From small beginnings in October 1886, when two ambitious young Scotsmen, formed the North Queensland Insurance Company Ltd. in Townsville, they may not have predicted just how successful the company would become.
Within just 4 years, they had established more than 36 agencies around the world. Making a significant contribution to Australian commercial history and giving peace of mind to millions for over a century, we are now proud to be one of the top 20 insurers and reinsurers worldwide.
A few landmarks and memorable achievements in our long history:
- We started in Townsville, Queensland in 1886.
- Robert Philp, one of the company founders, was twice Premier of Queensland.
- In 1921, we gained our 'B' when the Bankers' and Traders' Insurance Company was formed. (Our 'Q' stands for Queensland).
- While the 1930's Great Depression witnessed the demise of many Australian insurance companies, we were able to sustain a dividend level of 10%.
- When the first Qantas overseas departure took off from Darwin in 1935, QBE had already been in business for 49 years, with operations as far reaching as Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong and Vanuatu.
- During WWII, we were among the many insurance offices that carried out work relating to the War Damage Commission without payment.
- The final 'E' was added to QBE in 1959, with the acquisition of the Equitable Probate and General Insurance Company.
- The three entities merged in 1973 and QBE Insurance Group Limited was listed on the stock exchange.
- 1981 - the new QBE Insurance Group made the first of acquisitions, with many to follow, which included companies in London, Central Europe and Australia. We now have an impressive portfolio making QBE the company of choice in many markets.
- One of our Perth office team members, Megan Rivers, was selected in the Women’s Hockey team for the 2008 Olympics.
- Our global cultural framework, the Essential Behaviours were developed in 1994 and are still critical to our success today.