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Newspaper Insurer Press Issue No 18

26 2009 .,zastrahovatel.com
Dear readers, in the overview of the newspaper Insurer Press we put an accent on the highlights and hot topics news and events. We make you acquainted with the analyses and thoughts expressed by the leading insurers and also keep you informed about all that happened within the period between the last two issues of the newspaper.

We start our overview with the usual column Between Two Issues (page 2):

Emil Atanassov, deputy chairperson of FSC, head of Insurance Supervision division gave permission to Generali Zakrila Health Insurance AD to offer a new health insurance package Team on group health insurance contracts. Mr Atanassov carried three resolutions for approving Lyudmila Borisova for a head of the internal control division of Interamerican Bulgaria Insurance Company and Interamerican Bulgaria Life Insurance EAD, Sofia. Dominique Victor Francois Josephe Baudouin is approved for an independent member of the council of directors of Interamerican Bulgaria Insurance Company.

On pages 2 and 18 is the article FSC Disproved Media Publications. The supervisors are explicit that the insurance sector retains its stability.

The data in the media about the reported losses in 2008 by the insurance companies amounting at BGN 400 million, which brings in question the stability of the insurance sector, is not true, emphasized the Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) in a special communication. They reminded the data of the audited financial reports of insurers at the end of the financial year 2008:

For 2008 the sector of general insurance reports a positive net result of investments of BGN 31.6 million, including the results of the Bulgarian Stock Exchanges investments and of other regulated security markets. The total net result of the companies activities is BGN 2.4 million. The loss is due to the fact that the net expenditures for paid out compensations, insurance reserves and operative expenditures exceed the net premiums by BGN 25.3 million, as the negative result of the pure insurance activity is compensated namely with the positive income from investments.

            In 2008 the life insurance sector accounts for a net profit of BGN 6.6 million, as the net result of investments is positive and amounts at BGN 25.9 million.

            In conclusion FSC reminded that the financial sector stability to a great extent depends on the confidence of society, because of that it is very important to disseminate true and reliable information about the condition of financial institutions through media.

In the column Forthcoming there is a communication about the Second National Conference Financial Stability and Quality of Health Protection starting on 6 October 2009. It is organized by the MARK Institute with the support of the Higher School of Insurance and Finance Foundation and with the kind collaboration of the Ministry of Health Care of Bulgaria. The conference will be held on 6 and 7 October 2009 in Grand Hotel Sofia, Triaditsa Hall.

In News from the Companies (page 2) we read:

- Bulstrad Vienna Insurance Group was a general sponsor of the International Bicycle Tour.

On 1 October 2009 the insurance broker Garantsia Consult OOD opened officially its central office in Sofia, Dospat Street 43, and carried out a joint seminar with Bulstrad Vienna Insurance Group for training the insurance broker officers with the products of the insurer.

On page 4 is our first interview with Emil Atanassov, a deputy chairperson of the Financial Supervision Commission, head of Insurance Supervision division. Mr Atanassov said: The Bulgarian insurance market is an important element in the sector of financial services, characterized by dynamic development and moderate, but constantly strengthening competition. Having in mind the serious crisis processes in the world and in the country, it could be taken for granted that the condition of the Bulgarian insurance market at present does not arise serious reasons for anxiety, although since the beginning of the year the data about the insurance market has been showing a great impact of the deteriorating macroeconomic conditions.  

On the question about the range of Civil Liability Mr Atanassov comments: According to recent data the range of the mandatory Civil Liability insurance of car drivers up to 11 September 2009 is 83, 3 %, or approximately 578 000 motor vehicles are driven without mandatory insurance made by their owners or user, or without stopping them.

Serious steps are expected to be taken for increasing its range at least to the necessary 90 %, the limit put by the European Commission, under which it should not fall.

On page 5 we announce that the Romanian Alexandra Diulgeru has won the 19th tennis tournament Allianz Cup with a prize fund of USD 100 000.

On page 6 is the Cover Story Insurance against Unemployment.

The author Yoanna Stefanova gave the inventive title of her article The Hidden Treasure before our Eyes. She makes the conclusion that the low insurance culture of people played them a bad trick in Bulgaria. She also searches for an answer to the question: Will Bulgarian insurance groups answer to the challenge of the most popular insurance Cardiff?

Together with the deepening of crisis in Bulgaria and in the conditions of warnings for a heavy winter and large scale dismissals in almost all branches, the insurances against unemployment came to the order of the day. The Cardiff bills for credit holders, which except the standard risks death, durable and temporary loss of working capacity because of accident or illness, cover also the risk Unemployment, for which there is a great demand on the Bulgarian insurance market in the last few months. At the same time there is not yet interest towards the classical insurance against unemployment Loss of Income because of Unemployment.

With the advancing crisis and the deterioration of risk environment the insurers reconsidered their attitude to taking out this kind of insurance.

On the same page is the interview with Stefan Sofianski, president of the MB and executive director of Lev Ins AD. Mr Sofianski says: People do not know that in Bulgaria insurance against unemployment is also offered. To the question Does the premium of this insurance correspond to the salary? he answers:

Yes, it is a percentage of the salary. But it varies. The tariff number is determined by a special system. It depends on profession, position, particular enterprise, prospects before the branch, etc. Many factors are assessed before a decision is taken should insurance be taken out and what should the tariff number be.

On page 8 in the column Lawyers Advice the attorney Antoaneta Dimolarova makes a comment on the affirmed by the Supreme Court of Administration fines levied by the Commission for Protection of Competition on 14 insurance companies on charge of breach in the field of competition. She attacks the proceedings of the court, which has not allowed a legal and economic investigation and has levied too high fines. Her opinion is that changes are necessary in the insurance contract and that the centralization of supervisory bodies is an idea, not considered in detail.

On pages 9 and 10 the materials from the international conference Multifunds Implementation and Prospects in the Pension Systems of the CEE Countries are published.

In April 2009 the former Council of Ministers adopted amendments to the Social Security Code which allow the pension partnerships to manage various voluntary insurance portfolios, i. e. multifunds. The project for amending SSC was examined by the former Ministry of Finance, the former CM and passed on first reading in the Labour and Social Policy Committee at the former Parliament. At present there is a legal capacity and it is urgent these amendments to be adopted by the new Parliament. The Bulgarian pension partnerships will start to apply the multifund system. The project is worked out together with the Financial Supervision Commission.

In this connection the statement of Guillermo Arthur, president of the Chilean Pension Fund Administrators Association and president of the International Federation of Pension Funds Administrators, is of interest: If we had no multifunds, in the last year all insured persons would lose 18-19 % at an average.

On pages 12 and 13 we find the publicationThe Leading international insurance company Groupama came to the Bulgarian insurance market. Key products will be casco, liabilities, cargo, agriculture, classical and structural insurance and investment products. The French International Company GROUPAMA announced the change of the name to DSK GARANCIA at a press-conference on 8 September 2009 in Sheraton Hotel. It was attended by journalists from different media, as well as the new manager group, represented by Erik Naji, director of Operations of Groupama for Central and East Europe, and by Ognyan Yordanov, director general of GROUPAMA Insurance and GROUPAMA Life Insurance. On the basis of the experience from the other 13 countries where it carries out its activity, GROUPAMA has the ambition to become an important player in the sphere of general insurance and in life insurance.

On pages 20 and 21 we acquaint you with untraditional initiative Wall of Protest, Tears and Hope. This is an initiative against war on the road, joined by I&G brokers and Bulstrad Vienna Insurance Group. Simeon Simov, secretary of the Children Movement Security Council in Sofia gave the idea for the Wall of Protest and it was included in the campaign Let us protect children on the road under the patronage of Yordanka Fandakova Minister of Education, Youth and Science, and Tsvetan Tsvetanov Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Internal Affairs.

            We finish the overview in a festive mood (page 22) the tenth anniversary of ALICO BULGARIA was celebrated in the Kempinski-Zografsky Hotel in Sofia, where the achievements and the 12-year history of the company were presented. The event was attended by Emil Atanassov, deputy chairperson of FSC, head of Insurance Supervision division, and Susan Sutton, deputy ambassador of USA in Sofia.

            And on 24 September 2009 a multitude of young people gathered at the Museum of Archaeology to celebrate the 10th jubilee of a successful young insurance company in Bulgaria QBE. (page 24)

QBE Insurance Group will search for enlargement by acquiring an insurance company in Bulgaria. We would like to remind that QBE Insurance Group is among the 10 biggest insurance and reinsurance companies in the world.   

Selection: Vania Petrova

Translation: Stefka Hrusanova

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