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The Swedish insurance distribution system, different ownership forms and cartels
Uppsala universitet, Ekonomisk-historiska institutionen, Uppsala Centre for Business History.
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, ENTER forum. Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Business Studies.
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Swedish insurance companies developed – in line with other Scandinavian

countries – an unique kind of distribution system for selling insurance products. The

origin of the Swedish insurance market was built on inspiration from in particular from

United Kingdom and Germany when the first joint-stock company Skandia was founded

in the 1850s. Swedish insurers copied among other things, insurance contracts,

premium calculation schemes and organising agent networks. In line with these

corporations, each insurance company established regionally based networks of agents

with a general agent and a large number of subordinated agents. However, in the

Scandinavian setting, the emergency of independent brokers was haltered by an

interesting dilemma. Early on, agents used something called ‘returned commission’

where they offered potential customers to get a portion of the agents’s commission. This

often led to that customers signed life insurance contracts with higher insurance sums

and after some time the could not keep on paying the premium and had to cancel the

contract. Due to the social element of life insurance, and the existence of so-called

returned commission, cancelled contracts could jeopardize the legitimacy of the entire

market. The only measure – according to the trade organizations – to control the agents

was to keep the system with that each insurers had their own employed agents. Thereby,

the emergency of independent brokers did not developed on the Swedish insurance

market.

In this paper we will follow the distribution system for the insurance industry during

the 19th and 20th centuries until today and describe how the system was relative stable

until the 1980s through legislation but also supported by formal cartelization and

gentlemen’s agreement on the market. In particular one cartel agreement, that was

implemented in the 1910s that focused on the agent system that changed repeatedly

until the 1980s – and fundament of the entire distribution system – will be discussed.

The paper will focus on the major changes that occurred from the 1980s and onwards,

in particular in connection of the accession to the European Union in the 1990s that

entirely changed the distribution system on the market.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
National Category
Economics and Business
Research subject
Politics, Economy and the Organization of Society
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-33536OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-33536DiVA: diva2:1146571
Conference
XII Congreso de la AEHE (Spanish Economic History Congress), Salamanca, Spain, 6-9 September 2017
Projects
Ömsesidighet i den svenska försäkringsmodellen
Funder
Länsförsäkringar AB, Samfinansierat av Folksams forskningsstiftelse och Skandias forskningsstiftelse
Available from: 2017-10-03 Created: 2017-10-03 Last updated: 2017-10-04Bibliographically approved

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Lönnborg, Mikael

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
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