According to today’s press release on the website of the Romanian Financial Supervisory Authority (ASF), the ASF declared Societatea Comerciala de Asigurare-Reasigurare Astra S.A. Insurance Company insolvent based on its serious capital situation, withdrew its business license and requested the initiation of liquidation proceedings. As the Romanian insurance company has a Hungarian branch office, it has Hungarian policyholders as well. The Hungarian branch office is prudentially supervised directly by the Romanian financial supervisory authority, and not by the Hungarian authority.
Due to the uncertainty involving Astra, the Magyar Nemzeti Bank (MNB) has been in constant contact with the ASF and the Association of Hungarian Insurance Companies (MABISZ), representing the interests of the Hungarian branch office’s policyholders in these consultations. As soon as the ASF informs the MNB, it will immediately hold a press release on the liquidation proceedings, the compensation and the other procedures, according to the Romanian legislation in force.
All Hungarian policyholders of the Hungarian branch office of the Romanian firm Societatea Comerciala de Asigurare-Reasigurare Astra S.A. Insurance Company (Astra Branch office) will be compensated by the Romanian Insurance Guarantee Fund according to the Romanian legislation in force (according to earlier Romanian press releases the coverage is up to EUR 100,000, which is more than HUF 30 million per claim).
According to the Hungarian Insurance Law, the Compensation Fund (KALAP) managed by MABISZ is responsible for all the motor third part liability (MTPL) insurance claims related to Astra’s branch office as an insurance company under liquidation proceedings. According to the data of the central bank, KALAP has the capacity to cover all compulsory vehicle-liability insurance claims.
After the liquidation of MÁV General Insurance Association, the legislator founded the National Guarantee Fund to ensure the compensation of compulsory vehicle-liability insurance claims of insurance companies under liquidation.
The MNB expects the Astra branch office and agents not to issue any new binding offers.
Astra branch office’s customer services will continue operate as usual. In respect of any further action that is necessary, the policyholders will be informed by the central bank, including via the MNB’s website as well.
The market share of the Astra branch office amounts to less than one percent of total premium income in Hungary, and thus the current events do not influence the smooth operation of Hungary’s insurance market.