Mutual and stock insurers have coexisted and competed against each other in insurance markets for centuries. In this article, we examine the risk management strategies and underwriting profitability of the different organizational forms in Sweden's property fire insurance market between 1903 and 1939. We demonstrate that stock insurers acted as intermediaries between policyholders and reinsurers to operate effectively in the potentially high-risk segments of the fire insurance market. In contrast, nationwide mutual insurers kept larger reserves to balance fluctuations in claims experiences, while local insurance pools relied on social obligation and trust to mobilize capital after adverse fire events.
Adams, M., Andersson, L. F., Lindmark, M., & Veprauskaite, E. (2012). Competing models of organizational form: risk management strategies and underwriting profitability in the Swedish fire insurance market between 1903 and 1939. Journal of Economic History, 72(4), 990-1014. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022050712000666