If restaurateurs welcome with relief the envelope of 300 million euros announced by Axa this Thursday, "the fight continues" assures lawyer Jean-Pierre Tertian, mobilized on the subject.

"This is a first step for the insurer, it goes in the direction of appeasement, but it is still clearly insufficient."

TESTIMONY

Axa makes a gesture.

Thursday on Europe 1, Thomas Buberl, CEO of Axa, announced an envelope of 300 million euros for the 15,000 contract restorers in order to "put an end to this legal vagueness that we have experienced".

Since the start of the administrative closures, due to health restrictions, some 1,500 restaurant owners had sued their insurer to obtain compensation for their operating losses.

At the heart of the legal battle, a guarantee supposed to cover the risk of an epidemic, but not at the global or national level, explains the insurer who refuses to compensate professionals. 

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During the past year, judgments have been rendered both in favor of the insurer, but also of restaurateurs.

Like Jean-Michel Alazard, restaurateur in the Alpilles.

The Aix-en-Provence Court of Appeal had ruled in his favor against Axa.

He welcomes this transaction with relief.

"Alone, we are not necessarily sure to get there. But behind, there is a movement and colleagues who have followed. Together, we have succeeded," he confides at the microphone of Europe 1. "I'm sure we had to fight."

The 15,000 restaurateurs under contract with Axa are affected by this envelope and field agents should soon contact the main stakeholders for a case-by-case assessment.

Still insufficient sums

"It is a great victory for the insured", analyzes the lawyer Jean-Pierre Tertian, mobilized on this file, recalling the judgments in favor of the restorers already rendered.

"Axa's decision is the culmination of a fight that has been waged since the start of the health crisis against a decision not to compensate which was not logical."

The lawyer warns, however, on the amount announced, to be shared between the different establishments.

"Three hundred million is insufficient in view of the losses suffered by restaurateurs in 2020 and 2021 and the guarantees granted in the contracts," recalls Jean-Pierre Tertian.

"This is a first step for the insurer, it goes in the direction of appeasement, but it is still clearly insufficient."

"The fight continues on the amount of compensation," says the lawyer. "We are not going to accept without discussing the insufficient offers offered to us by Axa."

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