GrECo Croatia Launches Affinity Hearing Aid Solution

GrECo Croatia Launches Affinity Hearing Aid Solution

In co-operation with Bontech, the largest Croatian distributor and manufacturer of hearing aids and hearing protection products, GrECo Croatia launched new Affinity solution that protects hearing aids purchased at Bontech outlets.

Buying a hearing aid is often a significant investment for many customers. Accidental damages, malfunctions or even thefts are not uncommon. We are happy to announce that together with our partner Bontech, the largest Croatian distributor and manufacturer of hearing aids and hearing protection products, we have launched a hearing aid insurance that protects hearing aids purchased at their outlets. Our insurance solution covers extended warranty, accidental damage, theft and robbery and providing Bontech`s customers peace of mind and worry-free usage.
With headquarters in Split and 29 branches throughout Croatia, Bontech is a regional leader continuously investing in people and technology and provides state-of-the-art solutions that effectively facilitate communication in society. Bontech was the first in the world to introduce the Connectivity set, a one-stop-shop solution which connected the hearing aids to the most advanced smartphone, and the TV set, where the sound from these devices is played directly into the hearing aids utilizing them as wireless headsets. Bontech is also the leading address for all diabetic products and was the first to introduce advanced digital solutions for diabetes monitoring.

Bontech logo

Alma Ribanovic

Group Practice Leader Affinity

T +43 664 962 40 17

GrECo Affinity Group Practice Gets a New Tech Unit

With GAS supporting GrECo´s Affinity practice, GrECo is well-positioned to provide new and improved technological solutions that can be easily scaled and integrated into various distribution channels.

As of September 2022, GrECo Affinity Group Practice will be supported by an extended hand – a new tech unit GrECo Affinity Solutions (GAS) that will provide the technological support for the future growth of GrECo´s Affinity business.

GAS, previously known as MAI Technologies, was, as a part of MAI CEE, taken over by GrECo in May 2022.

GAS brings more than 15 years of experience as a third-party administrator and system solutions developer. So far, GAS has a reputable track record in the embedded insurance sector, with more than 320,000 managed insurance policies and 10,000 handled claims.

Enhanced benefits for our partners and their customers

With GAS supporting GrECo´s Affinity practice, GrECo is well-positioned to provide new and improved technological solutions that can be easily scaled and integrated into various distribution channels.

For clients offering embedded insurance to their customers, the whole process will be more convenient and comfortable. GAS will enhance digital and platform expertise, allowing our digital solutions to be more effective and to come with great speed to the end user.

Csaba Barsony, GAS General Manager, points out: “Having 15 years of experience in Affinity development and administration, we are happy to join the GrECo Affinity team and strengthen their client offering with our digital solutions. We strongly believe that the customer experience we will offer to our Affinity partners will provide them with a competitive advantage that can be a true market differentiator in these volatile times.”

Alma Ribanović, GrECo Affinity Group Practice Leader, adds: “Having GrECo Affinity Solutions under our umbrella will allow us competitive speed to market. We will be able to provide technological solutions and expertise to our partners both in the online and offline world. With GAS, we are bringing Affinity developments in our company and on our markets to the next level”.

Alma Ribanovic

Group Practice Leader Affinity

T +43 664 962 40 17

Csaba Barsony

GAS General Manager

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Affinity Solution for Electronics and Mobile Phones Launched in Slovenia

In co-operation with our partner ENAA, GrECo Slovenia launched comprehensive and innovative Affinity solutions for electronic devices and mobile phones- ENNA Double Guarantee and ENNA Mobi Guarantee. Customers of ENNA now have the perfect opportunity to insure their newly bought electronics and mobile phones at extremely favorable price with attractive and easily understandable coverages and fast and simple purchase process.

ENAA is one of the largest e-shops in Slovenia with over 420,000 registered customers and a wide range of products. They are known for the exceptional quality of products and service and this is exactly what ENAA insurance stands for.

Interested to know more? Visit ENNA e-shop at, choose your new electronic device or mobile phone and buy insurance to protect your new purchase!

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Alma Ribanovic

Group Practice Leader Affinity

T +43 664 962 40 17

Neobanks – Potential for Embedded Insurance

Neobanks are trying to bridge the gap between the offerings of traditional banks and the expectations of customers in this digital era.

What does traditional banking bring to customers? Complex processes, problems with ATMs and load of papers for account opening and loan approval. On the other side, neobanks with their business model are trying to fight these stereotypes by offering digital banking platforms with end-2-end services, no or low fees and excellent customer experience.

Neobanks are trying to bridge the gap between the offerings of traditional banks and the expectations of customers in this digital era.

What is a Neobank?

Neobanks, which are sometimes referred to as “challenger banks” are financial institutions that have positioned themselves as the cheaper alternative in comparison to traditional ones. They are fintech companies offering different technological solutions (like apps or software) to modernise mobile and online banking. In most cases they are focused on specific financial products (e.g. loans, accounts, savings) leveraging technology and artificial intelligence to offer tailor made services to the customer while, at the same time, minimising operating costs.

Neobanks vs Traditional Banks

Neobanks are still on the rise, but it would be hard to expect them to have many advantages over the traditional banks. Traditional banks have two very crucial advantages – money sources and the trust of their customers. Still, their complex legacy systems are the major burden they are carrying and for them it will be difficult to adapt to the digital needs of the technologically oriented generation.

On the other hand, neobanks might not be “equipped” with money sources like traditional banks, but they can fight in other areas – field of innovation – allowing them to act faster to the demanding needs of the customer by introducing innovative products fast and easy and offering excellent customer service.

Popular Neobanks

With more than 12 million users, Chime is the most recognised brand in the neobank space in the U.S. The platform eliminates many of the common fees typically associated with traditional banks and provides credit-building opportunities, early access to direct deposit payments and automatic savings features with a competitive annual percentage yield.

Initially founded as neobank in 2020, Varo Bank was changed to a bank. It offers services like Chime, including no monthly or overdraft fees and no minimum balance requirement. Users don’t need to undergo a credit check to open an account.

Current has also attracted hundreds of thousands of customers in the U.S. It offers benefits such as early access to direct deposit, fee-free overdrafts and cash back on debit card purchases.

Embedded Insurance for Neobanks

Working in the environment that is very competitive, like FinTech is, makes offering embedded insurance the best way to catch the interest of the customer. Insurance not only helps bringing trust in the mobile banking app by protecting customers purchases but increases the expenses of the customer and, ultimately the revenue for the neobank.

Embedding insurance plays a crucial role in the customer acquisition process by creating additional value for the customer in terms of new and innovative product solutions and for the neobank in terms of enhanced and value-loaded banking products they can offer.

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Alma Ribanovic

Group Practice Leader Affinity

T +43 664 962 40 17

Embedded Insurance – The Name of the Game

Person buying embeded insurance

Embedded insurance is the future. It creates win-win-win situation for all parties involved.

What is one of the biggest issues we face in the insurance industry nowadays? It is the fact that selling insurance, which is not purchased together with a product or service, becomes quite ineffective and inefficient. The consequence of this “separate sales” is that the insurance product is very often rejected by the customer as unappealing hassle what, at the end, results in a huge protection gap. And due to market changes in terms of digitalisation, climate changes and lack of innovation, this gap is just getting bigger.

Buying insurance online represents significant issue for majority of customers. Why? Simply because the customer journey is inadequate and complex. Most of the insurances are still sold offline. True, they are researched online, but purchase cannot be done.

How can we solve this gap?

It is about embedding the insurance into the digital service offering. It is important that insurance is offered on the spot when the need is there and the risk to the buyer is paramount. Embedded insurance bundles the insurance coverage or protection with the purchase of a core product or service. It means that the insurance is not sold separately to the customer, but it is provided as a normal feature of the core product or service. That is, the customer gets more affordable, relevant and personalised insurance when they need it most.

Various tech players present on the market are very well equipped to embed insurance into their e-platforms mostly because they are the ones who control important insurance topics like:

  • Customer Journey: As life is moving rapidly into the online sphere, tech players are the ones who can best influence and control the customer journey. They are able to meet the customer where they are, offer insurance product when they need it and, by that, increase the penetration rates of insurance sales in comparison to separate insurance purchases.
  • Data: One of the biggest assets of tech players is that they have the data about the customers browsing history, transaction history etc. Data are up to date and can be used by insurers for better underwriting, risk selection and risk monitoring.
  • Trust: Digital services enjoy high levels of customer trust due to superior customer experience they offer. This is the perfect opportunity for insurance companies, as embedded insurance can help close the trust gap between insurers and digital services.
  • Communication: Tech players are in constant contact with their customers via diverse digital channels in comparison to insurers who contact their customers mostly only on renewals. By offering embedded insurance, insurers can use these communication channels to increase the connection to their customer base.

How is the market doing it?

Ant Group manages a digital financial services platform in China with an enormous user base due to the ubiquity of Alipay and the superapp they’ve created around it. In terms of insurance they spotted a large underserved market in low-income rural areas that traditional insurers were ignoring. Rather than trying to resell existing insurance products from one or two partners, they created their own insurtech platform to connect demand with supply in a new way. Ant Group focuses on understanding the needs of its consumers, educating them about the value of insurance and then designing compelling solutions for them with its suppliers.

Its insurance partners take on most of the underwriting and regulatory risk and deliver products to Ant’s specification. The company now offers 2000 customised, affordable and flexible life and non-life products from 90 different insurance suppliers.

Uber is another big online platform with a close relationship with its users including its 3 million drivers worldwide. At any time, depending on local regulations, competitive threats and new market opportunities, Uber requires the flexibility to provide its drivers with different types of insurance, benefits and incentives, related to vehicle and personal injury cover, sickness, paternity pay or other income loss.

Some of its insurance solutions are provided to drivers for free, some are invisible, some are optional add-ons. Some are related to when the driver is ‘in service’, some not. Given the size of its driver base, it has the potential to offer more complex products like pensions, life and health insurance in the future, in addition to other financial services like the bank accounts and loans it already offers.

In all cases Uber prides itself on the simplicity of its user experience and requires insurance solutions which are easy to adopt, good value and quick to claim against.

Embedded insurance is the future. It creates win-win-win situation for all parties involved – tech players, insurers and customers enabling better protection of consumers, creating added value and strengthening the value proposition.

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Alma Ribanovic

Group Practice Leader Affinity

T +43 664 962 40 17

The Opportunity for B2B2C sales

After Covid-19 Insurance Developments

Covid-19 has brought a lot of disruption in all areas of human life. Our homes have become epicentres of our lives. We work from home, we shop from home, we have home-schooling. Our home has become our sacred digital fortress.

Furthermore, the way we engage and interact with each other has been affected across all industries and geographies. With different physical distancing and quarantine restrictions we are no longer able to meet so freely in person. Our once “in person” activities now need to be digital and remote.

Also, value for money has become a top priority for many of us. Financial uncertainty in the post Covid-19 era makes us think twice about what and how much we can spend.

How can insurers address these challenges?

1. Changes in distribution models
For many insurance companies a physical sales force was the most significant sales channel up to now. Face-to-face meetings were the most successful way of catching customers. The still ongoing physical distancing is having major impacts on personal relationships (and insurance distribution, as well). The sales force, the insurers and the customers have switched to digital and remote interactions and tools, which was a huge change for many of us.

The key to survive a significant sales drop is expanding distribution partnerships. Insurers are reaching out to diverse companies so that these can offer the insurance products to their large customer base. This is one of the ways to maintain it sales volume at a satisfactory level in these times of crisis.

2. Putting the customer in focus
Going digital is not where the demand stops. Yes, it is important to remotely offer your services and products, but it is crucial that the sales process is easy and simple. There is no personal meeting, where an insurance product can be explained in detail.

Many insurance products are mostly considered as too complex to be easily explained and easily understood. Still, the shift in the distribution has made it a priority to simplify insurance products – therefore insurers need to give a serious thought on how their existing processes, products and experiences can be easily adjusted to the new digital customer.

3. Thinking long-term
There are some quick successes that insurers can do in order to cope with the new situation Covid-19 is bringing to their business. Still, they need to reconsider how to adjust their strategy to all the changes this pandemic has brought and will bring to us.

  • It is key to find the best sales channel mix
  • In-person sales will still play a significant part in the distribution of insurances. Still, insurance companies also need to prepare remote sales agents that are ready to interact with the digital customers.
  • Digitalising key areas of insurance sales
  • Paperless application and submission forms, digital signatures and online client onboarding should be in focus of digital developments.
  • Smart M&A acquisitions
  • The number of InsurTechs and FinTechs is rapidly rising. Their flexibility and simplicity in offering insurance products will help insurers cover the gaps in their distribution ecosystem and give them the possibility to offer new products to new customers on new territories.

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Alma Ribanovic

Group Practice Leader Affinity

T +43 664 962 40 17

Affinity pilot project for insurance of Ukrainian farmers

Parametric insurance solution for Corteva Agriscience

GrECo Ukraine, together with insurance partner ARX Ukraine have launched the pilot project for the Affinity parametric insurance solution for Corteva Agriscience customers.
The solution covers crops such as corn, sunflower, wheat and barley against drought as well as the possibility to monitor the insured soil moisture index through the MeteoControl platform which has become a partner and IT provider of this project.

Applying for the cover is very simple and easy by filling out an application form on the website.

In parametric insurance, a certain parameter which cannot be influenced by the agricultural producer is insured. Affinity parametric insurance refers to a solution which is distributed by an entity to the end customers, here the farmers. The GrECo Group is specializing in insurance solutions and affinity schemes for dedicated industries.

Corteva Agriscience is a publicly traded, global pure-play agriculture company that provides farmers around the world with the most complete portfolio in the industry – including a balanced and diverse mix of seed, crop protection and digital solutions focused on maximizing productivity to enhance yield and profitability. With some of the most recognized brands in agriculture and an industry-leading product and technology pipeline well positioned to drive growth, the company is committed to working with stakeholders throughout the food system as it fulfills its promise to enrich the lives of those who produce and those who consume, ensuring progress for generations to come. Corteva Agriscience became an independent public company on June 1, 2019, and was previously the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont.

The GrECo Group offers its clients individual solutions in risk and insurance management and is the leading insurance broker & consultant for corporations, associations and authorities in CESEE. The Group is an independent, family-owned company, headquartered in Vienna and employs 1.000 people in 57 offices in 16 countries.

ARX Insurance Company is part of the international Canadian insurance group Fairfax Financial Holdings, which has been successfully operating in the Ukrainian market for 25 years, 11 of which are under the AXA Insurance brand.

MeteoControl is a Ukrainian insurtech startup that helps farmers to insure unusual weather conditions using modern software solutions. With the help of Meteocontrol online platform, farmers will be able to apply for the insurance program, generate documents for signing, and track the current soil moisture level and the probability of receiving refund.

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Insurtechs as industry disruptors

Disruption in the insurance industry is seen more than in others and while for some this is an opportunity, for others it is a difficulty and threat.

Quite interesting times are ahead of insurers as new challenges are shaking the market. Insurers are faced with their outdated technology and demanding legal restrictions which require significant adaptions to be done and new business models to be developed.

Statistics show that at least 86% of insurers think their revenues are at risk from the rising technological developments – and this is best visible with the upsurge of insurtechs. The fact is that some of the traditional insurers on the market are more than 300 years old, while, on the other side, quite a few insurtechs are only 300 days old. And they are shaking the financial sector. Investments made in the insurtechs show exactly that – according to FinTech Global they have doubled between 2017 and 2018.

What is an insurtech?

Insurtech stands for insurance technology which is designed to enhance the operational efficiency and efficacy of insurance companies. One might say that the technology in the insurance industry is nothing new, and this is the case, but insurtechs bring something more.

They bring innovation in various forms of artificial intelligence, internet of things, smartphone applications, drones etc. For example, using artificial intelligence in apps had a quite significant contribution to the fast success of the insurtechs as the number of data they can produce are exactly what is needed to enhance efficiency and effectiveness.

Most prominent insurers are already active in providing customers with a mobile app to manage their insurance business. This has major benefits on both sides: saving of administrative costs for the insurer and improving customer experience with the service that is simple, fast and convenient.

“Insurance CIOs need to expand their market insight concerning the innovation and disruption potential of insurtechs. Start by identifying the areas where insurtechs could add value; then evaluate potential collaboration or investment opportunities” – Juergen Weiss, managing vice president at Gartner.

What is there for insurers to do to still remain competitive:

  • Be simple and go digital: Insurers need to digitalize their business and create simple, easy to enroll and easy to follow processes and products which will enable them to fulfill their customer promise and raise customer experience to the next level.
  • Utilize the advantage in distribution: If anybody, insurers definitely have the critical advantage: a wide variety of distribution channels – agents, brokers, financial advisers and even non-insurance professional enable insurers to reach the scale of customers insurtechs can hardly match.
  • Welcoming advanced analytic: The main advantage of insurtechs is the usage of data and advanced analytics to master insurance specific activities, like underwriting. Insurers should also rely more on the advanced analytics to modernize their operations and enhance customer experience.
  • Connecting with diverse ecosystems: Insurance companies need to develop new and innovative business models by building on existing relationships with business partners and providers.

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Alma Ribanovic

Group Practice Leader Affinity

T +43 664 962 40 17

Manage receivables safely!

Lisbeth Lorenz, Group Practice Leader Trade Credit

Especially in difficult economic times, the risk of credit default plays an explosive role. Every supplier who sells his goods or services on open account with a payment term is exposed to this risk. In the short term, the receipt of payment is at risk, in the medium and long term, sales can drop off.

The success of a company is also determined by taking the “right” risks. Managing credit risks also means estimating the payment risk of customers as accurately as possible and operating efficient credit management.

In times of crisis, companies often unintentionally become larger “lenders”, as is the case now, as many customers are already asking their suppliers to extend payment terms. However, unplanned changes in the period during which capital is tied up can create deadline risks for the company and endanger its own liquidity.

Internal data in particular provide the first indications of imminent payment difficulties on the part of customers. Even healthy companies can get into financial turmoil. If this happens, professional risk monitoring by the insurer is advisable for the supplier.

The most common early warning indicators are:
– A change in payment behaviour, a strong deterioration in payment behaviour, an extension of payment terms as well as an unjustified discount deduction despite the utilisation of the payment term.

– A significant reduction in the usual order quantities (possibly lack of demand) or an extraordinary increase (possibly a sign that other suppliers are already withdrawing due to negative indications).

– Unexpectedly demanded payments on account, partial payments or unfounded complaints.

– First signs of liquidity deficiencies, such as uncashed bank debits, bill protests or bounced cheques
– Instalment payment plans.

A closer look should be taken at financial risks, especially liquidity risks. The monitoring of these risks ensures that a company’s solvency is maintained at a level that is essential for its existence.

Challenges for credit management as part of working capital management:

– Up-to-date and comprehensive information about one’s own receivables structure and the payment behaviour of customers is crucial for the management of receivables inventories, especially now.

– Your dunning strategy, which includes the start and end, frequency, number and type of dunning notices, is well established. Examine the customer portfolio. The dunning activities can vary depending on the fulfilment of defined criteria (e.g. amount due, customer risk class, countries, etc.)

– Check your room for manoeuvre within the framework of the planned corporate development. Permanent monitoring of the receivables inventories makes current developments clear and thus enables you to react quickly to negative trends. In this way, the necessary measures can be initiated immediately in order to identify problematic developments in the receivables inventory at an early stage and to counteract them.

Companies like to use credit insurance to secure supplier credits. This at least partially shifts the risk of default.

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Lisbeth Lorenz

Group Practice Leader Credit & Political Risk

T +43 664 883 805 12

Always one step ahead: Affinity insurance for B2B2C

Traditional B2B and B2C companies are increasingly working together and are increasingly building a new B2B2C business (Business to Business to Customer). “Affinity” is the buzzword of the hour.

Business and customer relationships are changing radically. Digital, social and cloud-based developments and demanding customers are pushing for innovative sales channels. GrECo has recognized the changing signs in the market and also offers its client’s tailor-made B2B2C insurance-solutions to increase revenues, secure competitive advantages, win new customers and increase the loyalty of existing customers.

What is affinity?

Affinity insurance is the sale of insurance products by non-insurance intermediaries. The focus here is on the sale of insurance policies as a supplement to the core-product.

Affinity solutions are suitable for many potential partners, from banks to car-manufacturers, telecommunications-companies, utilities, retailers, e-commerce and various digital-players. Affinity sales has traditionally focused on selling ancillary insurance products to generate additional revenue or to differentiate themselves from the competition.

GrECo offers individual affinity insurance solutions to its clients, who act as partners here. How does this work? First, we develop a deep understanding of the respective company in order to find the most advantageous way of cooperation. In combination with a wide range of specializations and expertise, we then explore the potential for affinity insurance and ultimately develop a solution.

Affinity advantages for GrECo partners:

  • Risk-free sources of income
  • Greater involvement of sales-staff and use of sales-channels
  • Improvement of customer loyalty
  • Winning new customers
  • Creating competitive advantages
  • Potential for strategic differentiation

Affinity advantages for the customers of GrECo partner:

  • One-stop-shop for complementary products
  • Hassle-free shopping experience
  • Wide range of different affinity solutions
  • High quality products “refined” with insurance

Two selected GrECo success stories

JobRad-model with registration database fase24
Employees are offered a bicycle/e-bike to cover the daily distance between home and work. The employer provides a subsidy for the purchase of a suitable bicycle/e-bike up to an amount X. Following the expert advice, the fase24 bicycle dealer prepares a binding purchase offer with which the employee contacts his company. Once the employer’s allowance has been determined and the recipient is aware of his monthly salary deduction, the employer orders the bicycle/e-bike from the regional bicycle-dealer. The employee collects the bicycle from the dealer, where the bicycle is registered and insured.

EnergieSORGLOS with the public utility „Stadtwerke Klagenfurt“
In Klagenfurt, the customers of the municipal utilities will not have to worry about unforeseeable events when paying for their energy supply in future. Because within the scope of the EnergieSORGLOS packages for electricity and gas, Allianz Partners will provide protection in the future with integrated assistance and insurance services. If a job is lost because of an accident, illness or the insolvency of the employer, Allianz Partners will take over the installment payments for electricity and gas. In addition, rehabilitation costs as a result of an accident or serious illness will be covered. Depending on the option chosen, the compensation payment is 300 or 600 euros

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Alma Ribanovic

Group Practice Leader Affinity

T +43 664 962 40 17