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Insuring your Bulgarian Motor

It can be a difficult task making the right decision with regard to your Bulgarian motor insurance cover. There are four types of motor insurance available, namely: Motor Third Party Liability, Motor Casco (which covers damage to your own vehicle), Roadside Assistance and Legal Aid and Passengers’ Seats Accident insurance, which covers you for any accidents to your passengers.

The only compulsory cover in Bulgaria is the Motor Third Party Liability (TPL) and the rest of the above mentioned covers are optional. Third party liability covers bodily injury as well as material damages up to the following limits according to local legislation:

· for material damages - up to BGN 200 000;
· for bodily injury - up to BGN 700 000 per person injured;
· up to 1 000 000 BGN for any event if two or more persons have been injured.

The insured period is one year but you can pay the annual insurance premium in up to 4 installments.
Since Bulgaria’s EU accession in January last year, the local Motor TPL insurance covers the whole territory of the Union. Most of the carriers will provide you in addition also validity for Macedonia and Serbia without an additional charge. According to the Green Card agreement the Insured is liable for bodily injury and material damages caused up to the limits approved by the legislation of the country, where the accident takes place. It is therefore necessary to choose your insurance company very carefully when choosing your obligatory TPL cover. You need to investigate how stable and liable each insurance company is. Choosing an international well-known carrier is probably the best decision at the moment as the Bulgarian insurance industry is still in its infancy.

Most of the insurers provide different types of discounts if you buy Motor TPL and Motor Casco insurance together. However, the best solution is to buy a comprehensive cover including all four insurances available – Motor TPL, Motor Casco, Road Assistance (including Legal Aid) and Passengers Seats accident insurance. The Road Assistance and Passengers’ PA coves are significantly low in terms of insurance premium in comparison with the Motor Casco and Motor TPL covers but the combination of all will assure your comprehensive protection.

There are different options to obtain quotes, for example it is possible to get them by email, telephone, fax or online. When you buy Motor Casco cover you should take your car to the Insurer’s offices for a technical inspection. This procedure is obligatory for all insurance companies. The insurance premium for Motor Casco insurance is calculated as a percentage of the agreed sum insured. The sum insured depends on the type of car and the year of production. Payments of premium can be made by using a bank transfer or in cash. If you decide to pay the premium in installments you should keep in mind the due dates. You should be aware that in case of delay of payment your insurance contract would be automatically cancelled.

The procedure of buying MTPL insurance is very easy. The only requirement is to present your car registration documents. The insurance premium due depends only on the engine capacity of the car.
In the event of an accident or potential insurance events occurring, you should call or go the Police authorities. This procedure is necessary in order to obtain an official police statement called a “Protokol,” which the Insurer will require as a ground for indemnity payment later on. It is very important to keep the time limits for claims registration, as it is one of most frequently appearing reasons for claims decline. The Insured person will usually be indemnified within two weeks of making a formal claim, which includes all of the relevant documentation. If the client is involved in a car accident no matter whose fault is, it is his duty to call the Police Authorities. The Police officer attending the scene will issue a written statement which specifies who is the guilty party. If you are not deemed responsible for the accident, you have to visit the guilty party’s Insurer and fill in a claim notification, attaching the Police written statement.

When buying a second hand car in Bulgaria you should be aware of the fact that if there is a valid insurance contract in place it should be transferred to the new owner within a certain period of time (usually 7 days after the date of purchase) based on the buy-sell agreement. In case the vehicle is leased, the motor insurance contract is issued in the favour of the Lessee.

Article by Jeni Vaneva and Ana Simeonova are Sales Associates for Interamerican Insurance