State Insurance Activities
State insurance activities in New Zealand are conducted by the New Zealand Government Life Insurance Office, and the State Insurance Office (formerly known as the State Fire and Accident Office). The Government Life Insurance Office was established in 1869 to augment the then rather inadequate life assurance facilities. In 1901 this office opened an Accident Branch which was transferred to the control of the State Fire Office in 1925. The State Fire Office opened for business in 1905. Since 1947 this Office has also undertaken marine business. The State offices function as competitive trading Departments and pay taxation. For the calendar year 1960 the Fire Office earned a net surplus of almost £206,000 and the Accident Branch a net surplus of over £126,000. In the field of general insurance in New Zealand, the State Insurance Office has the largest premium income, the greatest number of policyholders, and the widest branch representation. Total assets of the Office at the end of 1960 in respect of both accident and fire business were over £75 million. Total assets of the Government Life Office as at the same date were in excess of £475 million. Loans to local authorities and New Zealand Government securities accounted for nearly £18 million of this sum. At the end of 1960, 292,173 life policies were in force with a total sum assured of more than £230 million. In the seven years ended 1960, the accumulated funds of the Office have more than doubled.