For 115 years
The founding years
The founding meeting of Vzajemna zavarovalnica took place on 5 July 1900 in Ljubljana as the first Slovene insurance company founded with domestic capital. Initial capital of 100,000 former Austrian crowns (kronen) was provided by Anton Bonaventura Jeglič, the Bishop of Ljubljana. The first President of Vzajemna zavarovalnica and one of its founders was Ivan Vencajz, a royal court adviser, member of the parliament and landowner.
The company opened for business on 1 August 1900 and issued its first policy on 12 July, taking effect on 1 August. In the beginning it offered fire insurance and bell insurance. In order to distinguish itself from the authorised agencies of foreign insurance companies present in Ljubljana, which emphasised their size and profits, Vzajemna zavarovalnica was based on:
- mutual insurance operations and a non-profit character and
- the principle that “he gives twice who gives promptly”
In its early years, Vzajemna met with great dislike from competitive insurance companies. In response to its establishment they lowered their premiums, expanded their agent networks, raised agent commissions, etc. Moreover, they convinced reinsurers not to provide their services to Vzajemna, which is why it was forced to seek reinsurance in Bohemia. In the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, Vzajemna primarily operated in the Slovene territory, developing its agent network in the Kranjska, Štajerska, Goriška, Tržaška and Istria regions. In the first ten years of operation its volume of business greatly increased. The beginning of World War One did not stop its operations; however it did experience a significant negative impact in 1915 when Goriška became a war zone, forcing Vzajemna to suspend its operations in this region. In 1918, Slovenia lost the Primorska and Istria regions, parts of the Notranjska and Štajerska regions and Koroška. After the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was founded.
Years of growth and expansion
At the end of World War One, Vzajemna zavarovalnica was facing high inflation and portfolio losses. In order to survive, it had to introduce new insurance products. In 1919 it issued the first life insurance policy, in 1926 it introduced glass insurance, in 1930 burglary insurance and in 1931 suretyship, accident and comprehensive car insurance. Vzajemna began expanding its operations to the territories of the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs, which later became a part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Between 1918 and 1936 the insurance industry in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia developed without single legislation applicable to the entire country. The insurance sector was better regulated with the adoption of the Decree on the Supervision over Insurance Companies, followed by the Cooperatives Act adopted in 1937. By the commencement of World War Two the number of insurance companies in Slovenia gradually decreased – at the beginning of the war there were thirteen insurers, of which eight were Slovene owned. Due to occupation and war at the end of 1941 the majority of insurance companies had to transfer their policies to Italian, German and Austrian insurers.
By a special ordinance in March 1945, the nationalised insurers were merged into the National Insurance and Reinsurance Institute, which was in 1946 renamed the National Insurance Institute and operated until 1947. Having avoided incorporation into the National Insurance and Reinsurance Institute, on 16 July 1945 Vzajemna changed its name to the Insurance Institute of Slovenia FPRY. Its volume of business expanded already in 1946, when it was merged with the National Insurance Institute, headquartered in Belgrade. The National Insurance Institute underwrote insurance for all state and other assets and continued to operate in such form until 1961.
A period of decentralised insurance
In this period, the National Insurance Institute was formally closed down, creating apparent competition between the fourteen independent insurance companies which emerged from its subsidiaries in Slovenia and the Insurance Community for the PR Slovenia. But in reality the monopoly, the mandatory insurance of social property and centralised risk equalisation continued to exist.
The realisation that a larger insurance company was needed for sound risk equalisation soon led to the merger of smaller insurance companies from Slovenia and Croatia into two commercial insurers: Zavarovalnica Sava, based in Ljubljana, and Zavarovalnica Maribor, based in Maribor, both operating according to free market principles. In 1973 Zavarovalnica Sava began to offer reinsurance as well. In 1976 the two companies merged into Zavarovalna skupnost Triglav (Triglav Insurance Community) based in Ljubljana. In that period also Pozavarovalna skupnost Sava (Sava Reinsurance Community) was founded, the first specialised reinsurance company in Slovenia.
The liberalisation of the insurance industry
In 1976 the Law on the Foundations of the Non-life and Life Insurance System was passed, starting a period of liberalisation of the insurance industry without insurance oversight, which lasted until 1990. In this period, the Triglav Insurance Community was the only Slovene-owned insurer in Slovenia, with a 95% market share, and the third largest insurer in Yugoslavia. In Slovenia, insurance companies functioned according to the principle of mutuality and solidarity.
Transformation into a public limited company and expansion of business
In 1990, the Triglav Insurance Community (Zavarovalna skupnost Triglav) was transformed into a public limited company. On 12 December 1990, Zavarovalnica Triglav d.d. was founded and began operating as an insurance public limited company on 1 January 1991. Thus, the insurance community became a business entity whose objective was to provide insurance services for profit. As early as in July of 1990, the Belgrade Regional Community obtained an authorisation to establish its own insurance public limited company Kopaonik. In November of the same year such authorisations were also granted to regional units in Koper, Maribor and Novo mesto, which became independent and organised as independent insurance companies (Adriatic, Zavarovalnica Maribor and Zavarovalnica Tilia).
In Croatia, Zavarovalnica Triglav registered the insurance company Istra Osiguranje d.d. (including all Zavarovalnica Triglav's regional units in the Republic of Croatia at the time) in 1993. This was later renamed Sava osiguranje d.d., i. e. the current Triglav osiguranje d.d., with its registered office in Zagreb.
In 1994, Triglav družba za upravljanje d.o.o. was established and in 1998 Pozavarovalnica Triglav Re d.d., which opened for business in 1999 (formerly named Pozavarovalna skupnost Sava (Sava Reinsurance Community) or Pozavarovalnica Sava d.d.).
Intensive internationalisation and expansion of the Group
In 2000 Zavarovalnica Triglav began intensive business expansion. That year it also entered banking sector by acquiring a majority stake in Abanka d.d. and started to broaden its operations into foreign markets.
In 2000 the subsidiary Triglav Pojišt'ovna a.s. was established in Brno, the Czech Republic. In 2001 Zavarovalnica Triglav became the largest shareholder of Triglav BH Osiguranje d.d., based in Sarajevo (now Triglav Osiguranje, d.d., Sarajevo), Bosnia and Herzegovina. In November 2002 Triglav Zdravstvena zavarovalnica d.d. was founded through the reorganisation of the Concordia life insurance company (established in 1994). In 2006 Zavarovalnica Triglav increased its stake in the largest Montenegrin insurance company Lovćen osiguranje a.d., based in Podgorica, and acquired a stake in the Serbian insurance company Triglav Kopaonik a.d. (now Triglav Osiguranje a.d.o., Beograd), based in Belgrade. In 2007, Triglav Krajina Kopaonik a.d.o. (now Triglav osiguranje a.d., Banja Luka), based in Banja Luka, the Republic of Srpska and Vardar osiguruvanje a.d. (now Triglav Osiguruvanje AD, Skopje), from Macedonia, joined the Triglav Group.
Listing on the stock exchange
In 2008 the shares of Zavarovalnica Triglav were first quoted on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange. The same year the company was awarded an “A” rating by the Standard & Poor's Rating Services. In the year 2013 Triglav Group was assigned also rating by A.M.Best. Since 2009 Zavarovalnica Triglav has been focused on the profitability of core business, careful selection of insurance risks, consolidation of business functions and transfer of knowledge, with an aim to make full potential of the existing markets. All along this has been underpinned by continued development of effective risk management system.
In 2014, the governance and management of the Triglav Group’s subsidiaries was thoroughly reorganised, assigning a central role to Triglav INT (hereinafter: TINT). From the establishment of the holding company Triglav INT in 2010 to the beginning of February 2012, Zavarovalnica Triglav transferred its ownership shares in Triglav Group insurance subsidiaries outside Slovenia to Triglav INT. Until 2014, TINT was the legal owner of insurance subsidiaries, which were, however, actually managed by the parent company. After the governance of the Triglav Group was reorganised, TINT, as the holding company, took over all aspects of corporate management of insurance subsidiaries outside Slovenia.
In 2015, the acquisition of Skupna pokojninska družba d.d. took place, whilst the subsidiary Triglav Naložbe d.d. was merged to the parent company. Furthermore, the subsidiary Slovenijales d.d. was merged to the subsidiary Triglav, Upravljanje nepremičnin and the sale of the Czech insurance company Triglav Pojišt’ovna a.s., Brno was completed.
Today the Triglav Group is the leading insurance-financial group in Slovenia, in the Adria region and one of the leading groups in South-East Europe, where it is gaining ground and expanding its operations.