A history of solidarity
In 1934, 156 teachers teamed up to create MAAIF (Mutuelle d'Assurance Automobile des Instituteurs de France, Mutual Automobile Insurance for Teachers in France), a mutual aid fund with several goals:
- Independence from large financial and insurance groups.
- Foster solidarity between members.
- Issue insurance contracts without intermediaries.
Although this laid the founding principles of the mutual insurance company, the spirit of solidarity did not end there. MAIF, successors to MAAIF, helped create MAAF and MACIF by sharing its operating methods to allow other business sectors to benefit from similar services.
Why did we launch the insurtech accelerator?
Mutual insurance companies are hard-wired to take a collective approach to emergent issues. So naturally we decided to set up Niort Tech, a non-profit organization, and the French Assurtech initiative, to respond to the challenges of digital transformation and its impact on the insurance industry. Its seven founders aim to drive startup innovation and creativity by providing them with their expertise and market knowledge.
Niort is the historic capital of French mutual benefit organizations and many mutual insurance companies have set up their headquarters in the city. The sector, which now employs some 15,000 local people, is the main reason why Niort is France’s third-largest economic centre. As the story of insurance was first written in Niort, it seems logical that its future will be too.