CPC FINES TEN INSURERS FOR DISLOYAL COMPETITION
The Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) imposed property sanctions amounting to BGN8,000 to Allianz Bulgaria insurance and reinsurance company, Euro Ins, and Lev Ins, which violated art. 32, paragraph 4 of the Competition Protection Act. The same fine was imposed on Allianz Bulgaria, DZI General Insurance, Bul Ins, Orel, Jupiter, Armeets, Victoria and Municipal Insurance Company as they violated art. 34, paragraph 5 of the same act. Cash Bulgaria which publishes the Cash newspaper is sentenced to pay an equal amount for violating art. 30 of the act which bans any action or lack of action in implementing economic activity which contradicts the good trade practice and harms or may harm the interests of the competitors in their mutual relations or their relations with consumers.The Commission was warned by seven insurance companies (Allianz Bulgaria, Bul Ins, Bulstrad, Bulgarian Estates, DZI General Insurance, Orel, Hanover Koop Bulgaria). The Union of Insured in Bulgaria, the Balkan company, etc. warned the competition protection experts, too.Offering benefits along with Civil Liability insurance free of charge or at preferential prices in the form of road assistance, medical aid, and technical examination of the vehicle, violates art. 3 of Regulation N 18 of the Financial Supervision Commission which is coordinated with the general ban under art. 30 of the Competition Protection Act. That is also underlined in the Financial Supervision Commission's guidelines for application of the regulation, the Commission for Protection of Competition explained. The commission found out that the insurers spent illegally significant amounts not for paying insurance compensations but for attracting customers in a disloyal manner. This practice harms the interests of the insured people and as a result the financial stability of the insurance market and the confidence in it decline, the commission experts claim.The Commission for Protection of Competition considers violation the bonuses included in the advertising campaigns of the companies, since they violate the competitive interests of the other insurers and are an addition to the service offered. The commission also classifies as addition the offers for free signing of policies that provide reductions and/or privileges on other insurances related to the Civil Liability. Bonuses are not part of the service offered, the experts say.The commission does not accept that the reductions represent a discount for larger sales, because they do not depend on the amount of the insurance premium and because the minimum premium for obligatory insurance is fixed.Cash Bulgaria, the Cash newspaper publisher, offered Civil Liability Insurance in Orel insurance company, adding free subscription for the paper which contradicts the good trade practice and the regulations, too. The investigation led by the Commission for Protection of Competition found out that the company had no contract relations with Orel. Mentioning the name of the company contradicts the correct trading rules and in fact may damage the insurance company relations with the consumers, the commission said.