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Nov 23, 2007 18:02 EEST
November 23 (SeeNews) - The premium income of Bulgarian general insurance companies rose by 18.84% on the year to 852.8 million levs ($646.6 million/436.9 million euro) in the first nine months of 2007, the country's financial regulator said on Friday.
The general insurance market is dominated by car insurance, which generates nearly 65.97% of the total premium income, the Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) said in a statement.
The 19 general insurers operating in Bulgaria reported a combined technical profit of 34.1 million levs in the first nine months, up from 30.1 million levs a year earlier, the FSC said. Technical profit or loss is the financial result of the core activity of insurance companies.
Bulgarian insurance companies paid 316.9 million levs in claims through September, up 21.83% year-on-year.
The combined premium income of the 13 Bulgarian life insurers totalled 150.3 million levs in the first nine months of 2007, up 27.43% on the year. The life insurers reported a combined technical profit of 10 million levs in the nine-month period, up from 4.4 million levs in the year-ago period.
Life insurance is still underdeveloped in ex-communist Bulgaria, where the average monthly salary was around 390 levs in the first quarter of this year, according to latest data.
Premiums from voluntary health insurance policies rose 29.13% on the year to 20.8 million levs between January and September. The companies in the sector had loss of 397,000 levs for the period, compared to a 319,000 profit a year earlier.
The insurance market in Bulgaria, which joined the European Union on January 1, has been growing steadily in the recent years, mainly due to strong income from mandatory insurance policies such as third party liability for motor vehicles.
However, the premium income per capita is still half the average for central and eastern Europe. Bulgaria's EU membership is expected to bolster business activity further and raise personal incomes supporting the growth of the sector.
(1 euro = 1.95583 Bulgarian levs)
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