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Property and Contents Insurance

If you have bought a property to rent out, then you do need to give careful consideration to contents insurance. There are a number of both local and international insurance companies in Bulgaria. The process of applying for insurance can seem more complex when compared to how it is dealt with in the UK. However, this is primarily because you will need to provide a more detailed account of the risk that you want to cover. Jonathan White author of “Buying a Property in Bulgaria” gives some valuable advice on tackling this issue.

 

Basic Cover

The cover is measured in terms of risk. For the typical basic cover you would be looking at areas including: Fire, Lightning, Explosion, Implosion, Falling objects (such as aerials for example).

Extended Cover

To provide further protection (i.e. for increased risk) then you may typically expect to cover risks including:
Storm,Torrential rain, Flood,  Landslide,  Earthquake,  Fire caused by earthquake,  Tidal waves.

Additional Cover

You will also find companies that offer additional cover for risks including:
Theft, Vandalism, Breakages of glass / windows

What Kind of Information Do I Need To Provide?

When completing an application form for property insurance, you would be typically asked for information such as:

Building insurance
Name and address,  Insured property details (how many floors it is on, which floor you occupy),  Type of building,  Whether it’s private or rented, the occupation of the building (whether it’s permanent, seasonal etc.) the type of construction (e.g. material used for inner/outer walls), the type of roof construction (steel, wooden, tiled etc.) the number and type of material used for the doors and windows, Details of any fire alarms installed, Details of any security system installed and security company used (even to the extent of providing the response time from that security company!)
Contents insurance
Household furnishings, Jewellery and precious metals in the building,  Art work,  Antiques (e.g. with historical value),  Technical devices and appliances, Other items (to be specifically insured)

Other areas on the application
You will also be expected to declare whether there has been any loss within the last five years or so. In some cases you may have to provide a survey of the building. This is particularly important if you have purchased a potential unstable property (of considerable age).

What Can I Expect to Pay for Contents Insurance?

This can vary significantly due to the difference in buildings, contents and risks to be covered. You can typically expect to pay between 400–450 Leva annually (excluding theft cover) for an average two/three bedroom apartment – but you should obviously shop around for the best deal.

How Can I Go About Taking Out Insurance and Finding a Company?

If you are renting out your property then my advice is to use a property management company to assist you with the insurance. They will generally know the best insurance companies to use and will already have experience in this area. You would need to sign a contract with the property management company that gives them the ability to sign contracts (such as insurance contracts) on your behalf. This takes the burden away from you and puts it into the hands of the professionals. If this route is not appropriate then you can consider approaching one of the insurance companies on a high street in one of the major cities, for example, in Sofia or Varna. You can approach some of the internet forums where a growing community of foreign nationals share their experiences – and you will find people who are already living in Bulgaria who have taken out insurance and can share the details of their experience, contacts etc. with you. This kind of ‘community’ is invaluable when you are very much in the dark as to how things work in a foreign country.

Extract from Jonathan White’s “Buying a Property in Bulgaria” published by How To Books Ltd.