Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein

Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein is the principal shareholder of Vienna Insurance Group (VIG), the leading insurance group in its core markets in Austria and Central and Eastern Europe, and provides assistance to VIG for cultural and social concerns in accordance with its articles of association. Great importance is placed on cross-border cultural exchanges, and on cooperations and initiatives that provide support for socially active organisations. As principal shareholder and ultimate parent company of the VIG insurance group, Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein also deals with strategic policy issues of the Group.

Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein has the legal form of a mutual insurance association (Versicherungsverein auf Gegenseitigkeit) that has outsourced its insurance operations under the Austrian Insurance Supervision Act (VAG). As a result, in principle Wiener Städtische policyholders also become members of Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein when they take out an insurance policy. Members exercise their rights through the Member Council, which is the executive body of Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein with the highest authority. It consists of 40 to 60 persons. As of 31 December 2015, Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein had 1.364.151 members.

History

The roots of Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein date back to 1824 and 1839, when two mutual insurance institutions were founded. The year 1898 marked another milestone, when – based on a report of Vienna’s mayor Karl Lueger – the municipal council passed a resolution (on 11 February 1898) to establish a municipal life, old age, invalidity and pension insurance institution. Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein and, subsequently, Vienna Insurance Group and its subsidiaries emerged from these three insurance institutions.

© Foto: Votava

1824

Foundation of “Wechselseitige k.k. priv. Brandschadenversicherungsanstalt“ by Georg Ritter von Högelmüller. 364 personalities, including princes, counts, barons and industrialists as well as Church-related institutions such as monasteries and abbeys were involved in the foundation.

1839

On the initiative of the professor of mathematics Josef Salomon, Austria’s first life insurance company – “Allgemeine wechselseitige Capitalien- und Renten-Versicherungsanstalt“ – started operations in Vienna. The company was later renamed “Janus wechselseitige Lebensversicherungs-Anstalt“.

1898

On the occasion of the 50th jubilee of Emperor Francis Joseph I., Vienna’s municipal council passed a resolution to found the pension insurance institution “Städtische Kaiser Franz Joseph-Jubiläums-Lebens- und Rentenversicherungs-Anstalt“.

1919

After the collapse of the Danube monarchy, the name “Städtischen Kaiser Franz Joseph-Jubiläums-Lebens- und Rentenversicherungs-Anstalt“ was changed to “Gemeinde Wien – Städtische Versicherungsanstalt“.

1924

Merger of the previous “Wechselseitige k.k. priv. Brandschadenversicherungsanstalt“ with “Janus wechselseitige Lebensversicherungs-Anstalt“ to form “Wechselseitige Brandschaden und Janus allgemeine Versicherungs-Anstalt auf Gegenseitigkeit“. A leading fire insurer and a principal life insurance enterprise joined to become a powerful large universal insurance company.

1938

Merger of “Gemeinde Wien – Städtische Versicherungsanstalt“ with “Wechselseitige Brandschaden und Janus allgemeine Versicherungs-Anstalt auf Gegenseitigkeit“.

1938 - 1945

Dissolution of Church-related old age provision associations by the National Socialists. The assets of the dissolved associations were transferred to a transition body for associations of insurance and insurance-related institutions in the “Ostmark“ (“East March”, i.e. Austria after the annexation). After the merger, Wiener Städtische became the headquarters of a group with four subsidiaries. Among the associations dissolved, whose assets were transferred to Wiener Wechselseitige Krankenversicherungsanstalt, which was part of the Group, were the Krankenkasse des katholischen Klerus Österreichs, Salzburger Priesterkrankenkasse and Krankenversicherungsverein auf Gegenseitigkeit “Zur Pietät“

Contrary to the very clear instructions of the then regime, Wiener Städtische upheld its contracts with the Church during the National Socialist period.

1945

A small group of employees started to re-build the completely destroyed enterprise. In December 1947 the first meeting of the members’ representation took place, the company name was changed to “Wiener Städtische Wechselseitige Versicherungsanstalt“.

1992

In mid 1992 the entire insurance company was hived off and incorporated into “Wiener Städtische Allgemeine Versicherung Aktiengesellschaft“. “Wechselseitige“ continued to exist as “Wiener Städtische Wechselseitige Versicherungsanstalt – Vermögensverwaltung“ and performed the tasks of a financial holding company.

2005

Very successful capital increase with a volume of EUR 910 million on the Vienna Stock Exchange.

2008

The capital increase with a volume of EUR 1.14 billion was one of the largest and most successful capital increases of an insurance company in the history of the Vienna Stock Exchange. Since February 2008 the share has also been listed on the Prague Stock Exchange.

2009

The company name was changed to "VIENNA INSURANCE GROUP Wiener Städtische Versicherung AG".

2010

With effect 3 August 2010, the insurance operations were separated from the international activity of the Group. While the stock-listed Vienna Insurance Group AG Wiener Versicherung Gruppe is active at international level, Wiener Städtische Versicherung AG Vienna Insurance Group concentrates on the operating insurance business. As the largest individual company of the Group in Austria, it is responsible for the property and casualty, life and health insurance business.

Besides performing the usual international management tasks of a group holding company, Vienna Insurance Group AG Wiener Versicherung Gruppe is active in the reinsurance sector and the international wholesale insurance business. In 2010 Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein was renamed “Wiener Städtische Wechselseitiger Versicherungsverein – Vermögensverwaltung – Vienna Insurance Group”. At present it holds about 70% of the shares of Vienna Insurance Group AG Wiener Versicherung Gruppe (VIG).

In general each policyholder becomes a member of Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein by concluding an insurance contract with Wiener Städtische Versicherung AG. Exceptions not establishing membership are for example co-insurance and re-insurance contracts as well as insurance contracts with a term of less than one year.

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