Buying the cheapest insurance in Greece. This page is essential reading. The following advice is pragmatic and based on years of one insurance man's professional experiences in Greece.
Caveat Emptor - Buyer beware, Stavros of Stavros Sideris Insurance gives this advice when choosing an insurance policy. Greece is a good market for insurance but: "Many consumers make the mistake of opting for the cheapest insurance premium". But, the cheapest insurance policy is very rarely the most inexpensive. Therefore you need to be very careful when buying insurance. You'll get the best value by understanding the bigger picture. Here is Stavros' advice:
1. When considering Insurance purchase, you as a prospective client must not compare premiums and premium price on its own in isolation. Value is comparing like-for-like.
2. A premium must be compared along with the terms and conditions of the insurance policy's cover and what precise coverage is being offered. Comparisons can only be made between identical insurance products i.e. identical cover, item-by-item. Policies issued in UK for example are rarely 100% identical to those issued in Greece. You should appreciate that while there are commonality in regulations across the EU, in the day-to-day market conditions in Greece are quite different to UK, Ireland or any other country in the EU, except perhaps Cyprus.
3. Insurer selection is also very important.
4. Be aware that not insurers are equal. Recent E.U. legislation imposed an additional financial burden on several insurers across the E.U. Quite a few bankruptcies, statutory (forced) shutting down of under capitalised insurers and merger or acquisitions took place recently in Greece encocuraged by the authorities. Stavros works with only the strongest of the insurers.
5. When you are given a quotation for a Greek insurance policy, do you look at the cost and immediately react that the cost is too expensive compared to what you get "back home"? Back home being another EU country? Or is the real fact that the quote you receive is a true reflection of the local Greek conditions of the insurance market in Greece. You must base your judgment on the market rate in Greece if you are buying insurance in Greece NOT on what you pay in another market. To conclude: Stavros advises you do not misjudge the true value of a Greek insurer and its policy quotations by looking at the price of the premium alone, but consider the level of service (the fact that all documents of a contract will be in Greek) etc etc. and what happens should a claim arise? Can you be sure the agent you use really shows any enthusiasm to help when you needed. Many are good salesmen because of their ability to make a sale, but what about after sales service and in the event of a claim? Just remember the language barrier for starters.
In the insurance industry in Greece, it really is a case of: "You get what you pay for". It is also true: "When in Rome do as the Romans do ..."
Conclusion: Advice When You Buy Insurance related to your life in Greece:
1. Be careful when buying insurance policies from an insurer outside Greece when any policy applies to Greece. For example: car insurance for a greek car for all the right reasons should be taken out with a Greece-based insurance company. It makes Sense. Why? First and foremost the policy will be in Greek. Imagine being asked for "Papers" by a Greek traffic policeman at a "Control" check point and they are not in the Greek language.
2. Ask the insurer whether the courts in Greece or in the country where the insurer is registered will be the ones who will deal with any legal cases that might arise due to any insurance claim if you accept their quotation/proposal.
3. Then you need to consider the cost of the legal expenses in Greece and/or your home country in the event of a dispute as well as the additional travel / accommodation expenses to the place where any court case will take place. Does that scenario seem far fetched? It should not. We take too may aspects of life for granted when we can move, work, live and retire in the EU and move around free as a bird yet overlook some obvious basic financial headaches if any unexpected problem arises when we live in another EU country - such as lawyer fees.
At the end of the day, however, you are the client, and you have to take the correct decision that applies to you in your personal circumstances. The comments above are universal when taking out cheap insurance related to your life in Greece. These comments apply as much to Greeks from the Greek Diaspora as well as to foreign passport holders who have need to be in Greece and insurance to cover their requirements there..
Useful Link: Information on How to Pay Premiums for Greek Insurance Policies
A Quotation For a Greek Insurance Policy -
Brits in Crete is pleased to recommend its insurance associate in Greece, the Stavros Sideris Insurance Agency. Stavros who heads the firm offers a wide range of policies suitable for the foreign community all over Greece. Brits in Crete recommends Stavros, as a reliable and trusted partner who has many types of insurance policies to offer. Stavros, a fluent English speaker knows UK and the United States personally very well.
Stavros's agency network of local offices covers the whole of Crete. Stavros can help you personally. He has back up support locally across Crete (from Chania/Hania to Lasithi) and across Greece proper. All the associates are also English speakers, who know the needs of Ex-Pats. Stavros in the initial instance will contact you personally once you have completed the online contact form.
Stavros Sideris has had US, UK and Greek actuarial experience. Stavros graduated from the Ohio State University in 1992, with a degree in Actuarial Sciences and Finance. After completion of his military duties in the Hellenic Navy in 1994, Stavros commenced his career in the Actuarial Department of Interamerican Hellenic Life Insurance Co. moving on to Hewitt-Bacon and Woodrow in London in senior roles associated with UK government contracts. Stavros moved to Boston, MA in 2001 to join Mercer Human Resource Consulting in Boston, providing Actuarial Services for Corporate Group Pension Schemes. In March of 2004, Stavros moved to join his family insurance agency in Heraklio, Crete, Greece.