XPRIMM TIME for BUSINESS: Perspectives for the Bulgarian re/insurance market in the context of Covid-19

17 December 2020 —
Rapid modernization, stability and consumer protection were the top priorities for the Bulgarian insurance market, as revealed during the latest international show of XPRIMM TIME for BUSINESS, aired on Wednesday, 16 December.

The main subjects of show aimed the way Bulgarian market coped with the Covid-19 crisis, but also which are the market perspectives for the coming months and the priorities from the special guests' point of the view on the insurance sector. The show was broadcasted on XPRIMM YouTube channel, hosted by Daniela GHETU, Editorial Director of XPRIMM and on the guest list were:
  • Vladimir SAVOV, Deputy Chair of the Bulgarian FSC
  • Rumiana BETOVA, Member of the Managing Board, Euroins
  • Stefan SOFIANSKY, Secretary General at National Bureau of Bulgarian Motor Insurers

Discussing about which were the most affected insurance lines by the pandemic crisis, Vladimir Savov declared: "We can discuss the pandemic endlessly, as we do every day, but indeed if we focus on the Bulgarian market, it has been better than expected. I think we should all first take a step back and understand that insurance business, is the one that is designed to deal with crises, to help business, organizations, to deal with risks. But, as any other business it was hit heavily in the first wave of the pandemic, slightly on summer, and we are now on the second wave which turned out to be worse than the first with more lockdown measures. But the market savers have been the mandatory types of insurance, such as: MTPL and also the CASCO insurance. On the other hand, everything that was related to tourism and travel almost fell off for cliff and in between we have the lines of business such as property insurance, and especially health insurance which initially was hit also hard."

Looking at the regional statistics, Bulgaria has recorded for the 1H2020 a better than Europe average result. Rumiana BETOVA explained how has felt the entire situation: "The pandemic put the insurance market in an unusual situation. But I can say that the Bulgarian insurers pass this test quite successfully. Within few days they succeed to change and transform their business process so that to react and reflect the market needs and the clients needs. We provided new different digital solutions, products and services to the clients in order to do our everyday business. "As the health insurance has seen an increased interest from the customers, she added: "We see an increased demand for the coverage of the COVID-19 and insurance responded to that demand and currently on the market they already offer products covering COVID-19. Some insurers, to support Bulgarian tourism, have developed also special product coverage vouchers that were issued for canceled trips."

On the motor insurance business line, in many markets were less road less incidents and maybe less claims to pay, but on the other hand the severity of the claims was not decreasing and motor insurance remained a challenge for insurance sector. Stefan SOFIANSKY declared: "The motor insurance was not impacted so much. The crisis led to less travels, less Green cards exposure for the companies. On the other hand, there is a problem not only for Bulgaria, but also for Romania as a lot of our citizens live and work in other countries: Italy, Germany and have their own cars and make accidents. So, the frequency of Green cards is much lower than previous year which leads to positive results for the insurance companies. But the severity of the claims is not lower, maybe because of the lockdown, people are getting upsets for losing their jobs and this change their behavior on the roads." Talking about cyber risk security, Stefan SOFIANSKY said: "a lot of companies on the Bulgarian market are offering cyber security protection, and even if the interest is low, but I think in the very near future there will be a lot of clients for cyber security protection insurance because we are in a digital world."

Regarding the measures that the authority took in order to support market players maintaining healthy and could sustain business in this very special context, Vladimir Savov declared: "We gave companies time to report at a later stage the supervisory information. Insurers in Bulgaria were very quick in finding solution and adjusting their business to the challenges that the pandemic and social distances put. But for some of these solutions we need new regulatory adjustments and we are prepared to work together with the business to find the best way forward so that the consumer being protected, but the business could proceed and move forward. This is the biggest project for the coming month: digitalization, online services, online claims, better solutions in our legislation for the business. "

Visit the XPRIMM YouTube channel and watch the XPRIMM TIME for BUSINESS show about Bulgaria -Re/insurance markets facing the Covid crisis, where you can find out the entire declarations and perspectives of the special guests.