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 Insurance Undertakings

The insurance and reinsurance undertakings operating in the Greek private insurance market are:
  • Sociétés Anonymes incorporated in Greece 
  • Greek branches of third-country (non-EU/EEA) insurers;
  • EU/EEA undertakings through a Greek branch or under Freedom of Services (FOS);
  • Mutual associations.

Sociétés Anonymes incorporated in Greece

In order to provide (re)insurance services, a société anonyme incorporated in Greece is required to obtain a licence by the Bank of Greece. Such a licence gives the holder the right to operate in all EU and EEA Member States (single licence (passport)) through a branch or under the FOS regime.

Undertakings incorporated after the entry into force of Law 4364/2016 are licensed for either line of business, i.e., life insurance or non-life insurance. By way of derogation, provided that each activity is conducted under separate management:

a) licensed life insurers are entitled to also obtain a licence for business lines 1 «Accidents» and 2 «Sickness» (Article 4, para. 1, Law 4364/2016); and
b) insurers licensed exclusively for risks relating to business lines 1 «Accidents» and 2 «Sickness» (Article 4, para. 1, Law 4364/2016) are entitled to also obtain a licence for life insurance business.

Greek insurers that on 1 January 1981 could do business simultaneously in life and in non-life, and are subject to Law 4364/2016, can continue both activities provided that each activity is conducted under separate management.

The Greek private insurance market currently features:

The licence to provide insurance services is granted by line of business, some or all of the risks relating to such line of business, as well as by a group of two or more business classes, according to the classification given in Articles 4 and 5 of Law 4364/2016.

The licence to provide reinsurance services is only granted for non-life or life line of business, or uniformly for all kinds of reinsurance business. The Bank of Greece supervises insurance and reinsurance undertakings incorporated in Greece, including their cross-border business through branches or under FOS regime.

Branches of (re)insurance undertakings incorporated in third (non- EU/EEA) countries

Subject to the prudential supervision of the Bank of Greece are also the Greek branches of insurance and reinsurance undertakings incorporated in non-EU/EEA Member States, in accordance with Chapter 7 of Part I of Law 4364/2016.

(Re)insurance undertakings incorporated in EU/EEA Member States

Insurance and reinsurance undertakings incorporated in an EU or EEA Member State may do business in Greece either through a branch or under the FOS regime, in accordance with Chapter 7 of Part I of Law 4364/2016.

Responsible for the prudential supervision of the Greek branches and FOS of these undertakings are the relevant home supervisory authorities.

Mutual Associations

There is a large number of mutual associations doing business in the Greek private insurance market, focusing on motor vehicle liability (mass transport vehicles, such as buses). Of those, only 4 are subject to all of the provisions of the insurance legislation. The rest are subject to specific provisions due to their size, type and mode of activity.


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