Company history

UnipolSai Assicurazioni was officially founded in January 2014 after the merger of some of the most important and traditional Italian insurance companies: Unipol Assicurazioni, Fondiaria-Sai and Milano Assicurazioni, as well as Premafin, the financial holding of the former Fondiaria-Sai Group. Different origins and journeys through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and into the twenty-first, to then converge in a single common path aimed at providing security and protecting citizens with an insurance system that is able, first and foremost, to identify their needs and respond in the most convenient way while offering the best quality, respecting above all the original values – those of the Unipol Group – and guaranteeing transparency in economic activity with serious and rigorous forms of control.

Unipol Assicurazioni was founded in Bologna in 1963 as the insurance partner of cooperatives and the world of labour in the Non-Life business. In 1969, it began operating in the Life business as well. The Company’s history is marked by some significant steps, which in certain cases were particularly difficult and complex. The first turning point, which clearly demonstrates the diversity of Unipol as an insurance Company rooted in the values of the social economy and the world of labour, took place between 1972 and 1974 when the trade union confederations, Cgil, Cisl and Uil, and some of the SME industry organisations Cna, Cia and Confesercenti, entered the ownership structure. The seventies and eighties were years of growth in the Italian market, during which relations were created with other European insurance companies, especially French and Belgian mutual societies and German cooperatives.

Halfway through the 1980s, Unipol reached an important milestone: the listing of savings shares on the Stock Exchange, a veritable watershed which had become necessary to embark upon a new phase of investment and achieve the financial and capital strengthening that created the financial conditions for consolidation and subsequent acquisitions. In this period of great activity, whether the Legacoop cooperatives would maintain control over the Company was never questioned.

In the 1990s came the initial listing of ordinary shares, and then a consolidation of market share and additional development in the ownership structure. Unipol began to work in the area of supplementary pension schemes and manage pension funds. In the twenty-first century, it started the external growth strategy with the acquisition of other companies on the market. Their merger in 2004 led to the establishment of Aurora Assicurazioni, a subsidiary of Unipol Assicurazioni which therefore became the third largest Italian insurance group. The history of the other Companies that are now part of UnipolSai is an integral part of the Italian story: SAI, Società Assicuratrice Industriale, was founded in 1921 by a group of Turin and Milan industrialists with the main purpose of insuring industrial risks. La Fondiaria was founded in Florence in 1879 by French entrepreneurs and representatives of Florentine society. Already in their first decade they opened offices abroad in the main European capitals. Over time, they developed a strong and diversified presence in the insurance market, in addition to several real estate initiatives. The two companies merged on 31 December 2002 to become Fondiaria-Sai.
Milano Assicurazioni, founded in Milan in 1825, was one of the first insurance companies in Italy. It was established as the company of Milan businesses, and was specifically devoted to insuring industrial risks. Over the years, it extended its business to mass risks, offering insurance and investment solutions for the multiple and diversified needs of individuals, households and businesses. Finally, the holding company Premafin was established in 1986 and, through the merger of several Companies, in subsequent years acquired a controlling interest in SAI and a significant amount of real estate assets; it gained control over La Fondiaria in 2001.