Sri Lanka

The nationalisation of the Sri Lankan life insurance industry in the 1960s prompted many insurers to withdraw from the country. Aviva re-entered Sri Lanka in 2006, and the group has a strong presence in the country today.

Country History

Ocean Accident & Guarantee, proposal

Ocean Accident & Guarantee, proposal, 1920s

1855

On January 11, the Northern Assurance Company, later part of the Commercial Union Assurance Company, appoints Charles Shand & Co agent for Colombo. A week later the company appoints Alexander Brown agent for Kandy.

1863

In May, the Northern appoints W B R Wyllie agent for Kandy.

1864

Commercial Union appoints Wilson Ritchie & Co agent for Colombo. The North British & Mercantile Insurance Company, later part of Commercial Union, is operating in Ceylon (Sri Lanka).

1865

In October, the Northern re-appoints Alexander Brown agent for Kandy.

1868

In May, Commercial Union appoints Fowlie, Richmond & Co agent for Ceylon.

1875

In June, the Northern appoints J M Robertson & Co agent for Colombo. In November, Commercial Union commences fire and marine business in Colombo through agent Hedges & Co, who will still be representing the company nearly 90 years later.

1876

In November, the Norwich Union Fire Insurance Society appoints Leechman & Co agent for Colombo. The Northern is operating through Helmer & Co agent in Colombo.

1881

The Scottish Union and National Insurance Company, later part of Norwich Union Fire, appoints Messrs William, Law & Co as agent for Colombo.

Specimen policy

Commercial Union Colombo specimen policy, 1899

1882

In June, the Northern appoints Robinson & Dunlop agent for Colombo.

1884

In March, the Northern appoints Darley, Butler & Company as agent for Colombo. The National Marine Insurance Association, later part of Commercial Union, is operating through agents in Colombo.

1885

Scottish Union and National appoints Charles Gouldson Ltd as agent.

1891

In July, the Northern appoints Volkart Bros agent for Galle.

1892

The Palatine Insurance Company, later part of Commercial Union, is operating in Ceylon. The South British Insurance Company, later part of the General Accident Fire and Life Assurance Corporation, appoints Bathgate Pim & Co agent for Colombo.

1894

The Economic Fire Office, later part of Commercial Union, has by this time developed good fire insurance business in the tea estates of Ceylon.

1897

Scottish Union and National appoints Messrs Gordon Frazer & Co agent for Colombo.

Ceylon policy

Red Cross Indemnity Association, Ceylon policy, 1908

1900

Commercial Union begins to transact accident insurance in Ceylon. The company’s marine agent, the Ceylon Trading Company, are based at 12 Queen Street, Colombo.

1905

General Accident opens an agency in Colombo.

1906

By this date, the Union Assurance Society (No.1), later part of Commercial Union, has established operations in Ceylon.

1907

On November 14, the Norwich Union Life Insurance Society appoints W & A Graham & Co of Queen Street as agent for Colombo, in addition to Leechman & Co Ltd.

1908

The Red Cross Indemnity Association, later part of Commercial Union, is issuing motor insurance policies “for Humber Cars in Australia and Ceylon” by this date.

1910

On December 16, Commercial Union appoints the Galle Trading Co as agent for Galle. The agency is charged with transacting fire, accident, burglary and plate glass insurance.

1911

Commercial Union appoints G H Elliott as agent for Colombo.

1913

The Employers’ Liability Assurance Corporation, later part of Commercial Union, is operating in Ceylon.

1914

Norwich Union Life is now operating at 54 Chatham Street, Colombo. Commercial Union is still represented by Lee, Hedges & Co in Colombo.

1920

The National Guarantee and Suretyship Insurance Company Ltd, later part of Commercial Union, is operating in Ceylon.

1924

General Accident opens a branch in Ceylon.

1947

Scottish Union and National appoints Gordon Fraser & Co agents for Colombo.

Fire policy header

Norwich Union Fire policy header, 1922

1950

Scottish Union and National appoints Messrs Salgado & Sons agent for Colombo.

1952

Scottish Union and National appoints Amarasuria & Son as agent. Norwich Union Life and Norwich Union Fire are both represented by Messrs Grahams.

1954

Norwich Union Life and Norwich Union Fire are now represented by Messrs Leechman & Co.

1958

North British & Mercantile appoints A T Monant manager for Colombo.

1961

Life insurance in Ceylon is nationalised prompting Norwich Union Life to withdraw from the country.

1963

Commercial Union is still operating in Ceylon through Shaw, Wallace & Hedges, formerly Lee, Hedges & Co.

1964

Norwich Union Fire and Scottish Union and National both withdraw from Ceylon.

1988

The Eagle Insurance Company Ltd begins operations in Sri Lanka as the CTC Eagle Insurance Company.

2006

On February 1, Aviva takes a majority stake in Eagle Insurance. Eagle Insurance’s new bancassurance partner, NDB, holds the principal minority share.

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