ARAG SE is a European insurance group. ARAG stands for Allgemeine Rechtsschutz-Versicherungs-AG. Its headquarters are located in the ARAG-Tower in Düsseldorf-Mörsenbroich. The ARAG Group employs nearly 3,500 people worldwide. The Group reported premium income and revenues of over 1.469 billion Euro in 2011. ARAG is the largest family-owned German insurance group, with a portfolio of 5.8 million policies in the 2009 business year. The Group’s international legal insurance business accounts for 2.3 million policies alone, making it the second-largest legal insurer in the world.
Type of enterprise: Joint stock corporation
Year founded: 1935
Corporate headquarters: Düsseldorf, Germany
Management Board:Paul-Otto Faßbender
Employees: 3,484 (2009)
Revenue: 1.469 bn € (2011)
Business sector: Insurance
The ARAG Group was founded in 1935 as legal insurance company under the name of Deutsche Auto-Rechtsschutz-AG (DARAG) by the Düsseldorf entrepreneur and attorney Heinrich Fassbender. With that venture, Faßbender opened the door to a lucrative field of business. His founding principle: "All citizens should be able to assert their rights, not only those who can afford to do so.” Following the expansion of legal insurance beyond the boundaries of straight automotive legal insurance (1949), the company branched out into other segments of the insurance industry in 1962 and began marketing the business concept of legal insurance. The ARAG Group entered the life assurance business in 1965 and issued its first health insurance policies in 1985, having acquired other insurance companies in that segment. These firms are based in Munich, the second German location of the ARAG Group. Other international legal insurance companies have been acquired over the years. The ARAG Group now has subsidiaries in 14 countries.
In 2001, the Group occupied new corporate headquarters in the ARAG Tower in Düsseldorf-Mörsenbroich, a building designed by Lord Norman Foster and the Düsseldorf firm of RKW Rhode Kellermann Wawrowsky Architektur + Städtebau. The Group has been an active sponsor of numerous clubs and associations, primarily in Düsseldorf, for many years.
ARAG Allgemeine Rechtsschutz-Versicherungs-AG is the operational holding company for the Group and manages the legal insurance business in Germany and abroad. Those companies specialized in composite and personal insurance as well as the Group’s service companies are grouped under this operational holding company. Paul-Otto Faßbender is the majority shareholder in the ARAG Group and is responsible as Chairman of the Management Board for all central Group functions. He is supported by Group Board members Johannes Kathan, Werner Nicoll, Hanno Petersen and Joerg Schwarze. The operational insurance companies are subordinate to this executive management level.
In the United States, ARAG North America was founded in 1973 as a division of Midwest Mutual Insurance Company and began creating, marketing and administering a new group legal product. In 1989, ARAG purchased the organization and created ARAG Insurance Company. The company began by offering legal insurance as a benefit to employees but expanded over the years to help other affinity organizations provide legal solutions to their customers and members. ARAG North America has a network of more than 11,000 attorneys at 7,400 locations to serve plan members. In addition to access to attorneys, the organization offers products geared toward specific legal needs such as care giving, identity theft and immigration. In 2010, ARAG North America launched ARAGLegalCenter.com as a platform for serving a series of four products to help employees solve their legal issues. This includes a free legal education center, do-it-yourself legal documents, an attorney hotline and a comprehensive legal plan that covers the costs of attorney representation.
ARAG UK was founded in 2006 by a team of six market professionals (Tony Buss, Paul Hurley, David Haynes, Andy Talbot, Bob Moreton and Paul Upton). In eight years it had grown to a team of over 70 in the core areas of sales, underwriting, claims, marketing, IT and accounts. On the day of its launch, ARAG announced that it had secured the business portfolio of ULR Knebworth. In early 2009, ARAG acquired the legal expenses portfolio of Capita shortly after acquiring ATE Ltd, a specialist after-the-event provider. ARAG UK provides a range of before-the-event and after-the-event legal insurance products and services.
ARAG North America was named one of the Best Places to Work in Insurance by Business Insurance magazine and Best Companies Group in 2009 and 2010. The selection was based on in-depth assessment of workplace benefits, policies, practices, team member engagement and satisfaction. In addition, ARAG’s customer care team earned certification as a Center of Excellence from BenchmarkPortal for 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. According to this national benchmarking organization, only 5 to 7 percent of the companies reviewed achieve the performance results required to certify. Even fewer companies receive the award in consecutive years. ARAG North America is based in the Capital Square building at 400 Locust Street in Des Moines, Iowa. ARAG Insurance Company is rated A (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company.