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Nikolay Zdravkov, Manager of I&G BROKERS: The company has a 6.9% share of the two billion insurance market in Bulgaria

NEWS_PUBLISH_DATE 29 December 2012
Nikolay Zdravkov, Manager of I&G BROKERS: The company has a 6.9% share of the two billion insurance market in Bulgaria image

Mr. Zdravkov, is it more difficult to do insurance business in the XXI century compared to the previous one and why?

Nikolay Zdravkov:

Today, business is radically different - as technology, as understanding. If under the last century you are referring to the time after the communist period, business is regulated - both in terms of technology and in terms of the culture of the participants in the insurance process, I am referring to insurance companies, brokers, agents. From the point of view of regulation, of market rules, today business is made much easier.

How would you comment on the place of Bulgarian brokers in comparison with intermediaries in Europe?

Nikolay Zdravkov:

The Bulgarian market is very small and very competitive. Currently there are about 400 licensed brokers, 56 insurance companies with 120 offices on average. This is an extremely competitive market, which in this form does not imply high professionalism, only very fierce competition based on tariff rates and commissions policies.

How many brokers have a place in our insurance market?

Nikolay Zdravkov:

Let me answer this way - 80 million people officially live in Turkey and 92 million unofficially. There are 82 brokers working in this market. You can answer how many brokers have to work in Bulgaria. The problem of the Bulgarian brokerage business is the low profitability due to the high competitiveness.

The insurance companies point out as one of the reasons for the small market in our country the low insurance culture of the clients. What is your impression as an intermediary and direct connection with the client?

Nikolay Zdravkov:

I do not share this opinion. The Bulgarian is sufficiently literate in insurance, but the question is in the possibilities. In our country the average salary is about 500 euros and with it the Bulgarian can afford about 100 euros of insurance consumption. If the average salary is 2000 euros or pounds, consumption, of course, will be higher, and the client would insure not only the car, but before it the children, home, etc. Therefore, the culture of the Bulgarian has nothing to do with his ability to buy insurance products. Moreover, the Bulgarian is sufficiently informed - as much as any European.

What is the profile of the client who uses the services of an intermediary when buying insurance policies?

Nikolay Zdravkov:

Here we must divide consumption into two - retail and corporate. In retail consumption, the average customer is the intelligent Bulgarian who is looking for good information. This customer does not buy anything and wants to know all the details about the insurance. Corporate clients, who are representatives of large international business, are well acquainted with the concept of risk management and know very well that they need a specialist to manage their security and risk. In general, people who insure through brokers are intelligent, they know they need a counselor and they want to use the services of a consultant.