The year 2015 is not yet completed that already 13 orders for the recognition of natural disasters in France were pris1. The last date of 7 October 20152. This order class 32 municipalities in State of natural disaster following the floods of October 3, 2015 in the departments of Var and Alpes-Maritimes. The provisional toll to 5 October was 20 morts3. Property damage was estimated between 550 and 650 million euros by the Association française des Assurances4.
The Government announced in the aftermath of the disaster, as is often the case when a natural event turns into a media event, that will be issued an order declaring a State of disaster naturelle5. It actually "rained in Cannes in two hours as well as in two months" 6.
This type of weather today seen as exceptional may rise in the near future. Indeed, since its inception in 1982, the context in which the scheme of compensation for natural disasters, has changed. The society is more facing risks, by urban sprawl, to add climate change, anticipating natural disasters more frequentes7. The combination of these elements risk to harm the natural disaster compensation scheme and therefore queries its viability over time.
The difficulty is in the fact that the system not only meets exceptional disasters, but is now obliged to take charge of events that could be classified as "routine". These common events that the Intergovernmental Panel on climate (change IPCC) considers: "'local events', frequent, localized, and a relative intensity, represent 60% of the benefits paid by insurers in respect of natural hazards, the"extreme events", particularly devastating, are characterized by a very high intensity and low frequency." They represent 40% of the benefits paid by insurers (…) » 8.
The 1982 doctrine which advocates to take into account not the extent of the damage but the abnormality of the evenement9, must be respected and strengthened due to the increase of damage under the CatNat10 regime. Actually, compensate a disaster 'outstanding' at intervals of one to three years, or compensate a disaster natural two or three times a year, has not the same financial consequences.
It is now necessary to consider the definition of the natural disaster to determine if an event should be considered exceptionnel11. Such an approach would exclude regime CatNat events become "commonplace".
Some people would call this unfair approach, seeing only a reduction of the areas of intervention of the CatNat regime here. But it should be above all to ask, in the case of damage that can be qualified of currents and compensation of the compensation scheme of natural disasters, if the public interest would not be diverted from its original purpose, that meet the common interest for the benefit of a sum of private interests. Indeed, the common interest lies in the systematic compensation all claims or in the preservation of solidarity (see article on solidarity: keystone of the regime catNat) ensures that all coverage of exceptional events?
Two designs have long opposed in France:
-A utilitarian "who sees in the common interest that the sum special interests' 12.
-A proactive design that aims to make an overflow of private interests to achieve relevance General.13.
These two currents have made, and will still be long debates, but fact remains that the proactive power took over in France.
However, use constantly plan CatNat to satisfy all claims instantly responds seems more a sum of interest individuals (utilitarian), to private interests (proactive design) to be exceeded.
The paradigm French favouring the general interest to the sum of the special interests, should cease to extend the scope of coverage to not always exceptional risks. The fact of abusing oversimplification of this regime for a sum of imperative interests of short term, questioning life plan, and thereby the general interest that it guarantees.
The problem of these schemes based on solidarity attempting to satisfy the general interest, is the tendency to overuse by users, sometimes even well-meaning. As a result of perverting the system over the long term and lead to its loss.
The general interest in the end comes here join solidarity, both reeling from a more individualistic society. The State must rest the milestones of the general interest in the matter, and the judge must punish abuses, so that this model of "solidarismo" can continue.
It is not here to deny compensation to claims. On the contrary, it is to encourage prevention, (article on the subject to be issued) to forward thinking and evade covers parallel or complementary. Such measures would allow the CatNat regime to persist in time to cover the qualified exceptional events and would develop any compensatory mechanisms guaranteeing long term coverage.


[1] V. Census of orders relating to the recognition of orders issued by natural disaster, h[en ligne]ttp://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/

[2] JORF n ° 8 October 2015 page 18279 text no.27 0233

[3] The world, "floods in the Alpes-Maritimes: A provisional toll of 20 dead, 2015-10-05, h[en ligne]ttp://www.lemonde.fr/" 

[4] "One week after the French Riviera weather makes the balance sheet" (11/10/2015)[en ligne], http://www.francetvinfo.fr

[5] See article to appear on the order of recognition of the State of natural disaster.

[6]LIMOGE F., flooding in the Alpes-Maritimes: 17 killed and extensive property damage, 2015-10-4, the[en ligne] argus of the assurance.com

[7] See article on urbanization and climate change.

[8] ONERC, assessment of the cost of the impacts of climate change and adaptation in France. Report of the second phase. Part V, annexes to reports, p16. http://www.developpementdurable.gouv.fr/IMG/PDF/partie_5_annexes_des_rapports_thematiques.PDF

[9] MARGEAT (H.), MICHEL (J – M) (analyses and comments), the law on natural disasters – Gazette du palais – 1984 (2nd sem.) p504.

[10] Regardless of the causes of the latter. (urbanization or / and climate change).

[11] V. Article to be published on the definition of the natural disaster.

[12] The utilitarian power: (…) sees in the common interest that the sum of individual interests, which spontaneously from searching of their usefulness by economic agents. » see the Council of State and the administrative jurisdiction, reflection on the general interest, public report, 1[en ligne]999, http://www.conseiletat.fr/fr/rapports-et-etudes/linteret-general-une-notion-centrale-de-la.html (12/12/2010)

[13] The proactive power: "the public interest, which requires the passing of special interests, is first, in this perspective, the expression of the General will, which gives the State the mission to pursue the purposes that apply to all individuals, beyond their individual interests". V. the Council of State and the administrative jurisdiction, reflections on the general interest, public report, 1999, op. ILC.