Insurance undertakings

Greek private insurance market

The insurance and reinsurance undertakings operating in the Greek private insurance market are:

  • Insurance sociétés anonymes authorised in Greece;
  • Reinsurance undertakings authorised in Greece;
  • Greek branches of third-country (non-EU) insurers;
  • EU undertakings operating in Greece under the freedom of establishment (through a branch) or under the freedom to provide services; and
  • Mutual associations.

Insurance sociétés anonymes authorised in Greece

In order to conduct (re)insurance business, a société anonyme incorporated in Greece is required to obtain authorisation from the Bank of Greece. Such authorisation allows the undertaking to operate in all the EU Member States (single authorisation) under the freedom of establishment (through a branch) or under the freedom to provide services.

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

  1. authorised life insurers are also entitled to obtain authorisation for risks relating to business lines 1 “Accidents” and 2 “Sickness” (Article 4, para. 1, Law 4364/2016); and
  2. insurers authorised exclusively for risks relating to business lines 1 “Accidents” and 2 “Sickness” (Article 4, para. 1, Law 4364/2016) are also entitled to obtain authorisation for life insurance business.

Greek insurers that as at 1 January 1981 were authorised to 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.

Authorisation to conduct insurance business is granted by line of business, for 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.

Authorisation to conduct reinsurance business is either granted only for non-life or life reinsurance business, or uniformly for all kinds of reinsurance business.

The Bank of Greece exercises prudential supervision on insurance and reinsurance undertakings authorised in Greece, including their cross-border business in other EU Member States under the freedom of establishment (through a branch) or under the freedom to provide services.

Greek branches of third-country (non-EU) insurers

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

(Re)insurance undertakings authorised in EU Member States

Insurance and reinsurance undertakings authorised in an EU Member State may do business in Greece either under the freedom of establishment (through a branch) or under the freedom to provide services.

Responsible for the prudential supervision of these undertakings are the relevant supervisory authorities of the home Member States.

Mutual associations

Mutual associations may only engage in non-life insurance. They are subject to all or part of the provisions of the insurance legislation depending on their size, type and  business. 

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