Bulgaria: Protests, traffic jams and blockades against high fuel tariffs, car taxes and MTPL premium

Thousands of Bulgarians protested last weekend in over 20 cities by blocking major highways and roads against higher fuel prices, tax increases for older, more polluting cars and an expected increase in MTPL premiums.

Local media wrote that fuel prices have risen in the past month following a spike in global oil prices.

On the other hand, the Government's decision to increase the tax on older and more polluting cars from 2019 has angered many Bulgarians.

At the same time, "costly times" are announced for local drivers in respect of MTPL insurance. Bulgarian insurance market" authority - FSC recently published a draft ordinance regarding the MTPL tariffs for MTPL policies, wrote local media. According to the new ordinance, the premiums for compulsory motor third party liability (MTPL) insurance will be four times higher than the basic premiums for Bulgarian drivers with biggest number of road violations. Known as "bonus-malus", this system aims to reduce the high number of road traffic accidents and road traffic violations.

On the other hand, in the near future the MTPL tariff could be significantly influenced by the non-pecuniary damages. Recently, local insurers said that is more than necessary the introduction of a limit on non-pecuniary damages, allowing relatives and family members to seek compensation after the death of a close person in a traffic accident. Local insurers warned that otherwise there would be a threefold increase in the third-party liability insurance, as they did not have the necessary reserves of more than BGN 1 billion to cover the claims. If the limit proposal is rejected, "Third party liability" might reach BGN 1,000 per year, Bulgarian insurers warned.

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