telemedicine consultations or various assistance services that enable them to safeguard what is the most precious for them – time and peace of mind.
Personal protection: still a long way to go
Whereas complementary healthcare plans are gaining ground with independent workers, this is much less so for personal protection. Only 60% of independents have taken out such policies. Yet, the gap between employees and the others is much more acute for the major personal protection risks such as death, disability and work incapacity…and the consequences for them are much more serious. Several months sick leave generally puts an independent worker out of a job and poses a major threat to the survival of a small business. This is why insurers have designed options such as “key person” insurance which covers the company’s overheads if the person running the business is off work.
In order to attract independent workers, some insurers have placed their bets on simplicity: online proposals with immediate cover and medical questionnaires reduced to a minimum with just a few boxes to tick. However, if healthcare and personal protection plans are to remain simple over time, it is essential to make use of customised advice and reactive, quality policy management. Even more so, given that although the rumoured demise of the RSI system for independent workers will not affect complementary social insurances, it could bring about some changes in regulations that will need to be examined closely.