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France ups insurance levy to boost attack victims compensation fund


(Reuters) — France plans to increase a levy on property insurance policies to €5.9 from €4.30 ($6.47 from $4.72) per contract to bolster a fund that provides compensation to victims of attacks or other criminal acts.

Following the Islamist attacks in France over the past two years, paying out compensation has become a drain on the country's Guarantee Fund for Victims of Terrorist and Other Criminal Acts. More than 230 people have been killed in the attacks and hundreds more injured.

The fund, created by the French government in 1986, is financed by a tax on 80 million individual car, house and business insurance policies in France.

"We have decided along with (finance minister) Michel Sapin to increase the solidarity contribution to €5.9," Juliette Meadel, Minister of State for Victim Assistance, told reporters on Wednesday.

The increase would bring in an extra €140 million ($153.6 million) for the fund every year, Ms. Meadel said.
Since January 2015, the fund has received about 4,000 claims, the same number it received between 1986 and yearend-2014, its chief executive, Julien Rencki, told Reuters.

"The decision gives us means to meet our commitments," Mr. Rencki said. He also said the fund had €1.4 billion ($1.54 billion) in reserves to cover claims.