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FAQ

Frequently asked questions

Motor Insurance

1.Vehicle Ownership in Bulgaria

Find out about the costs associated with car and motorbike ownership, plus details on bringing a car or motorcycle into the country, including import taxes and duties...

All vehicles in Bulgaria have to meet the requirements of the Road Traffic Act, its Implementing Regulations and the Bulgarian State Standards.

Vehicles must also be insured, registered and must pass a vehicle roadworthiness test.

Importing a Foreign Vehicle to Bulgaria
A private vehicle may be temporarily imported and used on Bulgarian roads for up to six months as long as the vehicle has a minimum third party insurance policy. However, a foreign-registered car can only be used by the owner or someone they give a written permit for limited purposes, for example a mechanic at a garage to carry out a necessary repair.

Foreigners moving to Bulgaria with a new or used foreign registered car should go to the local Road Traffic Office to begin the registration process. Once a foreigner becomes resident in Bulgaria, they should register their vehicle on Bulgarian registration plates.

EU/EEA citizens do not need to pay import duty on a used car that they have owned for over six months and driven 6,000 Km prior to entry in Bulgaria. Owners of cars brought from outside the EU/EEA will need to pay import duty on the vehicle.

Documents Required to Register a Private Vehicle in Bulgaria
The vehicle must be registered in the same name as the original registration documents. To register a vehicle in Bulgaria go to the local Road Traffic Office with the following documents.

  • Proof of identity
  • Original receipt/bill of sale
  • Proof of residency or employment contract
  • A valid roadworthiness certificate 
  • Vehicle registration documents
  • Receipts proving that Bulgarian vehicle tax has been paid. The amount paid depends on the age and model of the car
  • Proof of minimum third party insurance
  • Proof of payment of customs duty for non EU/EEA vehicles

Note: Vehicles imported from outside the EU/EEA will need to undergo a technical test. Right hand drive (RHD) vehicles must have the headlights adjusted before registration.

At the same time, the owner will be issued with Bulgarian registration plates; these are paid for at the Road Traffic Office. Present these plates as proof of payment in order to receive the registration documents.

Once the vehicle has been registered on Bulgarian plates, the owner may not sell it within the first year.

Further information on registering a vehicle in Bulgaria can be found on the website of the Bulgarian Road Traffic Police (in Bulgarian).

Eco-tax
An environmental tax called eco-tax (Еко такса) must be paid for all cars imported from outside the EU. The amount paid depends on the age of the vehicle; it applies to all vehicles. This tax must also be paid for all cars over ten years old imported from an EU/EEA country.

www.bulgaria.angloinfo.com

2.Vehicle Roadworthiness Tests in Bulgaria

The vehicle roadworthiness test (Технически преглед) in Bulgaria is a periodic technical inspection carried out on all vehicles over three years old. The test is carried out in authorised garages that are licensed by the Ministry of Transport. This is the equivalent of MOT testing in the UK.

To find a testing centre, look out for this sign: Технически преглед.

Taking the Test

  • New vehicles are exempt from testing for three years from first registration.
  • The first test takes place at three years from the date of first registration
  • The second test takes place two years thereafter
  • Five years after first registration, the car undergoes annual roadworthiness tests

The owner/driver of the car should have their vehicle tested before the expiry date on the roadworthiness card, however, they have 30 days following the expiry date to carry our the test. After this time the owner/driver is fined if stopped by the traffic police.

In the event of a road accident, if the roadworthiness test period has expired, the insurance of the vehicle may be considered invalid by the insurance company.

Documents required for the test
The following documents are needed by the test centre:

  • Proof of identity of the driver/owner
  • The vehicle’s registration documents 
  • Proof of insurance, compulsory for all vehicles, with the sticker on the windscreen 
  • The receipt proving that the vehicle’s taxes have been paid 

What is tested
Brakes
Steering and steering wheel
Lights
Tyres
Axles
Suspension and wheels
Equipment of the vehicle including seat belts, first aid kit, warning triangle

Passing the test
If the vehicle passes the test, the authorised garage issues a card (Талон за технически преглед) and a stamp for the car. The card contains information about the month and year of the next test due and the car’s number plates. The card must be carried by the driver at all times, and be shown to a traffic police officer on request. The stamp must be stuck to the windscreen of the car. New cars also receive a card and a stamp that shows that they are roadworthy by the car dealer.

Failing the test
If the vehicle fails the roadworthiness test, the necessary repairs must be carried out and the vehicle will need to be re-tested and the fee paid again.

 www.bulgaria.angloinfo.com

3.Motor Vehicle Casco Insurance and Third Party Liability (TPL) Insurance - what are the differences?

Third Party Liability (TPL) Insurance covers material and non-material damages caused by the driver of a motor vehicle to a third party. The TPL insurance does not cover damages to your vehicle and for that reason you need a Motor Vehicle Casco Insurance, which covers damages to the vehicle regardless whose fault it was.
We want to pay your attention that in case of a road accident most insurance companies pay indemnity under the Motor Vehicle Casco Insurance only when the driver holds a valid driver’s license and when they haven’t used alcohol or other intoxicating substances.

4.Where can I check the period of validity of my Third Party Liability (TPL) Insurance?

You can log in and check this on the English page of the Financial Supervision Commission.

5.Is there a deadline for filing a damage claim under a Motor Vehicle Casco Insurance?

Yes, in case of fire or theft you must contact the insurer’s hotline immediately and then in writing in the next 24 hours. In case of a road accident the period is 3-7 business days – depending on the insurance company you have chosen.

6.What to I do upon an accident with a car with foreign license plates?

In that case please turn to the National Bureau of Bulgarian Motor Insurers for lodging a claim, for which you will need to present:
- original protocol for the road accident or the statement of findings drawn up by the traffic police bodies
- original or copy of the Green Card of the guilty party
- original of the vehicle’s registration certificate
- original driver’s license.

7.What should I do in case of a road accident in a foreign country-member of the Green Card system?

Turn to the traffic police in the respective country. If the police have not visited the site of the accident, if you are not in conflict with the other driver about whose fault the accident was and if the damages are only material you can draw up a bilateral statement of findings on the form of the guilty driver.
Collect all necessary data related to the road accident (the names of the participants, witnesses, the license plates of the participating vehicles, the number of the insurance policy of the other party, etc.)
If you do not speak the language find an interpreter before signing any documents. If the accident is your fault you must inform the insurance company from which you have bought the Green Card.
If you are the injured party turn to the National Bureau in the country in which the road accident took place or to the insurance company of the guilty driver.
The address and phone number of each Green Card National Bureau is written on the back of your certificate.

8.When is a bilateral statement of findings for a road accident filled in?

A bilateral statement of findings is filled in for a road accident when the following conditions are met:
- no persons were injured in the accident
- only two vehicles took part in the accident
- no other property was damaged apart from the two vehicles
- the two parties in the accident agree about the circumstances of the accident and whose fault the accident was
- both vehicles participating in the accident can move on their own after the accident
- both drivers have not used alcohol or intoxicating substances
In all other cases a protocol for the road accident is issued by the competent bodies of the Ministry of Interior – traffic police.
Upon filling in a bilateral statement of findings the data about the vehicle driven by the guilty party is filled in in the Vehicle A sector. The other driver fills in the information about their vehicle in the Vehicle B sector.
After filling in a bilateral statement of findings it must be certified at the Ministry of Interior – traffic police.
 

9.What should I do upon changing the ownership or the license plate of a vehicle?

Upon changing the ownership or the license plate the policyholder and the new owner are obliged to inform the insurer in writing within seven days. Upon filing the application for change of ownership or a new license plate an Annex is issued which contains the information about the new owner or the new registration number.
The Annex is an inseparable part of the insurance policy and it is valid for the policy’s period of validity or the occurrence of another change.
The application for change of ownership or new license plate is filed in with the insurer with which the policy is concluded or with a representative of the insurer.

10.What should I do upon loss of the insurance policy or a sticker?

Upon loss of an insurance policy and/or sticker for third party liability or another type of insurance, the policyholder or their representative can turn to the insurer with which the insurance policy is signed or to their representative to be issued a duplicate.

11.Is the insurance valid after the change of the vehicle’s license plate?

Yes, you only have to inform the insurer to issue an additional annex to the insurance policy containing the changes.

Property insurance

1.Can I take out an insurance against flooding from my neighbours?

You will need to take out a property insurance covering the risk “flood”. It takes into consideration if your neighbour floods your property or if there is damage to your water pipes. You can also extend your insurance policy to cover damages you have caused to the neighbours – if a fire or a flood spreads from your property.

2.I have valid contents insurance but I have to change the address where the contents are stored. Does this affect the insurance policy?

The insurance policy is valid only for the address at which the contents are registered and which is written in the contract. In the case of change of address you must notify the insurance company with which the policy is signed.

3.Can I insure a specific sum of money I keep at home?

Money, works of art, and jewelry are insured under specific terms. An obligatory condition is the money, jewelry or other valuable objects to be kept in a safe secured to the floor or the wall, and the works of art must be appraised by a competent appraiser.

4.I have a property insurance policy but I bought new equipment and I would like to insure it against burglary.

You can add the newly bought contents to the present insurance policy. You must give the necessary information to the insurer and pay the additional premium.

5.What should I do in case of an occurrence of an insured event?

Firstly, you must undertake all the necessary measures to prevent additional damages. Preserve the condition of the damaged property for examination. You must immediately notify the respective state competent bodies and the insurer. Usually the insurance company is informed in the next 24 hours or on the first business day after finding out about the occurrence of the event.

6.I have property insurance which includes a "fire" cover. In this case, if I unintentionally forget an electric appliance switched on and it causes fire, will the insurance cover the damages?

Exclusions: any act or omission resulting from the gross negligence on the part of the Policyholder where the respective person was able to foresee and prevent the occurrence of the insured event but had failed to take due care.
In this sense a forgotten electrical appliance, a burning candle or a burning cigarette are considered an act of gross negligence on the part of the Policyholder and the insurer does not cover the damages arising thereof.

Travel Insurance

1.Should I have a European health insurance card or travel assistance insurance when traveling abroad?

With the health insurance card the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) pays the expenses for medical services only if they were performed in a medical facility or by doctors working with the national health insurance body in the respective country. Many of the mountain and seaside resorts in the EU countries, the network of medical facilities and medical surgeries are private, i.e. not linked to the health insurance bodies. Moreover, the European health insurance card covers medical expenses upon accident or acute illness as per the legislation of the respective country; if the legislation foresees a surcharge for a specific service you will have to pay that surcharge as the NHIF will not reimburse you for those expenses.
Upon taking out a Travel Assistance for Trips Abroad insurance you will not have to pay for the medical services you receive. All expenses are paid by the insurer thus saving you the inconvenience of unforeseen expenses when traveling abroad. The risks covered under the insurance policy are much more compared to the card – repatriation, transportation of mortal remains, death resulting from accident, per diem for hospital stay, theft or loss of baggage, legal expenses, liability to third parties, emergency dental care, etc. Another advantage of the insurance is the assistance services which means you don’t need to look for a medical facility or a doctor.

Other questions

1.What does the "unemployment" insurance include?

This is an insurance product for persons who need to take out consumer or mortgage loans.
In case the credit holder has financial difficulties resulting from: death, disability (over 70%), temporary disability or job loss, the insurance covers the installments under the credit holder’s loan.

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