Private insurance companies were nationalized in 1947 and absorbed into the State Insurance Institute. Property insurance and life insurance are compulsory for collective farms and voluntary for cooperatives, social organizations, and the population in general. Insurance policies and premiums have increased steadily for both. third-party automobile liability and workers' compensation are also compulsory insurances. In 1995, there were at least 12 different insurance companies doing business in Bulgaria. The Insurance Regulatory body is the Ministry of Finance. Since March of 1998, foreigners have been permited to own a Bulgarian insurer.