The interest of the real estate in its life insurance contract

Article sponsored by Primonial

With € 1,858 billion outstanding at the end of February 2022 (1), life insurance is considered the French people’s favorite savings product. It is another investment that individuals appreciate just as much: real estate. Fortunately, there is no need to choose one or the other since several life insurance contracts offer to invest indirectly in real estate in the form of units of account (UC).


Three types of real estate CPUs can be housed in a life insurance contract: SCPI (civil real estate investment company), composed of at least 95% real estate assets (offices, shops, health, housing, etc.); OPCI (collective real estate investment agency), invested hybrid investments the minimum 60% in real estate and at least 5% in liquid assets to meet, among other things, requests for withdrawals, the balance being freely set by the manager of the OPCI (shares, bonds, monetary…); les SCI (civil real estate company), which can buy real estate directly or through other civil companies, shares of SCPI or OPCI, foncières cotées or UCITS.


Investing in these UCs allows you to indirectly become a real estate owner at a lower cost (a few hundred euros). It also offers a diverse exposure to real estate (in terms of assets and geographic exposure). And it is a riskier alternative to euro funds given their potential for return. In 2021, the SCPI distribution rate was 4.45%; the annual performance of OPCI of 4.4% and that of SCI of 3.8%. Past performance does not prejudge future performance. As such, SCI Primonial Capimmo, the largest SCI on the market according to Aspim on 31/12/22 with a net asset of more than € 6.6 billion, recorded a net performance of operating expenses of 4 , 21%. On the other hand, liquidity is a guarantee through insurance, which allows you to recover your savings more easily and quickly. However, capital is not guaranteed. In addition, the taxation that applies to real estate UCs is the advantage of life insurance, especially after eight years. Investment must therefore be considered in the long term, a perfect investment horizon compatible with life insurance.

… And disadvantages

However, having real estate in your life insurance has some constraints. The investor has access only to the CPUs available in his contract, limiting choice and diversification; it cannot acquire SCPIs on credit and / or in dismemberment. In addition, the units of SCPI, OPCI and SCI remain the property of the insurer, which may, as such, receive part of the profits they generate. In addition to the costs inherent in the contract and related to the CPUs which may affect the performance of the media and the value of the contract. And like any UC investment, there is a risk of loss of capital, market and income is not guaranteed. Finally, with regard to real estate wealth tax, the value on January 1 of the year of the real estate UCs must be declared.

(1) France Insurers

(2) Consumer real estate funds in 2021 – ASPIM

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