Assicurazioni Generali SpA

generali logo

There are probably few prizes for guessing that this is the name of an Italian group of companies - but it is an Italian company with a long and illustrious history.

What is today known as Assicurazioni Generali was founded as long ago as 1831 under the full name of Imperial Regia Privilegiata Compagnia di Assicurazioni Generali Austro-Italiche. Its headquarters were in Trieste, which at that time was the principal sea port of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Thanks to its strategic location, the company soon became one of the most significant insurance companies not only in Italy but throughout Central Europe.

Indeed, it may be a little known fact that the author Franz Kafka worked in the company's offices in the Czechoslovak capital of Prague for nine months between November 1907 and July 1908.

In 1848 the company adopted its shortened name of Assicurazioni Generali and adopted the lion of St Mark as its logo - a logo that continues to be used today. Its first shares, offered on the stock exchange in Trieste, were issued in 1857.

The company suffered the loss of significant assets in Central and Eastern Europe during the Second World War, at the conclusion of which its headquarters were transferred from Trieste to Rome in 1945.

The post-war years saw the beginning of an enormous expansion of the company's activities outside of Italy.

By 1971 the company was sufficiently recognised around the world for it to shorten its name once again - simply to Generali.

1997 continued to see the expansion of the company as it acquired the Israeli Migdal group, the German insurer AMB and a further three French companies. Into the new millennium, Generali set up operations in China, India and acquired the Italian Toro Group.

By 2010, Generali had become the second largest insurance group in the world in terms of revenue - second only to AXA.

Landlord insurance

Throughout the years, landlords have needed insurance cover - principally against the potentially devastating risk of fire and other incidents that might lead to the damage or destruction of the buildings they own.

With the rise of many buy to let businesses in the UK, the need for landlord insurance is no less acute. In the modern world, however, this protection also typically extends to such risks as claims on the property owner's liability, his or her liability as an employer, or the loss of rental income following an insured event.

Generali landlord insurance

In the UK, Generali maintains its headquarters in London, but has also had offices in Birmingham for many years. It is planning to open a further regional office in Manchester.

With respect to property insurance, the company claims a speciality in offering products on a corporate and commercial basis, but describes its principal areas of work to be "multinational programmes".

Generali does not market the type of landlord insurance likely to be of interest to Britain's smaller and medium sized buy to let businesses.