Rumyana Betova, ZD Euroins AD: Bulgarians are becoming more and more responsible for their health and property
Rumyana Betova is the executive director and member of the Board of Directors of Euroins Insurance Company AD. The company is the leader of the Bulgarian insurance market in sales of "Travel Assistance" and "Travel Cancellation" insurances.
We meet with her to tell us what Bulgarians insure against most often and how the attitude towards travel insurance has changed in recent years.
Is it possible to speak of a tradition among Bulgarians regarding the conclusion of insurance?
In Bulgaria, it is still too early to talk about such a tradition. On the other hand, people are becoming more and more responsible for their health and property, and this type of insurance is seeing a growth in sales. Especially in 2021, Euroins has an absolute growth, times, in sales revenue of Trip Cancellation Insurance compared to 2020.
If you had to convince someone right now that insurance is important, how would you do it?
The first thing I would say is that insurance is a type of investment for future unforeseen expenses, in case of adverse events related to a person's life, health and property. It provides protection and more security in case of illness, accident, fire, earthquake, road accident, etc. etc.
What are the most frequently concluded insurances in your company?
The mandatory "MTPL" insurance for motor vehicles is taken out en masse on the market. Other insurances that are more common and sought after are Motor Vehicle Insurance, Property, Health, Accident and Travel Assistance, by which I mean personal insurance.
We've all taken out Travel Assistance Abroad insurance, but sometimes the trip gets cancelled. What solution does Euroins offer for such cases?
The Travel Assistance insurance taken out will be canceled and the premium paid will be refunded to the customer. But more important in this case, is that the client has a "Trip Cancellation" insurance, which guarantees a refund of the sums paid for the trip. Euroins offers this product at different levels of coverage and the client has the opportunity to choose this level that best meets his needs.
What contingencies does Trip Cancellation Insurance cover and what doesn't?
Trip cancellation insurance is intended for individuals up to the age of 85 who are planning a trip in Bulgaria or abroad. It covers pre-paid amounts in connection with a tourist or business trip, which in case of cancellation or shortening of the trip are not subject to reimbursement by the provider of the relevant tourist service (tour operator, hotelier, carrier, event organizer, etc.). We also offer additional cover for extraordinary expenses in the event of an unexpected extension of the trip, which is not offered on its own, but only in combination with the main insurance cover. Here there is a choice of two limits - BGN 500 and BGN 1000, which include expenses such as hotel accommodation, essential goods, revalidation or purchase of a new ticket and car rental.
This insurance does not cover risks such as shortening or extending a trip, when this is due to events that occurred outside the insurance coverage period, there is use of alcohol or intoxicating substances, etc.
Apart from the cases stipulated in the general conditions of the insurance, the insurer does not owe compensation in the following cases:
- negative laboratory test for Covid-19 of the insured person or his relative;
- the insured person or his relative with whom they had contact is under quarantine;
- the insured person is under quarantine and is awaiting the result of a laboratory test for Covid-19;
- when the settlement where the traveler lives or is located is placed under quarantine;
- when the cancellation or extension of the trip is a result of introduced anti-epidemic measures, including a ban on leaving or visiting the relevant country or town.
On the electronic page of "ZD Euroins" AD, information documents for all insurances offered by the company are published. However, it is important to note that Trip Cancellation Insurance does not cover quarantine for the entire period of coverage, regardless of the amount.
You also offer special 'Covid-19 Travel Cancellation' cover. What are the features and what does it provide to customers?
The special conditions for "Covid-19" cover a relevant part of the insured basic costs of the trip, which is non-refundable, in the event that any of the following events occur to the traveler or his relative:
- falls ill with Covid-19 before the trip , provided that no more than 14 days remain until the start of the trip;
- to be ordered to receive home treatment or hospitalization, provided that no more than 28 days remain before the trip;
- to be denied accommodation on board the vehicle specified in the reservation due to elevated body temperature or laboratory-confirmed Covid-19.
We also offer cover for extraordinary expenses in case of unexpected travel extension. Expenses incurred in the event of an extension of the insured person's stay by more than 24 hours after the end date of the trip up to a maximum of 10 consecutive days, due to one of the following reasons:
- Quarantine of the traveler or his relative with whom he is traveling, as a result of a laboratory-confirmed case of Covid-19, in case both persons are insured with one insurance contract;
- Conducting home treatment or hospitalization of the same persons, as a result of a laboratory-confirmed case of Covid-19;
- Refusal to accommodate the traveler or his relative with whom he is traveling on board the vehicle specified in the reservation, due to elevated body temperature or a laboratory-confirmed case of Covid-19;
- Death as a result of Covid-19 of the traveler or of his relative with whom he is traveling, in case both persons are insured with one insurance contract, when it is necessary to wait at a place for drawing up documents and for organizing a funeral / cremation of the remains or on transport by which they will be repatriated.
What is required of the customer to take out such insurance?
In addition to the mandatory personal data such as three names, social security number and address, documents proving the amount of expenses incurred are also required, if it is an independent trip or a contract with a travel agency, in the case of an organized trip.
Tell us with examples of some of the cases where Trip Cancellation Insurance has been used?
At the moment, under "Travel Cancellation" insurance, the most benefits have been paid precisely because of illness from Covid-19 or quarantine.
I will mention a few cases: due to a family member suffering from Covid-19, we paid the sum of BGN 20,830 for a canceled trip to the Seychelles, and our other clients received compensation of BGN 13,652 after a trip to the Maldives that did not take place. Due to the illness of a parent and the inability to travel to Bulgaria, we paid compensation in the amount of BGN 8,126.
What is the value of the largest compensation you have paid under "Travel Assistance" insurance?
The biggest compensation we have paid out so far was related to a heart attack in the US and was worth €50,000, but the interesting thing here is that the US hospital bill alone was worth $115,797.
And a few more interesting cases with our clients who have taken out "Assistance when traveling abroad" insurance:
- illness from Covid-19 in a country from the UAE - the treatment was worth BGN 12,830;
- a case of syncope (short-term loss of consciousness) in Turkey, where we paid the sum of BGN 13,540;
- hospitalization due to a complaint of acute abdominal pain in the USA - the amount of compensation paid is BGN 16,629.
And can we insure a ticket for a concert or other event abroad and what are the conditions for this?
Yes, there is such a possibility, but only if it is tied to a plane ticket, hotel accommodation or purchased a whole tourist package.
If you were planning your family's summer vacation now, what insurance would you take out?
Personally, I would take out both policies as they are two different products with different risks covered. With 'Trip Cancellation' I'll protect the costs I've incurred on my future holiday in case I can't go, and with 'Travel Assistance' I'll cover the medical costs I'll have to pay in the event of an accident or emergency illness during my journey.
The whole interview here