BULGARIA: ABZ: motor insurance continues to dominate, while property insurance remains low

3 August 2021 — Marina MAGNAVAL
Despite the pandemic challenges, insurance market remains stable, and growth has been observed in some insurance types since the beginning of the year.

One of the biggest challenges for insurers was the need to quickly implement workable solutions, improve communication by offering digital services. "The industry has managed to cope and now we see results," commented Veselin Angelov, board member of ABZ (Association of Bulgarian Insurers).

Currently, the Bulgarian market, traditionally dominated by motor insurance, is showing a trend towards development of other types of insurance. "Bulgarians first insure their car, then property and, finally, their lives", Veselin Angelov explained. When a more reasonable approach would be the opposite, first to get insurance coverage for health and life, then property and, finally, the car. Speaking about property insurance, he noted that usually interest in it increases after a natural disaster and people are still more likely to turn to the state for help after such an event, instead of shifting this risk to insurers in advance by buying a policy.

Veselin Angelov also noted that now the need for profitability is one of the reasons for the increased interest in investment life insurance and insurers are working to improve financial literacy of the population in this area. He stressed that the Association seeks to intensify communication with consumers in order to help them in choosing types of insurance coverage suitable against certain risks.

Speaking about property insurance, Konstantin Velev, Chairman of the Board of ABZ, also noted that the level of property insurance in the country remains low, despite affordable prices for policies - for the lowest coverage with a liability limit of BGN 10,000, the price of home insurance may be BGN 15- 20 for a year. At the same time, clients can choose limits of liability / insurance amounts and insurance conditions that correspond to their needs. However, despite frequent cases of floods and natural disasters, property insurance remains low - about 7%. Moreover, more than 80% of Bulgarians have their own homes, he explained.

Konstantin Velev noted that in the Czech Republic and Hungary this type of insurance occupies 40% of the market, and in Western Europe - over 60%. In Bulgaria, 70% of insurance is related to vehicles. Attempts to reverse this trend have been undertaken for years, but with no success. "The market has always been dominated by motor insurance - liability to third parties and Motor Hull. For some reason, Bulgarians always care more about their cars than their homes, health, and lives. In the Western region, it is the opposite, the prevailing market share has always belonged to life insurance", he commented.

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