Traditional travel insurance
100 years ago, our passengers travelled by steam train. Back then, rail travel was something of a social event. Europe boasted such legendary trains as the Orient Express, which is still famed to this very day. Nowadays it's megajets and the giants of the ocean that open the gateway to the world for us. But one thing has remained the same: The reliable travel insurance, with which we accompany our customers on their travels around the globe.
In 1905, Hungarian timber merchant Max von Engel had the idea of establishing a streamer trunk insurance company. The idea didn’t fly with the customers at first, but that changed in 1907, when Engel presented his idea to Carl von Thieme, the founder of Münchener Rückversicherungs-Gesellschaft [a Munich-based re-insurance company]. He had a well-developed concept and a good marketing idea. Anyone who needed travel coverage could get it simply by purchasing it at the ticket counter, when they started their trip. Carl von Thieme immediately became enthusiastic about it. Thus, Europäische Güter- und Reisegepäckversicherungs AG [a European-based goods and streamer trunk insurance company] was established on May 9, 1907 in Budapest. The modern Munich Re participated by investing 50,000 crowns.
The company was international from the very beginning. Branches were established that very same year in Berlin, Milan and Sarajevo as well as an exclusive agency in Monaco. Our company continued to grow steadily in the following years. The Twenties saw the emergence of a new major customer group: Sea passengers. During this time over 7 million people emigrated from the German empire to the United Sates, many of whom had a policy issued by the ERV in their luggage. But cruises were already all the rage in the first decades of the twentieth century. Ships embarked for the Caribbean from the USA, while Madeira and Tenerife were among the most popular European cruise destinations.
As a result of the second World War, ERV was closed down in the Eastern European countries. The western European countries took on new shareholders and in 1948, following the currency reform, ERV's business also started to pick up in Germany. Headquarters were set up in Munich and Berlin, the range of products expanded and relations with business partners consolidated.
The fifties saw a huge boom in the tourism and travel industry. Released from the horrors of war, people started to head for summer resorts, initially by bus and train. Mankind then gradually started to conquer the air. The age of air travel had begun. For instance, Majorca soon became one of the most popular destinations. In the seventies, the oil crisis put a temporary stop to the boom in tourism. But the subsequent general economic upturn led to the rise of mass tourism in Europe, a phenomenon that continues to this very day.
ERV accompanied this exciting period by opening new branches or subsidiaries and holding companies. We have also constantly updated our range of products over the years, adapting it to the changing needs of our customers.
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