Minos Moisis is president of the National Insurance Company – the largest private insurance company in Greece with an annual turnover of € 1 billion. For comparison - the second largest Greek insurance company Interamerican has annual turnover of € 500 million. He was appointed for president of the Association of Insurance Companies in Greece several months ago. He has more than 25 years of experience in the Greek insurance market. In a conversation with Maria S. Topalova Minos Moisis analyzes the Greek security system, comparing insurance markets in Greece and Bulgaria and said that no other insurance company is expected to be closed.
- The social security system in Greece is completely wrong and caused much damage, but it also gives private insurance companies the chance to grow at a faster pace. What is the state of the Greek insurance market at the moment?
- First, the social security system is not completely wrong. These systems are facing problems not only in Greece but in many other countries too. People are living longer and therefore spend more money from the social security funds. The high unemployment rates registered in societies as a whole in Europe has also its impact. But generally, these systems were created with the aim to protect citizens and so it should be. It is just conditions have changed much, demographics have changed a lot and therefore these systems should be adjusted. In fact, the money a man gets after retirement should be enough to provide a good standard of living. The social security funds are insufficient to provide it, as happens in many other European countries. So, private insurance comes to supplement these funds, just like in other places. This provides private security companies in Greece and in other countries prospects for development and an opportunity to enter new areas, but a legal framework is necessary. In many countries the private insurance is included in the common system of allocation of funds through major tax incentives. This means that the state is aware it will have to provide some incentive for people to save for their pensions and it is through strong tax incentives on the one hand. On the other hand, the requirements for the products to be included in this system and the reliability of the companies that will deal with it are very strict. This is, how can I say, not definitively regulated in Greece yet. This is a great perspective and challenge for private insurance, but we have to wait to see what will happen. Then we will finally outline our strategy in this area.
- There are many insurance companies of stable development, traditions and history in Greece like the National Insurance Company. Obviously, the people working there are good professionals. At the same time, we don’t see insurance companies to participate in the national dialogue on social security. Aren’t you interested in the future of social security?
- No, of course, as I said before, we are interested very much. But I repeat that the private insurance has no determining role with regard to social security. The state, because the state is responsible for social security, have to decide first what it wants to do. We have no voice on the social security issue.
- Are there any opportunities for cooperation between the public and private sector in your opinion?
- Yes, there are many opportunities for such cooperation and there are many already operating in the field of insurance companies. For example, private insurance today covers a significant percentage of people in matters of health with health care funds. This cooperation exists. It is not 100% established, but we, as private insurance company, supplement what the state does in the fields of health care, pensions and other areas. Therefore, there is cooperation in this sense already and I believe it will increase in the coming years. Because I think the state will understand that the private insurance adds to the funds of the people who are able to pay for it and in this way the state itself will have greater opportunity to take care of the people who can not pay for private insurance. Thereby increasing the opportunities for social care and protection of citizens.