Achmea opens exhibition on its cooperative history

Today, Achmea opens a permanent exhibition on the group’s cooperative history, a history that is still very much alive today. For over two hundred years, Achmea has been protecting what is precious to our customers. Rooted in the concept of solidarity, we believe that you can achieve more by working together than by working alone. The basic premises of our origins still provide a framework for our work today.

The exhibition is called ‘Ahead of its time’ and shows important and special moments in the history of Achmea and society in general. Achmea’s role in society becomes clear as you look at the major events of the past, when we often played an important role in the lives of our customers. Society is constantly changing and what our customers want is changing too. We have been responding to this for many years now, while adhering to the same basic premises we started with. In the past, people only insured themselves against fire and death because they owned very little. Nowadays, we share more and more of what we own. For example, increasingly we share a car with several households. The sharing economy calls for a different way of insuring, which is why Centraal Beheer also insures shared vehicles.

Willem van Duin, Chairman of Achmea’s Executive Board: “Achmea was founded in 1811 based on the concept of solidarity and the conviction that you can achieve more by working together than by working alone. This has always been our guiding principle. We cherish our cooperative heritage, not because of a nostalgia for the past, but because the basic premises we had at the outset still guide how we view the world today. We have been at the heart of society for more than two hundred years and today we work with the heart of the past and today’s technology.”

“Achmea has a rich history with lots of fantastic archive material, says company historian Wim Dral. Achmea’s history dates back to 1811, when Ulbe Piers Draisma from Achlum in Friesland, along with a small number of farmers and notable figures, agreed to help one another after a fire caused by hay overheating or by lightening. Wim Dral: “The exhibition includes original documents from the time and even a device for measuring the temperature in a hay stack.”