The INA’s global footprint – in the colonies and around the world

31 July 2019

Italy’s INA – Istituto Nazionale delle Assicurazioni [National Insurance Institute] was active not only in Italy, but also globally – in the Italian colonies of the time and beyond. The Institute was unquestionably active in the colonies held by the Kingdom of Italy (Libya, Somalia, Eritrea and Ethiopia in the Horn of Africa, which in 1936 merged to become Italian East Africa), but was equally so in Europe (Spain, France, Austria, Liechtenstein, Croatia, Hungary, Montenegro, Albania and Greece), Turkey, Egypt, Sudan, Syria and Palestine.

The Historical Archives of INA-Assitalia still preserve the “Fondo della rappresentanza INA per le colonie e per l’estero” [Fonds of the INA branches in the Colonies and Abroad], and the digitised version of its inventory is available on display. This collates the remaining documentation regarding this significant network of representatives and agencies, tracing a line from its beginnings, all through its primary years of activity between the 1920s and 1940s, to its almost complete conclusion. The INA continued to operate in Eritrea and Somalia until the 1970s, while elsewhere only the agencies in Madrid, Barcelona and Istanbul survived into the post-war period.

The documents in question include reports of the INA’s activity in the life insurance industry and reflections by Le Assicurazioni d’Italia and Fiume, its subsidiaries in the field of elementary insurance. Beyond that, however, they also provide important socio-economic data regarding the country in question, serving as an opportunity to examine the historical circumstances of Italians abroad, as well as of public and private Italian entities: Italian embassies and royal ministries, foreign branches of the Fasci of Combat organisation, Italian chambers of commerce abroad, insurance companies and Italian businesses. Taking a wider view, they provide us with a new perspective on the significant political events of the day.

For more information: S. CONVERSI, Le rappresentanze estere dell’Istituto Nazionale delle Assicurazioni, in «Archivi», XIII, no. 2, 2018, pp. 5-21.