PARLIAMENT AMENDS THE INSURANCE ACT
The Commission on Eurointegration and the Parliamentary Budget Commission gave green light for beginning the first reading of the draft for amendments to the Insurance Act. Discussions will most probably begin in end-June. The aim is to vote the changes before National Assembly's summer recess.The amendments to the Insurance Act are among Bulgaria's commitments under Chapter 3 of the agreement for joining the European Union (EU). Work on it concluded in the end of last year. Then the regular report of the European Commission (EC) read that Bulgaria was lagging behind in the sphere of insurance. The draft bill for amending the effective act and the establishment of the Agency of Insurance Supervision were also a result of the EC's recommendations.One of the main changes to be included in the law is connected with the so-called pre-contract information. This means that information about the companies should be presented to the clients in written and updated throughout the entire period of the contracts. Requirements to the professional qualification of insurance companies' managers will be incerased as well. According to the projected amendments, they should have higher education in economics or law and at least five years of practice in the branch.Minority shareholders who want to acquire 5% and more in a company should demand a permission from the Agency for Insurance Supervision, the draft stipulates. So far up to 5% could be purchased without the agency's approval. Parliament will also vote for a ban on participation of insurers as unlimited responsible partners in commercial companies. The aim is to eliminate non-insurance risks in the operation of firms, lawyers commented.The controlling functions of the Agency for Insurance Supervision in the liquidation and insolvency procedures will increase. This means that the agency will participate in the procedures from the very beginning till their end. (So far these procedures were closed without the agency's participation).