INSURERS ATTRACT CLIENTS BY NEW PRODUCTS
The insurance company Bulstrad is again the leader on the local insurance market, comparison between the financial performace of the companies in the branch for the first quarter of 2002 show. Bulstrad reported gross premium proceeds of BGN39.46MN in end-March, allotting the insurer a market share of 32.85 per cent, almost 37% up from the same period of 2001. Bulstrad registered a 50% increase from the annual projection. And our premium proceeds for April amounted to BGN46.5MN, more than 60% up from the annual projection, the company's Executive Director Roumen Yanchev commented exclusively for the BANKER weekly. The growth of Bulstrad is due the increased sales of almost all kinds of insurances. Such a tendency is noticeable even in the case of products, whose prices rose this year. Such an example is the Civil Liability insurance, which was hiked 25%, but the demand for it did not go down. Bulstrad also registered an increase in the sale of property insurances, in the insurance of various professtional liabilities, in Accident, Theft, Money when Travelling, Medical Expenses, Construction and Assembly Risks. According to Roumen Yanchev, these products are already beginning to become profiatable for the company. Bulstrad was the leader on the local general insurance market back in the end of 2001 when its premium incomes exceeded BGN85MN, allotting it more than 21% of the local general insurance market.Immediately after Bulstrad comesAllianz Bulgariawith premium proceeds of BGN23.3MN and a market share of 19.48 per cent in the first quarter of 2002. The company austed the State Insurance Institute (DZI) from the second place, which the state insurer held in the end of 2001.Allianz Bulgaria began its upward movement in the last months of 2001 when it was third, following closely DZI whose premium proceeds were BGN2343,000 more. In the first quarter of 2002 Allianz also launched new products on the market. The company is expected to gain still more speed in the second quarter, because the first results from the sale of the Green Card insurance, which Allianz Bulgaria has been offering since April 2002, will become evident.The third place for Q1 of 2002 is occupied byDZI-General Insurancewith premium incomes of BGN14.24MN in end-March and a market share of 11.85 per cent. Its proceeds are about BGN400,000 down from the same period of last year. According to the company's Executive Director Zhaneta Jambazka, the decline is due to the fact that the installments under contracts with big corporative clients have been rescheduled instead of being remitted as a lump-sum payment like in 2001. Another negative effect is the privatisation procedure, which has been dragging on for two years now, to be finalized in the beginning of August. As a whole, however, DZI reports a growth in the combined insurances in foreign currency, state securities and euro. Premium incomes marked about a 70% increase from the same period of 2001. The fact that DZI was third in Q3 of 2001 but succeeded to come ahead of Allianz Bulgaria and rated second in the end of 2001 should not be neglected.Fourth and fifth place in end-March are respectively occupied byBulIns and the insurance company Vitosha Both companies' proceeds will most probably continue to go upwards, thanks to the fact that they have been selling the Green Card insurance for a second month now. BulIns is among the leaders in automobile insurance. The company ranks first in the insurances Help when Travelling, Motor Vehicles Exept Vehicles on Rails, and Various Financial Loses.In the life-insurance sector there is no substantial change in the rating from the end of 2001. The gross premium proceeds in the sector totaled BGN13.6MN. DZI-Life tops the list with premium incomes of BGN4.5MN. Next comes Orel-Life with premium proceeds of BGN2.4MN, followed by Allianz Bulgaria Life (BGN2.2MN). A signigicant and surprising progress has been achieved by Dobroudja M Life, which rates fourth, with premium proceeds of BGN1.1MN, ensuring it a market share of 8.72 per cent. For comparison, in the same pariod of last year it rated ninth from all the ten companies in the sector. The main reason for this success is the stir-up of the insurance market among agricultural producers in Northern Bulgaria, experts comment.The upward movement of Allianz Bulgaria Life (one place ahead) is impressive. In end-2001 the life insurance company was fourth, immediately following Vitosha Life and now it rated in the group of the first three leaders. We'll work out additional medical insurances that will cover the expenses for operations and treatment afterwards or hospitalization. The products will be offered sepaartely or in a package as per the client's choice, Plamen Yalumov, member of the Executive Committee of Allianz Bulgaria Holding, commented in an exclusive interview for the BANKER weekly.