In the past twenty years (1995-2015) Ekpizo has carried out a significant work in the field of Private Insurance, specifically in claiming, expanding, and restoring consumer rights, but also in reforming the legal framework, especially in the field of Life and Health insurance contracts. However, the legal framework necessitates further modernisation in order for insurance companies to operate ethically, legally, and with respect to the rights of insured consumers. The main issue reported to us in time by consumers is the arbitrary adjustment of insurance fees in insurance contracts concerning hospital care. Within the framework of our commitment, we carried out:
Class actions – Collective Lawsuit
- Against Asteras – Ethniki Asfalistiki (following the merge):
As a result of our years-long battles the Supreme Court, with an unprecedented decision (1030/2001), judged the yearly unilateral re-pricing right of the insurance company as being abusive. Since then all insurance companies have established criteria that, however, are not objective, plausible, or predictable for the insurees.
- Against Ethniki Asfalistiki for the contracts with ECU clause:
Since 2007, throughout numerous and straining efforts, we successfully carry on our battle against Ethniki Asfalistiki for the prohibition of the unilateral re-pricing of insurance fees with ECU clause. Currently the matter is pending in the Supreme Court. On a first and second degree the decision of the Multi Member First Instance Court, as well as that of the Court of Appeals of Athens, vindicated us and ruled that the company does not hold the right to adjust the insurance rates in ECU clause contracts unless the insuree/consumer has agreed and signed upon it. As a result, Ethniki Asfalistiki brought a class action lawsuit against 304 insurees which we defended in court successfully. In the Class Action brought by Ethniki Asfalistiki, the 304 insurees/consumers refused to sign the contracts with Ethniki Asfalistiki and to agree to the repricing of the insurance contracts with ECU clause. In the first degree of jurisdiction the appeal of Ethniki Asfalistiki was denied which means the company cannot increase the rates of the contracts in question.
Protest against the non-transparent charges with the threat to boycott
In 2012, thanks to an initiative of Ekpizo, 41 consumers unions joined in a protest and threat to boycott against the non-transparent terms and charges of insurance companies, in order to exert pressure on the government to vote for a legal framework which will impose transparent, plausible, and predictable criteria for the re-adjustment of insurance rates.
Contribution to implementing a law on the guarantee fund
Following the bankruptcy of certain insurance companies and especially of Aspis Pronia in 2009, in order to safeguard the financial benefits of the insurees/consumers, we demanded that the government protect insurees from losing their money in life insurance contracts (money-saving or investing programmes), as well as from losing coverage for Hospital Care. Hence a fund was created taking percentage from the insurance fees of the insurees, in order to maintain the guarantee fund which will operate as a “safety net” for all insurees in similar cases.
Activation of a monitoring system imposing administrative fines
As a result of our daily battles in this matter, the former General Secretariat for Consumer Affairs and current General Secretariat of Commerce and Consumer Protection fined large insurance companies for the exorbitant repricing of insurance fees as well as their failure to pay the VAT to the insurees. The aforementioned was succeeded as mush with the individual support of consumers as with the continuous collective interventions, suggestions, and disclosures, not to mention with the exertion of pressure on government institutions in 2011 and 2014.
Participation to the deliberation on the reform and implementation of a just legislation
In time, throughout our interventions and suggestions, while maintaining as well a strong presence in legislatorial committees and in the Parliament, we aimed at supporting the reform and modernisation of the legal framework in Private Insurance on the basis of rules of transparency, hence we partially succeeded in its modernisation. Nevertheless, our main objective is to provide a definitive solution to the crucial matter of the yearly repricing of insurance fees in hospital care contracts. However, in order to restore legality in the aforementioned field is needed a strong political will, which is why our actions point exactly at that.
Continuous consumer awareness via:
- Issuing an informative brochure: “All that you should know on private insurance”
- Press releases, published articles in newspapers, magazines, etc., as well as with our presence in the means of communication
- Speeches, Meetings, Conferences.
Developing collaborations with pertinent bodies of the market
For instance, with the Panhellenic Association of Insurance Agents, the Insurance Brokers, etc., to deal with insurees’ matters more efficiently.