Budapest, 1 September 2015 – After the Romanian Financial Supervisory Authority officially published its Decision to withdraw the business licence of the Romanian firm ‘Astra Insurance Company’, the insurer’s Hungarian branch office is no longer allowed to accept any new contracts and the MTPL contracts which expired due to lack of payment must be renewed with another insurance company.

On Monday evening, the Romanian Financial Supervisory Authority (ASF) published in the Romanian official Gazette that it is revoking the Societatea Comerciala de Asigurare-Reasigurare Astra S.A. Insurance Company’s business licence and its decision to initiate liquidation of the company.

This means that the Romanian insurer’s Hungarian branch office (Astra Branch office) and its intermediaries are no longer allowed to accept or intermediate new contracts. The company’s policyholders whose motor third-party liability insurance contracts (MTPL) expired due to lack of payment must renew such contracts with another Hungarian insurance company, even if the contract’s roll-over date has not yet occurred.

The policyholders of the Astra Branch office have the opportunity to immediately cancel their contracts – as in the case of MTPL, home insurance, Casco– if both parties agree, even if those contract periods have not expired yet. In the case of MTPL insurance, the termination of the contract needs to be aligned with transfer to another insurance company, otherwise the policyholder must pay a high uninsured premium for the uninsured period.

Beside MTPL insurance, policyholders with other Astra non-life insurance (e.g. Casco, home insurance) have the possibility to sign a new contract with another insurance company for their covered property according to the new Hungarian Civil Code, which entered into force on 15 March 2014. In the case of damages, policyholders are entitled to be compensated by their new contracted insurance company.

As soon as the MNB is notified by the ASF, it will immediately inform the public about the liquidation proceedings, compensation and the other procedures, according to the Romanian legislation in force. The Magyar Nemzeti Bank will represent the interests of Hungarian consumers in consultations with all the other counterparties. In order to keep policyholders well informed about the Astra branch office and its insurance contracts, the MNB has published a Q&A compilation on its website.

Magyar Nemzeti Bank