No Intermediary Insurance from Hellas Direct

No Intermediary Insurance from Hellas Direct
Half a thousand e-mails, 300 meetings with investors in 14 different countries and three years of laborious efforts, led to the creation of the first start up insurance in Greece.

Hellas Direct is the «fruit» of two young entrepreneurs, who gave up their secure jobs abroad, brought investors in their country and started selling insurance “without intermediaries”. In the first two months of operations, the company enjoys positive results, beyond initial expectations.
The founders, Alexis Pantazis and Aimilios Markou, are from Cyprus and worked in London as brokers, at Goldman Sachs and Barclay’s respectively; they decided to quit their jobs to start up an insurance company in the middle of Greece’s financial crisis.

“In 2009, at London we saw that the crisis would move east and create opportunities”, recounts Mr. Pantazis. This is because the insurance claims industry is recession-proof, while the Greek market works with a variety of intermediaries, who receive generous commissions, costs which are passed to the customer, as he notes.
The company began operations on August 6, 2012, providing several innovations. Hellas Direct works exclusively online, is not affiliated with intermediaries has a total of 25 employees and creates products priced according to the driver’s and vehicle’s characteristics. Also, it insures only cars (not luxury cars) and only residents of Attica. This combination seems to be working, since in the last two months sales surpassed expectations. “The consumer is quoted and insured in just 4.5 minutes,” says Mr. Pantazis.

Hellas innovations create a significant margin to reduce prices. “This allows us to sell between 15% and 30% lower than the rest of the market,” says Mr. Marcus. The pricing of Hellas Direct is done online by analyzing the profile of the driver, the vehicle and the estimated driving style.
However, even if it is a “startup”, it is still an insurance company that meets all strict European standards and capital requirements, for in order to start an insurance company, a capital between 15 and 20 million is required.

After a three-year effort, they enjoy the support of 11 investors from Greece and abroad, among them the British investor Mr. John Mooulton, Mr. George Leventis Group Leventis – David, Mr. Alexander Jacovides of Genesis Pharma and Munich Re.

One problem is, as they say, that there is no central database of the insured vehicles, in contrast to what happens in the UK, where the details of each vehicle are public and available to all.
Click here for the Greek article.
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