The History of Heritage Insurance Company of Zimbabwe (Prvate) Limited

The Company events that led to the formation of the Heritage Insurance Company of Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd in 1982 are described below.

The formation of the Heritage was created by the amalgamation of two short term insurance companies, the Legal and General Assurance Society Ltd and the Norwich Union Fire Insurance Society Ltd. Heritage thus absorbed all assets and liabilities belonging to both companies.

The Norwich Union Fire Insurance Society Ltd commenced its business in 1898 through their agent Harry S. Hopkins reporting to Joseph Little in Johannesburg.

Legal and General as a branch of the Legal and General UK opened its doors for business in Rhodesia in Bulawayo in 1935 with Charles Niven as Manager reporting to South Africa. This Branch transacted life, pension and short term insurance. In the late 1930's, the Head Office for Rhodesia was transferred to Salisbury. Up until the early 1950's the short term insurance was conducted on an agency basis. In 1953 the Fire and Accident Department was created with Chris Wyllie being appointed as Fire and Accident Manager for Rhodesia.

In April 1954, the Norwich Union opened a branch in Salisbury to manage their insurance business. Jimmy Fowles was appointed a Manager for Central Africa reporting to South Africa until 1959 when the UK became responsible for the Rhodesias and Nyasaland. This Branch operated in that manner till the merger with the Legal and General.

In the mid 1970's the Legal and General operations were split into two. The new company Legal and General Assurance of Rhodesia Ltd took over the life and pensions business of the original Legal and General together with all the assets, liabilities and staff of the life and pensions division. The original company continued to manage the fire, accident, motor and marine portfolio still reporting to South Africa.

In 1977 the Legal and General and the Norwich Union Fire in Southern Africa merged their operations. In Rhodesia, both companies ran joint offices in the four main centers, including staff and the insurance portfolios. However, both companies operated separate accounts, pension funds and staff-benefit schemes until the formation of Heritage which absorbed all the liabilities, assets, and staff of both companies including the pension schemes with their funds.


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