Hibernian General Insurance Ltd
Hibernian General Insurance was established on May 28 1908 as the Hibernian Fire & General Insurance Company Ltd. The company started as a fire insurer, initially concentrating on public authority business from the Dublin Corporation, and has undergone a number of changes in the period since.
Cover of Hibernian annual report, 1943
In 1925, the Guardian Assurance Company Ltd purchased a majority shareholding in the company and, by 1931, it was offering fire, accident, motor, fidelity guarantee and plate glass insurance. In 1940, the company started to transact engineering business and, in 1946, added marine insurance in partnership with the Irish National Insurance Company Ltd.
In 1935, Guardian Assurance sold the company to a consortium of Irish firms, including the Bank of Ireland. In 1964, the Commercial Union Assurance Company Ltd acquired the majority shareholding from the Bank of Ireland and, in May 1966, changed the company's name to the Hibernian Insurance Company Ltd. By 1969, Commercial Union owned 99.9% of shares in the company.
Following acquisition by Commercial Union, the company ceased operating in Northern Ireland and took over Commercial Union's business and subsidiaries in the Republic of Ireland. By 1973, as well as offering fire, accident and marine insurance, the company was managing an investment portfolio consisting of cash, stocks, shares and property.
In 1979, a consortium of Irish investors acquired the majority shareholding in the company while Commercial Union retained a 30% share. In 1982, the company was authorised to commence business in the UK and, in 1984, changed its name to Hibernian Insurance plc.
In May 1986, the company was purchased by the Hibernian Group plc. On 4 November 1999, it was acquired by CGU Insurance plc, which had been formed following the merger of Commercial Union and the General Accident Fire and Life Assurance Corporation Ltd. The company's name changed to Hibernian General Insurance Ltd on 2 October 2000.
|1908||The company is established|
|1925||The Guardian Assurance Company purchases a majority shareholding|
|1935||Guardian Assurance sells the company to a consortium of Irish companies|
|1964||The Commercial Union Assurance Company acquires a majority shareholding|
|1966||Name changes to the Hibernian Insurance Company|
|1979||A consortium of Irish investors acquires the majority shareholding|
|1984||Name changes to Hibernian Insurance plc|
|1986||The company is purchased by the Hibernian Group|
|1999||The company is acquired by CGU Insurance|
|2000||Name changes to Hibernian General Insurance|
Did you know...?
Hibernian policy header, 1918
- The first chairman of the company was Alderman William F Cotton who, at the time, was also managing director of the Alliance and Dublin Gas Consumers Company Limited. He also held directorships in the Hibernian Bank and the Dublin United Tramway Company.
- Jack McGowran worked for the company before embarking on a successful film and stage career. He became a distinguished member of the Abbey Theatre Company and was regarded as one of the finest interpreters of Samuel Beckett's works, particularly his one-man plays.
- Gordon Wood, Irish and Lions rugby international and father of the celebrated Irish hooker Keith Wood, was a general inspector at the company's head office.
- Eamonn Andrews, who hosted the popular and long-running Independent Television show "This is Your Life", worked for the company for a number of years before starting his television career.
Subsidiaries and constituents*
|1946||Irish Marine Pool Ltd (established with the Irish National Insurance Company)|
|1937 - by 1970||Irish Freehold & Leasehold Investment Company|
|1965 - by 1970||Hibernian Trustee Company Ltd|
|1975||Hibernian Insurance Property Company Ltd (jointly owned with CU Properties (UK) Ltd)|
|1981 - 1985||Life Association of Ireland|
|1986||Policy Investment Trust Ltd|
|1986||Turner Underwriting Agencies Ltd|
|1988||Hibernian Investment Managers|
|1988||Hibernian Reinsurance Ltd|
|1988||Hibernian Risk Management (joint venture with Commercial Union)|
|1985 - 1995||Hallmark Insurance Company Ltd|
|1990 - 2006||Ark Life|
* Please note the first date given is the date of the establishment of the company and the second date is the date the company was acquired or became a subsidiary. Where only one date is given the company was established as a subsidiary of the parent company. Where one date is preceded by a hyphen the date of the establishment of the company is not known.
Head office premises
|1908 - 1919||49 Dame Street, Dublin (48 Dame Street was purchased in 1918 and the new building opened in 1919)|
|1919 - 1938||48-49 Dame Street, Dublin (46 and 47 Dame Street were purchased in 1938)|
|1938 - 1965||46-49 Dame Street, Dublin (the enlarged offices were opened on the same site in 1954)|
|1965 - 1983||Hawkins House, Hawkins Street, Dublin|
|1983 - 2006||Haddington Road, Dublin|
|2006 -||One Park Place, Hatch Street, Dublin|
Staff and officials
|by 1924 -1926||W A R Cruise (also secretary)|
|1926 - 1931||P J O'Sullivan (also secretary)|
|1931 - 1946||W Craig Martin (also secretary)|
|1946 - 1957||J W Gallagher|
|1958 - 1964||P J Smyth (joint general manager from 1963)|
|1963 - 1964||James Beggs (joint general manager)|
|1964 - 1973||David Weston|
|1973 - 1975||Leslie W Hammick|
|1975 - 1977||Ian H Heatley|
|1977 - 1995||Eamon F Walsh|
|1995 - 1999||Adrian Daly|
|1999 - 2002||Patrick McGorrian|
|2002 - 2007||Brian Jenkins|
|2007 -||Stuart Purdy|
|1908 - by 1926||W A R Cruise (also general manager)|
|1926 - 1931||P J O'Sullivan (also general manager)|
|1931 - 1946||W Craig Martin (also general manager)|
|by 1951 - 1957 at least||James Beggs|
|by 1968 - 1986 at least||Edmund MacHugh|
Hibernian proposal, 1978
- Alderman William F Cotton
- D J Cogan
- Alderman Patrick W Corrigan
- Alderman Sir Joseph Downes
- William Field MP (President of the Irish Cattle Traders' and Stock Owners' Association)
- Richard Jones (Chairman of the District Lunatic Asylum)
- John Mulligan (Director of the Hibernian Bank)
- George W Strahan
- James Walker
Home branches and agencies
- Cork (1910)
- Dundalk (1911)
- Limerick (1919)
- Kilkenny (1944)
- Sligo (1944)
- Waterford (1944)
- The company had a total of 27 branches in Ireland by 1967.
Hibernian logo, 1965
- Belfast, Northern Ireland (1909)
- Derry, Northern Ireland (1931)
- Paris, France (by 1945)
- Johannesburg, South Africa (by 1945)
- Sydney, Australia (by 1945)
- North America (by 1945)
- Canada (by 1945)
- Salisbury (Harare), Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) (by 1956)
- Lusaka, Nyasaland (Zambia) (by 1956)
- London, United Kingdom (1983)
- Antwerp, Belgium (by 1957)
- London, United Kingdom (by 1957)
- Liverpool, United Kingdom (by 1957)
- Amsterdam, Netherlands (by 1957)
- Hamburg, Germany (by 1957)
Hibernian Insurance Company - A century of Insurance 1908 - 2007 (by Paul Mulhern. 2008).
In the archive
The Aviva archive contains records relating to the running of Hibernian General Insurance between 1964 and 2002. The collection includes annual reports and accounts, marketing material, press cuttings, agreements and reports.
Further material relating to Hibernian General Insurance is held within the business in Ireland. Contact the Aviva Group archive for more details.