Gothaer Insurance Bank

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Gothaer Insurance Bank VVaG

legal form Mutual insurance association
founding July 2, 1820
Seat Cologne , Germany
management Oliver Schoeller
Number of employees 4,744 (2019)
sales EUR 4.52 billion (2019)
Branch Insurance

Headquarters in Cologne

The Gothaer insurance VVaG is an insurance company with headquarters in Cologne , the Gothaer insurance bank headed by mutuals stands.

History of origin

The first “Gothaer Fire Insurance Bank” was established in 1779; it was reorganized in 1820 by the merchant Ernst-Wilhelm Arnoldi in the eponymous city of Gotha as the first German mutual insurance association based on the English model. In March 1817 Arnoldi published a “proposal for a league among German factories”, which aimed at founding an all-German industrial association , but also contained ideas on joint fire insurance. During a business trip in Cologne in 1818, Arnoldi found a large boracite in the rubble that gave him the idea of fire insurance . On August 18, 1818, several Gotha companies signed their proposals for the establishment of a fire insurance bank, on July 2, 1820 the statutes were adopted - according to Gotha law at the time, that was the date of foundation. On July 9, 1827, Duke Ernst I of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha approved the plan to establish a life insurance bank for Germany, and in January 1902 it was renamed Gothaer Mutual Life Insurance Bank .

Between May 5 and May 8, 1842, the Hamburg fire caused the first major damage to Gotha. Hamburg's inner city was destroyed by the conflagration. Gothaer Feuer, at that time the main affected German fire insurance company, paid around 1.4 million thalers as compensation within three years. For the first time - and at the same time for the last time - the members had to pay 93% of the annual fee as an additional payment. A fire that lasted several days in Memel put the Gotha fire to the test again on October 4, 1854, when 800,000 thalers had to be paid in compensation. No additional payment was made, but the premium refund was not applicable for this year. The "Gothaer Lebensversicherungsbank" developed a special form for medical examinations ( health certificate ) in 1868 . In 1878 the bank insured 150,000 members a sum of 2.7 billion marks with a premium reimbursement of 80%. Business was stimulated by 950 agencies. For the first time, Gothaer Feuer took out reinsurance . Gothaer Feuer joined the Association of German Private Fire Insurance Companies as the first mutual in 1883, and in 1900 it joined the premium cartel of private fire insurance companies operating in Germany. In 1913, the insured sums reached 7.4 billion marks with a reimbursement of 74%. Gothaer Allgemeine Versicherungs-Aktiengesellschaft was founded in 1924 for the developing motor vehicle business, and Gothaer Transport is set up in Cologne. The companies were intertwined with mutual holdings. One spoke for the first time of the "Gothaer" group . Gothaer Feuer took over Gothaer Motor Vehicle and Transport Insurance AG in 1940 and thus became a composite insurer for the first time , at the same time Gothaer Transport Insurance was renamed Gothaer Transport and Reinsurance AG . In February 1945, as a result of the war, the Gotha insurance building was destroyed.

Centralization to Cologne

Kaiser-Wilhelm-Ring 23 - Gothaer Insurance Bank from 1946 (around 1900)
The building of the former Gothaer Lebensversicherung in Gothaer Bahnhofstrasse, now the Museum of the German Insurance Industry and the seat of two Thuringian courts
Museum of the German Insurance Industry in Gotha

With the change of crew in July 1945, the most decisive chapter in Gotha's history began. This was expressed at the first unification party congress of the KPD and SPD to the SED held in Gotha in April 1946. The two Gotha insurance banks, among others, fell victim to the “anti-fascist-democratic upheaval”. They felt compelled to move their headquarters to Cologne and Göttingen . After Gothaer Feuerversicherung was no longer allowed to operate in the Soviet-occupied Gotha due to nationalization of the insurance industry in 1945, it moved its headquarters to Cologne on April 8, 1946 and moved into a former villa on Kaiser-Wilhelm , which was completed in 1888 as "Gothaer Feuerversicherung" - Ring No. 23-25. It had already moved its headquarters here in 1943, while at the same time the life insurance company moved to Göttingen. Between 1946 and 1950 the holdings of Dresdner Feuerversicherung were taken over, which met the same fate as Gothaer.

Growth phase

The Gothaer Group grew steadily through the acquisition of smaller insurance companies and the establishment of its own companies. In 1957 he took a stake in Roland legal protection insurance , in January 1961 he founded Kölnische Sachversicherung AG , in 1965 he acquired a stake in Aachener Bausparkasse , and in 1967 in Nothilfe Krankenversicherung VaG . In 1968 the Gothaer Insurance Group was formed by Gothaer Leben / Gothaer Allgemeine (Göttingen) and Gothaer Feuer / Gothaer Transport und Rück (Cologne) with mutual participation of the parent companies in the subsidiaries (each 26% of the share capital). In 1980 Gothaer Krankenversicherung AG was established . In January 1991, Gothaer Allgemeine also moved its headquarters to Cologne.

This growth had an impact on the Cologne location, so that between 1994 and 1996 architect Paul Petry constructed new buildings on the former Pohlig industrial site in Cologne-Zollstock , Gothaer Allee 1–3. The in July 1997 with the Berlin-Cologne insurance organized group formed under the name "Parium" was established in September 2001 to the Cologne Gothaer insurance bank merged, the Gothaer Lebensversicherung also moved in January 2006, their headquarters to Cologne-inch floor (Arnoldiplatz 1). All parent companies and the group headquarters are now based in Cologne. As a result, the former Göttingen headquarters lost its status and became a Göttingen site . In addition to some general administrative areas, part of the operational business of Gothaer Health and Life Insurance remained at the Göttingen location.

Business areas

The group companies offer insurance products from the property / casualty, health and life lines through their employed and independent sales force , through brokers and through direct sales . Gothaer insures industrial, corporate and private customers. Another business segment is the capital and investment business.

The entire Gothaer Group is one of the largest German insurance companies, with premium income of 4.52 billion euros and around 4.1 million insured members (as of May 2020). The largest company in the group is Gothaer Allgemeine Versicherung AG, with premium income of around 2.15 billion euros (2019 financial year). The IT Gothaer is from the 1994 Gothaer Systems maintained.

In 2005, Gothaer outsourced part of the application processing to Gothaer Kunden-Service-Center GmbH (GKC). This company, based in Cologne-Mülheim, was not part of the employers' association either. At the same time, the Berlin, Dortmund and Frankfurt branches were closed. Approx. 370 employees lost their jobs. According to media reports, the GKC pushed back 200,000 business transactions during the conversion phase. The cause was the hopeless excessive demands on the employees. In 2011 it was admitted that the wrong priorities had been set and that the cost targets could not be met. Gothaer acquired MLP Versicherung AG and renamed the company Janitos Versicherung AG, based in Heidelberg . In 2005 the industrial business of Inter Allgemeine Versicherung AG was also taken over.


Gothaer has had its head office for many decades and all of its parent companies in Cologne for several years. Here are the Gothaer insurance VVaG , the Gothaer Allgemeine Versicherung AG , the Gothaer Lebensversicherung AG and Gothaer health insurance AG located on the former industrial site of the J. Pohlig AG. Behind the term "Pohlig-Terrain" in Zollstock hides the former premises of the PHB-Weserhütte (42,840 m²), the wallpaper factory Flamersheim (22,855 m²) as well as the railway area (4,604 m²) and the marble hammes craft business (3,380 m²).

Other locations are in Göttingen as well as in Hamburg , Stuttgart ( competence center for business customers ) and in Berlin ( Gothaer Schaden-Service-Center ). In the course of the centralization of the group, however, these are becoming increasingly less important. Gothaer is represented at over 30 locations nationwide with a sales and / or brokerage office.

Group structure

Majority stake

  • Gothaer Versicherungsbank VVaG, Cologne (parent company)
  • Gothaer Finanzholding AG, Cologne (95%)
  • Gothaer Allgemeine Versicherung AG, Cologne (100%)
  • Gothaer Lebensversicherung AG, Cologne (100%)
  • Gothaer Krankenversicherung AG, Cologne (100%)
  • Gothaer Pensionskasse AG, Cologne (100%)
  • Gothaer Asset-Management AG, Cologne (100%)
  • Gothaer Schaden Service Center GmbH, Berlin (100%)
  • Gothaer Customer Service Center GmbH, Cologne (100%)
  • Gothaer Invest- und Finanz Service GmbH, Cologne (100%)
  • Gothaer Risk Management GmbH (100%)
  • Gothaer Digital GmbH (100%)
  • Asstel Lebensversicherung AG, Cologne (100%)
  • Asstel ProKunde Versicherungskonzepte GmbH, Cologne (100%)
  • Asstel Sachversicherung AG, Cologne (100%)
  • Janitos Versicherung AG, Heidelberg (100%)
  • Gothaer Systems GmbH, Cologne (100%)
  • ASI Wirtschaftsberatung AG, Münster (100%)
  • Hamburg-Kölner Vermögensverwaltung GmbH, Cologne (100%)
  • CG Car-Garantie Versicherungs-AG, Freiburg (67%)
  • MediExpert GmbH, Cologne

Other holdings

Merger attempt with Baloise

After the Financial Times Deutschland published detailed plans for a possible merger of the Gothaer Group with the Baloise on January 31, 2008 , this intention, as well as a simultaneous due diligence review, was confirmed by a joint press release from both groups. On February 15, 2008 the negotiations were declared to have failed because the corporations could not agree on the commercial framework.


In June 2013, criticism was loud that Gothaer was systematically blocking tariff changes within private health insurance . The company would unsettle customers who want to switch to a cheaper tariff and would not provide sufficient information. The company has rejected this criticism. All points that are important in the course of the consultation would be addressed. "This includes, in particular, the needs of the customer, including information on the effects of tariff changes."

Web links

Commons : Gothaer  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Gothaer Group: Annual Report 2019 (PDF) Retrieved on July 21, 2020 .
  2. ^ Hans-Ulrich Wehler : German history of society . 2005, p. 118
  3. Julia Caroline Scherpe: The principle of the risk community in private insurance law . 2011, p. 64
  4. ^ Ernst Wilhelm Arnoldi on his 175th birthday . In: Monatsblätter Gothaer Feuer , No. 1, 1953, p. 5
  5. Peter Koch, History of Insurance Science in Germany , 1998, p. 178
  6. William L Evenden: German Fire Insurance signs . 1989, p. 204
  7. Handbook of German Stock Companies , Volume 48, Part 6, 1943, p. 5631
  8. Gothaer Chronicle on the Göttingen location
  9. Call center annoys Gothaer customers ( Memento from August 3, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  10. Call center annoys Gothaer customers
  11. Trend Talks 2011: Where the journey is going
  12. Geographical Institute of the University of Cologne, Cologne geographical works , issues 71–72, 1999, p. 88
  13. ^ Gothaer group structure
  14. Financial Times Deutschland , January 31, 2008 ( memento of February 3, 2008 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on February 16, 2008
  15. Financial Times Deutschland , February 16, 2008 ( memento from August 2, 2012 in the web archive ) accessed on February 16, 2008
  16. ^ PKV: Gothaer, Signal, Allianz prevent tariff changes . Spiegel Online , accessed October 31, 2013.
  17. ^ Gothaer comments on criticism accessed on October 31, 2013.

Coordinates: 50 ° 54 ′ 55.3 "  N , 6 ° 56 ′ 22.7"  E