author: Vaio Krokos
Media: Insurance World magazine
Having established strong foundations on the Greek insurance market, Euroins Greece is expanding its presence throughout the country. The company supports all sales channels, including the classic intermediaries (brokers), and put special emphasis on the quality of digital services, ensuring proper and fast customer service.
Mr. Ignatov, which are the milestones that determined the path of Euroins since the beginning of the operations on the Greek market and then the branch establishment?
Euroins started its activity on the Greek market in 2014 under the status of Freedom to provide services (FoS) and in 2019 the branch of Euroins Bulgaria AD was established under the name "Euroins Greece". The next milestone in the history of our Greek branch are the ISO certification issued by Lloyds to our claims management company - Euroins Claims Management System, and the latest milestone is surety bonds for small and medium-sized enterprises.
What insurance products do you offer and what partnerships do you have (e.g. with insurance agents and brokers)?
On the Greek market we currently offer motor insurance products and recently we started to offer surety bonds. In the coming months, within the autumn of 2022, we are expecting to expand our activity in property insurance, which we estimate has very strong growth prospects in the coming years in Greece due to the high rate of real estate owners, the upward trend of real estate as an investment and also the legislative regulations that have been promoted recently in the country. In the following three years we plan to provide on the market four new insurance products. As far as the operating model of Euroins Greece is concerned, our collaborations extend to all sales channels, including classic intermediaries (brokers).
In the motor insurance market there is intense competition between companies. How Euroins products differentiate from the products of other companies on the market?
Our goal is to provide the fastest and most efficient service to our partners, being clients or brokers. To achieve this we have mobilized all available technologies in order to integrate into our systems every possible innovation that facilitates the user experience and speeds up its service. In this context, we have automated the procedures of the risks evaluation and claims handling process. In addition, we implement an automated pre-insurance check procedure, which is carried out in just five minutes for the best possible service for the insured.
What are your plans for the Greek market?
Our plans include further development of our activities in accordance with the business plan of the Eurohold Group, parent company of Euroins, as a whole. Firstly we will expand our portfolio with new and innovative products and services. Some of them concerns motor insurance but also new products such as travel and health. To achieve our goals we emphasize the dynamic expansion of the pool of intermediaries with whom we work very closely, as well as the expansion of our presence throughout the country by creating more offices. Currently we have three offices on the territory of Greece such as in Patra, Thessaloniki and Crete and we intend to strengthen our presence in other parts of Greece, in order to be close to our partners. At the same time, we intend to strengthen the digital communication channels with our partners introducing automated processes, which facilitate everyone's daily life and enhance the efficiency of our services.
You said earlier that starting in 2021, you are already offering surety bonds. Can you tell us a few words about this specific insurance product and what is the demand on the Greek market?
Surety bonds aim at small and medium-sized enterprises and secures the contractor’s liability during the performance of the contract. The product has following advantages: low expenses, no cash blocking, no pledge of assets and mortgages. The speed of approval and issuance makes them competitive, and its success proves that the Greek Market trusts our company.
How about digital transformation? Has Euroins planned or implemented specific systems for its customers and partners in this direction?
We added important technology tools to our systems and they have become our assets, maximizing the speed of policies issuance and better security while dramatically improving the customer experience. An example is the time and quality control systems, for which we received ISO certification issued by Lloyds to our claims management company - Euroins Claims Management System. Since you ask about our customers and partners, it goes without saying that it is not enough for a company to digitize only its own operations. It is necessary to act as a driver of change and progress for it partners as well assisting them with expertise where required.
The Covid-19 pandemic crisis has placed unprecedented pressure on individuals and communities. How have you supported the people, but also the communities in which you operate, through social responsibility initiatives that you have taken during this time?
At Euroins, we believe that companies are part of society and must return a part of their profits to it through targeted social responsibility actions, which must respond to the needs on time. In this context, the company implements an extensive ESG program from the beginning of its operations in Greece, which we evolve and develop based on the needs of the communities where we operate. Especially in the pandemic crisis our actions naturally was focused on strengthening the health sector, which had disproportionately large needs in a very short period of time. We prioritized the highest need groups, such as children and socially vulnerable citizens. It is worth mentioning that, already before the pandemic crisis, our company was awarded twice for its contribution to society, which is based on our sensitivity to issues related to the care of children and sensitive social groups.
Since 2014, we have been a constant and consistent supporter of the work of the organization "The Smile of the Child". I am personally in constant communication with the president of "Smile", Costas Yiannopoulos, with the aim of helping with the means at our disposal in meeting the needs of such an important organization for the country. Subsequently, with the aim of improving the educational infrastructure of the country, we implemented the "20 Years Euroins - 20 Schools across Greece" program. Under this program, 20 schools were re-equipped with new teaching tools and sports facilities.
Also we stand by talented athletes and teams, with the highlight being Christos Volikakis' world track cycling champion and his participation in the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games. With great pride we supported the Association of Women with Breast Cancer "Alma Zois" and the "Race for the Cure" marathon investing once again in the importance of prevention for our health.
However, the actions we have implemented in the communities where we operate across the country are also important. Listening to the needs of local communities, we have provided financial support to nursing homes, sports clubs, local cultural clubs, etc. At the same time, we consistently donate breathalyzers to the Greek Police as a measure to prevent traffic accidents due to drunkenness and etc. At the begging of the pandemic we have equipped a number of public hospitals with sanitary materials and also sent them to other government agencies for the convenience of workers and the service of the citizen. Also, as the pandemic has changed the way schools operate, due to distance learning, we have donated laptops to children of families with financial difficulties.
Lately, there has been strong interest and relevant proposals have been submitted to the Greek State by the "players" of the insurance market to take initiatives mainly related to property insurance (from natural disasters) and health insurance. What is your opinion? Can citizens be made more aware of the benefits of insurance coverage and how this can be done? Do you think more targeted consumer education is needed?
In recent years, we have been experiencing a series of consecutive crises in health, climate and economy. Also the growing numbers of cyber attacks increases the demand for new insurance products, a fact which the Governor of the Bank of Greece points out in his 2021 Report. Under current conditions private insurance plays very important economic and social role globaly. Indeed, according to the figures of the Association of Insurance Companies of Greece for 2021, the insurance market moved upwards, with the total production of insurance premiums showing an increase of 7.7% (+10% life insurance, +5.7% non-life insurance). The Greek insurance market paid out compensations to the insured around 2.5 billion euros per year. In order to further consolidate the insurance culture in Greece, the coordinated action of the State is required in order to widely recognize that the private economic nature of the insurance sector can make a significant contribution to the creation of wealth for the economy.
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Mr.Evgeni Ignatov, Executive Director Euroins Greece Branch and Member of the Board