Aviva Group companies had a long history in the Belgian insurance industry and were even able to help in the war effort during the First World War.
On July 14, the Northern Assurance Company, later part of the Commercial Union Assurance Company, appoints George Hay of Antwerp agent for Belgium.
The Norwich Union Life Insurance Society appoints Mr G Duckerts as agent for Belgium in Brussels.
The North British & Mercantile Insurance Company, later part of Commercial Union, appoints its first Antwerp agent.
In August, Commercial Union appoints Balthazar Tessaro agent for Belgium. The Norwich Union Fire Insurance Society appoints Messrs O’Mara as the company’s first Belgian agent.
On April 16, Mr Dhanis is appointed agent for North British & Mercantile in Antwerp. Commercial Union takes premiums worth £385 in Belgium.
On March 25, Stanislas H Haine replaces Balthazar Tessaro as the Belgian agent for Commercial Union. The company will later change its name to Haine & Morant.
On November 7, Commercial Union appoints Vanderpeerboom & Cuelemons agent for Belgium.
Norwich Union Life appoints Mr L Vandermeersch as an agent.
On September 17, Commercial Union appoints Stanislas H Haine as their agent once more to replace Vanderpeerboom & Cuelemons. L’Abeille Bourguignonne, later part of Commercial Union, appoints its first agent for Belgium.
Commercial Union takes £1,287 worth of premiums in Belgium.
Norwich Union Fire appoints Leon Vandermeersch as agent for Antwerp.
The Palatine Insurance Company Ltd, later part of Commercial Union, establishes a Belgian agency under Mund & Fester.
Commercial Union’s annual Belgian premiums reach £1,419. Leon Vandersmeerch, agent for Norwich Union Life, has offices at Place de la Comedie, Antwerp.
Belgian insurer Les Provinces Reunies, later part of Commercial Union, is established as a specialist in agricultural hail insurance.
Union Assurance Society, later part of Commercial Union, establishes an agency in Belgium. Norwich Union Life agent, Leon Vandermeersch, has now moved offices to 22 rue D’aremburg, Antwerp.
On January 25, Leon Vandermeersch, already agent for Norwich Union Fire, is appointed agent for the Scottish Union & National Insurance Company, which later becomes part of Norwich Union. The South British Insurance Company, later part of General Accident, is now operating fire business in Belgium.
Les Provinces Unis extends its business to livestock insurance.
The South British Fire Office appoints Mr Haine as agent for Antwerp.
Norwich Union Fire appoints Martroye & Luth agent for Belgium.
Norwich Union Life now has a branch in Antwerp, at 60 Place de Meir, under the management of Mr J Anckaert. The branch moves shortly afterwards to 30 rue Leys.
On February 10, the Yorkshire Insurance Company Ltd, later part of General Accident, appoints Mr Haine as agent for Antwerp and takes £203 worth of premiums in the first year.
General Accident opens a branch in Antwerp taking a suite of three rooms at 12 and 14 rue Leys. The company writes all classes of business. Ocean Marine Insurance Company Ltd appoints Mr Math von Bernuth of Antwerp as an agent.
General Accident appoints Francois Thys manager for Belgium.
On March 8, the Belgian government appoints General Accident to transact Workmen’s Compensation business under a Royal Decree. The Belgian agency for the British General Insurance Company, later part of Commercial Union, is now under Debenham & Co L’Abeille opens a branch for accident insurance in Brussels at 44 Charles Granier.
In January, in common with other companies providing accident and sickness insurance, General Accident includes dispensary, dressing and operating rooms in its offices. According to a company magazine at the time, there are now 385 insurance companies operating in Belgium – 153 transacting marine risks and 90 taking care of accident business.
The National Insurance Company of Great Britain Ltd, later part of Commercial Union, appoints Mr O Godar agent for Belgium.
General Accident acquires the Belgian accident business of Royal Exchange.
La Brabanconne Société Anonyme Belge d’Assurances, later to become part of General Accident, is established. By this date, General Accident has moved to larger offices at "Café Canterbury", 14 Place de Meir, which they had previously purchased and demolished to make way for new offices.
On February 6, the National of Great Britain opens a new agency under Maritime Internationale. The staff at General Accident now comprises Mr Thys, Manager; Dr de Marbaix, Head of Medical; Mr Meulenberghs, Chief Loss Manager and Mr Kinart, Underwriter.
On September 14, General Accident formally opens a new head office for the whole of Belgium at 14 Place de Meir, Antwerp. The building costs £54,000, including the freehold. According to an article in the company magazine, the “heating, ventilation, and sanitary arrangements are of the most modern, and replete with every comfort.” Premium income for General Accident in Belgium now exceeds £200,000 a year.
The German occupying authorities seal the safe in the General Accident offices in Antwerp. However, the staff creep in at night and break in to take back vital records without the Germans ever finding out. Back in Britain, General Accident are deeply involved in helping the Belgian refugees, going so far as to hand over space in the company’s London offices to the cause. This space is used as a base for the Belgian Refugees Committee and visited by many Belgian refugees and soldiers during the war years.
In June, General Accident staff are expelled from their Antwerp building by the German authorities. The premises are eventually sold by the occupying authorities to the Dresdner Bank.
On April 10, the Edinburgh Assurance Company, later part of Commercial Union, appoints Lloyd Royal Belge as Belgian agent. The General Accident Belgian staff, who had remained loyal throughout the war, move back into their offices as soon as the occupation ends. Henri Elebaers is their new manager. On October 1, Palatine appoints Gellatley Hankey agent for Belgium and, on October 23, the same firm is also appointed agent for British General.
Commercial Union opens a branch in Belgium under the management of former agent Mr Haine. Mr Kirkhofs is appointed manager of the Liege branch of General Accident while Norwich Union Fire appoints Martroye & Luth & Varlez & Marx as agent for Brussels. The Ocean Accident & Guarantee Corporation Ltd and La Paix, both later part of Commercial Union, first start business in Belgium.
In September, North British & Mercantile opens a branch in Belgium. Norwich Union Life appoints Martroye & Luth & Varlez & Marx, already agent for Norwich Union Fire, as new agent. Francis Norie-Miller of General Accident is awarded the Medaille du Roi Albert for his assistance to Belgian war refugees.
On August 11, Club GAFLAC of Belgium is founded “to broaden and consolidate the bonds of fellowship by the organisation of debating meetings and other social functions”. General Accident purchases a new office in Ghent at 15 rue Courte du Marais. The company’s manager for Belgium, Mr Elbaers, earns 87,500 francs per annum. The English Insurance Company Ltd are represented in Antwerp by Messrs Van Den Abeele & Hayen.
North British & Mercantile opens another branch in Belgium.
General Accident opens a sub branch in Brussels at 5 Place de Brouckere. The Scottish Union & National Insurance Company appoints Alphonse Gerene as an agent while the Royal Scottish Insurance Company, later part of Commercial Union, establishes an accident agency in Antwerp. The office is managed by Mr Pottieuw.
On June 27, the Edinburgh appoints Mr F A Knight agent for Belgium.
General Accident has six sub-branches in Belgium.
They are situated at 5 Place de Brouckere in Brussels, under Mr A Hubert; 15 Courte Rue de Marais in Ghent, under Mr J Van Hoecke; 9 Rue de Dominicains in Liege, under Mr P Kerkhofs; 34 Rue David in Verviers, under Mr A Stevens; 91 Chaussee d'Asscge in Enghien, Hainaut, under Mr G Suys; 15 Rue Mathieu in Namur, under Mr M Hubert and 7 Place Leopold in Limbourg, Hasselt, under Mr Gustave Van Houtven.
The L’Abeille Belgian offices move to rue de Ligne while La Paix opens a branch under Paul R Nancey.
On September 1, the Union Assurance Society opens an agency under Alphonse Gerene.
In November, the Northern opens an agency under Deckers & Mackelbert. A Hubert resigns from the Brussels office of General Accident and is replaced by Mr A Plas.
On March 28, Palatine replaces previous agent H & R Fester with Compt. d'Assurances Bracht.
By this date, the Railway Passengers Assurance Company, later part of Commercial Union, has offices in Belgium.
On March 11, the National Insurance Company of Great Britain appoints Mr Eiffe as an agent in Belgium.
Robert Galland is appointed manager for L’Abeille in Belgium, a position he will hold until 1970.
On May 29, the Northern appoints Mr F A Knight as an agent for Belgium.
On August 2, Mr Elebaers dies. He is replaced as manager of General Accident in Belgium by A Plas.
The Belgian offices of L’Abeille move to rue Royale. Mr St Laurence is appointed manager of Ocean Accident in Belgium.
Les Provinces Unis opens new offices at 6 Avenue des Arts. The premises houses the company’s 214 employees.
On July 1, Jean Van Eeckout, the son-in-law of Mr Elbaers, replaces A. Plas as Belgian manager of General Accident.
L’Abeille Compagnie Anonyme Belge d’Assurances, a Belgian subsidiary of L’Abeille, is formed.
By this date, the General Accident sub branch at Liege has moved to 13 Boulevard d’Avvroy while the Hainaut branch has been relocated to 84 Boulevard P Mayence, Charleroi.
North British & Mercantile moves to new offices at 39 Avenue des Arts.
Mr L E Ahlberg is now manager of North British. His deputy is Mr L A Harris while the Assistant Manager is Mr A de Leeuw. The company also had a branch at Antwerp, where the manager is the great grandson of the company’s original agent.
The Yorkshire takes a 53 per cent share in La Brabanconne, a non-life subsidiary.
The registered address of La Brabanconne is 24 rue de L’association, Bruxelles.
The managing director of La Brabanconne is Mr F de Strycker. Mr. de Strycker is also one of the two partners in Deckers Assurances – the Yorkshire’s agents in Brussels – who operate from the same address but with different staff.
L’Abeille appoints Mr Jean Guerin manager for Belgium.
Les Provinces Reunies merges with Commercial Union. The managing director is Mr L Billiet while the deputy manager is Mr J Abeloos and the assistant manager is Mr G Muller.
Ocean Accident celebrates its golden jubilee in Belgium. The company is now sharing offices with North British & Mercantile at 39 Avenue des Arts. Ocean Accident and North British & Mercantile are the only two companies from the Commercial Union group operating branches in the country. The Northern and the Commercial Union operate through agencies. Ocean Accident, under Mr K J Walker, has seven branches in Belgium, Antwerp, Bruges, Charleroi, Genk, Ghent, Liege and Louvain, with a local office at Tournai. Primarily involved in liability, motor, public liability and workmen’s compensation, the company has a total staff in Belgium of 270, which includes many women in relatively senior positions.
La Brabanconne’s offices move to 31/33 rue Montoyer.
Norwich Union Life establishes a branch in Belgium.
Norwich Union Fire establishes a branch in Belgium.
On April 1, the Norwich Union Group opens new offices in Nationalstraat, Antwerp.
The Belgian branch of Norwich Union Fire is closed.
In July, Delta Lloyd Life is created from the merger of CGU Life, OHRA Belgium Life and Norwich Union Life. Delta Lloyd Bank is also created from the merger of Bankunie and Bank Van Limburg and acquires Bank Nagelmackers.
Bank Nagelmackers is integrated into the business of Delta Lloyd Bank.
In January 2013 Aviva sells its remaining shareholding in Delta Lloyd for £353 million