INSURANCE COMPANIES GO TO THE WINTER RESORTS
Although the snow is missing at the skiing resorts, the upcoming winter tourist season agitated the insurance market. The insurance companies now offer specific mountain insurances, covering the typical risks related to the winter sports.
The new situation is a result of the changed circumstances - as from this winter the mountain rescue services are paid. Until last year the first-aid was rendered free of charge by the Bulgarian Red Cross. As from December, 2000 the most expensive one is the rescue of tourists from avalanches - BGL955. The price of the other services is calculated according to the term of the rescue operation and the type of aid. In order to avoid big spendings, hiking and ski-lovers may protect themselves by signing a contract with an insurance company. Following the Bulgarian Red Cross initiative two insurance companies - Vitosha-Life and Vitosha offer Mountain Health Insurance. At present both companies have attracted 50 - 60 customers. The healthcare expenses which occured in case of accident will be recovered to the tourists in the cases when they were unable to contact their personal GPs due to the big distance. The specialised medical transportation of wounded tourists will also be covered.
The insurance policies are valid from 5 days to five years, and the insurance amount varies from BGL1000 to BGL10000. Having in mind the prices of the mountain rescue services, those of mountain insurance policies sound really modest. An individual weekend insurance will cost BGL1.50, and a group weekend insurance - BGL1; the one-year insurances will cost BGL15 and BGL10 respectively.
The State Insurance Institute (DZI) offers similar services. Unlike Vitosha, DZI has no special agreement with the Bulgarian Red Cross, but it offers additional guarantee for higher risks. All contracts exceeding a set insurance amount are re-insured at companies like Munich Re and Swiss Re.