BULGARIA: Despite the crises, the insurance market is performing steadily

30 June 2022 — Marina MAGNAVAL
"Despite the crises, the insurance market is performing steadily. During the pandemic, the sector managed to adapt very quickly to new conditions of doing business in a digital environment, transform processes, maintain and further develop communication with customers", said Nina KOLCHAKOVA, Secretary General of the Association of Bulgarian Insurers (ABZ).

Her comments on the development of the insurance market and current trends came in the context of a radio interviews with BNR-Stara Zagora and Radio Veliko Tarnovo.

Last year there was an increase in premium income by 13% and significant growth in some lines of business - life insurance, health insurance. Life insurance grew by nearly 40% in 2021, and the main driver, investment life insurance, saw a growth in premium income of nearly 130%. However, it is difficult to predict if outpacing growth of life insurance compared to non-life insurance will continue. In Europe life insurance holds a market share of 56%, while in Bulgaria it is 19%, Nina KOLCHAKOVA explained.

Another upward trend of development is observed in travel insurance, which last year reported an increase in premium income of over 90%, while there were still restrictions on travel due to the pandemic. It is especially significant that the income is almost twice as high as before the pre-pandemic 2019.

Domestic property insurance mainly follows the real estate market and lending, but there is still some rise in voluntary, non-credit, property insurance. Agroinsurance is not popular, and the agricultural land insured is probably about 6-7%, which is a very low share for a country where agriculture is an important sector. "The reasons for this situation are complex. One of the factors is that a large part of the agricultural properties in our country are owned by large owners and apparently, they are more inclined to take the risk of partial losses of production than to pay an insurance premium. For the smaller ones, however, the risk is huge, the cost of the harvest is higher, and the properties are much smaller", Secretary General of ABZ pointed out.

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