War puts its stamp on business - new insurance needs

Since Germany overran Poland in 1939 the business of the insurance sector was characterized by the risks associated with the war. Doing business in war time meant obeying the principle - "minimize the new dangers and take maximum advantage of new business opportunities". The repercussions of the war were detrimental to business as a whole and at the end of the war Allianz was just about on the brink of ruin. Even so, up to 1943 the company had managed to increase its profits by a considerable margin.

Schoolchildren’s calendar from Allianz Leben, 1940-41

The most important and profitable lines of business were marine, construction, industrial fire and life insurance. In order to meet the rising demands of policyholders insurance pools were formed that covered major war-related risks. Material damage that resulted directly from hostilities were not covered. Furthermore, supplementary premiums were charged. Life insurance carriers introduced an allocation system and individual risk surcharges.

In this way Allianz was able to keep its earnings stable up to around 1943, although the number of war dead for whom life insurance benefits had to be paid increased more than fourfold in the period from 1941 to 1943.

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