Time passes

For nearly 200 years, we have safeguarded life, health and assets for our customers. It started with the establishment of mutual fire insurers in 1816. Forty years later, Ole Jacob Broch founded the life insurance company Gjensidige. And even now, 200 years later, we continue to evolve through newly established operations in Denmark, Sweden and the Baltic countries.

A passionate enthusiast, Broch developed the company together with – and for – the customers. An extraordinary eagerness to ensure customer satisfaction has dominated our culture and organisation throughout two centuries, contributing to continuous improvements and solid returns.

Our ability to adapt to various business, industry and societal needs forms the basis for our present and future competitiveness.

A new country (1816-)

At the beginning of the 19th century, a new optimism prevailed in Norway. Value creation increased in agriculture and industry. Securing assets became more important, and people and organisations recognised the need to stand together in the case of unfortunate events. As many as 260 mutual fire insurers were established all over the country. Most of them are part of Gjensidige Forsikring today.

Depression (1917-)

After World War I, Norway was hit by an economic crisis. Many mutual fire insurers had taken on too great risks, and a major fire could prove fatal. In order to safeguard customers’ assets and the mutual fire insurers’ finances, the reinsurance company Samtrygd (Norwegian mutual insurance association) was founded.

A symbol of security (1932-)

In the 1930s we introduced the Watchman symbol together with the slogan ‘Time passes – Gjensidige endures’. The Watchman quickly became a symbol of security, for our customers and among the Norwegian population in general. The slogan continues to be a part of the Norwegian language. The Watchman remains one of the most recognised logos in Norway, and the symbol is associated with security throughout the Nordic and Baltic countries. A simplified Watchman logo was introduced in December 2012, together with a new overall visual identity developed to fit digital channels.

Rebuilding the country (1950-)

The 1950s were characterised by the rebuilding after World War II. The customers’ insurance needs changed. In order to meet this need, Samtrygd was licensed in all industries in 1958.

Turbulent times (1970-)

The 1970s were characterised by financial unrest, and the insurance industry was made subject to more stringent control. Despite the challenging times, our sound finances and foresight allowed us take good care of our customers. In order to obtain an even better position during this period, Samtrygd and Livsforsikringsselskapet Gjensidige entered into collaboration under the name Gjensidige Forsikring in 1974. Eleven years later, the companies began operating under a joint management.

Up to the present (1990-)

National and international mergers characterised the Norwegian finance industry in the 1990s. We acquired Forenede, and in 1999, we merged with Sparebanken NOR to form Gjensidige NOR. The collaboration was discontinued in the years leading up to 2005. We reclaimed the name Gjensidige Forsikring and re-introduced a blue Watchman logo, for the first time facing us.

In order to better serve the customers, we expanded our services to include a wider range of insurance, banking and financial products. A regional structure was replaced by a united Gjensidige organised in divisions. We set up business in Denmark, Sweden and the Baltics. In 2007, Gjensidigestiftelsen (the Gjensidige Foundation) was established. The foundation is now the main shareholder in Gjensidige Forsikring ASA.

Continuous development (2010-)

Gjensidige’s history is about a company managing continuous change. In 2010, the company was listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. As Norway’s second-largest finance company and one of the leading general insurance companies in the Nordic region, we employ more than 3,000 people. We offer general insurance to customers in Norway, Denmark, Sweden and the Baltic. In Norway we also offer banking services and pension agreements.