Author: ARDELEANU KONSTANTIN
By the mid 19th century several European insurance companies had agents in the Romanian Principalities and secured different commercial operations and private persons. After previous intentions by local enterprisers, a branch of an insurance company based at Trieste was operational in 1845.
The first Romanian insurance company, “Dacia”, was established in 1871, with a social capital of 3,000,000 lei and having among its founding members several personalities of Romania’s political and economic life. Its activity was complicated by the lack of a proper legislation, as well as by the lack of education for using such economic tools. Two years later, in 1873, a new insurance company was founded, “Romania”, with a social capital of 2,000,000 lei. The cooperation between the companies led to their merging in 1882 and the creation of the company “Dacia–România”, which provided a large variety of insurance policies: life, fire, hail, accidents, theft, transport, etc. A new company, “Naţionala”, was founded in 1882 with a capital of 3,000,000 lei, which also took over the policies of the “Azienda Assicuratrice” of Trieste.
The “Generală” insurance company was established at Brăila in 1897 by the commercial circles in the Lower Danubian ports, its main function being to insure the maritime trade and the grain trade. The foreign contact of the company was “Assicurazioni Generali” from Trieste, which was among its main shareholders. The “Agricolă” company was founded in 1907, its main object of activity being related to the insurance of agricultural investments.
All these companies were involved in insuring trade and shipping operations at the Lower Danube.
 Paul Păltănea, Istoria oraşului Galaţi de la origini până la 1918, second edition, edited by Eugen Drăgoi, (Galaţi: Editura Partener, 2008), vol. I, 306, 331; I. Văcărel, F. Bercea, Asigurări şi reasigurări (Bucharest: Expert, 1993), 167; Bogdan Firţescu, “Coordonate ale activităţii de asigurare din România în secolul al XIX-lea”, in vol. Laurenţiu Rădvan, Bogdan Căpraru (eds.), Oraşele, orăşenii şi băncile: atitudini, activităţi, institutţii, implicaţii (sec. XVI–XX) (Iaşi: Editura Universităţii “Alexandru Ioan Cuza”, 2011), 368.
 Toma Dragomirescu, Istoricul băncilor din România şi al tuturor instituţiunilor de credit şi societăţi de asigurări, urmat de o statistică generală (Bucharest: Speranţa, Institut de Arte Grafice, 1908), 57–59; Enciclopedia României, vol. IV, Economia naţională. Circulaţie, distribuţie şi consum (Bucharest: Imprimeria Naţională, 1943), 671–673.
 Dragomirescu, Istoricul, 60–62; Enciclopedia României, IV, 671–673. Other information in Anuarul statistic al României, 1915–1916 (Bucharest: Tipografia Curţii Regale F. Gobl Fii, 1919), 243.
 The general conditions imposed by the “Dacia-România”, “Naţionala” and “Generala” for insuring shipping companies are presented in Ard. G. S. Youghapérian, L’Annuarie du Danube, 1916–1917 edition,
Anuarul Statistic al României, 1915–1916 [The Statistical Yearbook of Romania, 1915–1916] (Bucharest: Tipografia Regală F. Göbl Fii, 1919).
Cistelecan, L., Cistelecan, R., Asigurări comerciale [Commercial Insurances] (Tg. Mureş: Editura Dimitrie Cantemir, 1996).
Dragomirescu, Toma, Istoricul băncilor din România şi al tuturor instituţiunilor de credit şi societăţi de asigurări, urmat de o statistică generală [The History of Banks in Romania and of All Credits Institutions and Insurance Companies, Followed by a General Statistics] (Bucharest: Speranţa, Institut de Arte Grafice, 1908).
Firţescu, Bogdan, “Coordonate ale activităţii de asigurare din România în secolul al XIX-lea” [Coordinates of the Insurrance Activity in Romania in the 19th Century], in vol. Laurenţiu Rădvan, Bogdan Căpraru (eds.), Oraşele, orăşenii şi băncile: atitudini, activităţi, institutţii, implicaţii (sec. XVI–XX) [The Cities, the Inhabitants and the Banks: Attitudes, Activities, Institutions, Implications (16th–20th Centuries)] (Iaşi: Editura Universităţii “Alexandru Ioan Cuza”, 2011), 367–373.
Ioaniţescu, D. R., Contractul de asigurarea [The Insurance Contract] (Bucharest: Tipografia Profesională, 1913).
Pacu, Moise N., Cartea Judeţului Covurlui. Note geografice, istorice şi în deosebi statistice [The Book of Covurlui County. Geographical, Historical and Mainly Statistical Notes] (Bucharest: Stabilimentul Grafic I. V. Socecu, 1891).
Păltănea, Paul, Istoria oraşului Galaţi de la origini până la 1918 [The History of Galaţi from Its Beginnings to 1918], second edition, edited by Eugen Drăgoi (Galaţi: Editura Partener, 2008).
Youghapérian, Ard. G. S., L’Annuarie du Danube, 1916–1917 edition (Brăila: s.e., s.a.).