Milestones

The future needs a past

The German insurance industry was quick to recognize that, in active loss prevention, it is essential to make risks controllable and thus insurable. Back in 1908, it founded the “Sprinkler inspection department”, which was the direct predecessor to today’s Inspection Services. Since then, the number of sprinkler systems has gone up enormously. Although the construction of new installations stagnated at the beginning of the First World War, the inspection service nevertheless gained importance. The testing of officially required systems then became compulsory.

Following an interruption due to the Second World War, the service resumed its activities in 1947. In June 1948, the inspection service was finally integrated into the newly founded Verband der Sachversicherer e.V. (VdS), which became the umbrella organization of the German insurance industry.

In the next few years, the technical VdS departments for fire protection and burglary and theft insurance were continuously expanded. The merger of the three insurance associations – Verband der Sachversicherer e.V., HUK-Verband and Deutscher Transportversicherungsverband – into the Verband der Schadenversicherer e.V. (VDS) in 1995 was only a stopover before, in 1996, together with the Verband der Lebensversicherer, it merged with the German Insurance Association (GDV), which was also founded in 1948.

The technical departments of the former property insurance association were transferred in 1997 to VdS Schadenverhütung GmbH. It was decided to incorporate the registered trademark “VdS” in the company name because the VdS mark enjoys a high level of awareness and is regarded as a quality seal for products and services. The GDV is the sole shareholder of VdS Schadenverhütung GmbH.

Today, VdS is a modern company with more than 330 highly qualified staff, and is successfully facing the challenges of the 21st century. It offers a top range of services that stand for safety and trust, not only in Germany and the rest of Europe, but increasingly also on global markets.