The Instagrammable Office That Says a Lot on Indonesia’s Life Insurance Industry

Vintage-style lamps hanging on each front pillar of PT Asuransi Jiwasraya building on Jalan Ir. H. Juanda No. 34, Kebon Kelapa, nearby Harmoni Transjakarta bus shelter. Under each of the lamps is letters showing journey of the company. In addition, artsy wooden, iron benches are put in vertical order in front of the office. Tall trees shade anyone sitting on the benches, making the front part of the building a classic and peaceful site amidst hustle and bustle in the busy Harmoni area.

You can easily recognize this place whenever you are on the way for Juanda and Pecenongan area. This office is one of several heritage buildings carefully-preserved in the historical venue. Many love visiting the office thanks to its Instagrammable look. With modern buildings are commonplace in Jakarta, the office is one of the rarest legacies that now captures attention from millennial people for photo taking goals at the least.

Looking at the overall office design, one can quickly associate it with European-designed construction. The guess is correct! PT Asuransi Jiwasraya was firstly set up as Nederlandsch Indiesche Levensverzekering en Liffrente Maatschappij (NILLMIJ) van 1859 on 31 December 1859. The building has now been 159 years old. The building has been located amongst hotels and inns in the area that was popular for receiving guests. Only some of the hotels have been existing. The office remains operational until today thus it is still in good condition.

Harmoni area was once chosen by visitors for staying. The area was nearby main Batavia area as the center of administration and business activity in the old Jakarta. Harmoni was the place for high-level people from Batavia, mostly Europeans, looking for pleasure, one of which was by socializing.

From the building we can get a lot of story on how life insurance industry in the country kicks off then rolls on.

You can take dozens of pictures by sitting in the traditional, vintage mode benches

You can take dozens of pictures by sitting in the traditional, vintage mode benches (Courtesy of Eny Wulandari)

PT Asuransi Jiwasraya or the NILLMIJ is the first life insurance company in Indonesia. The establishment of the NILLMIJ office marks the country’s first entry into life insurance sector. At that time, the NILLMIJ was operated by the Dutch Indies (the name before Indonesia got its independence in 1945).

In 1957, the company was nationalized into PT Perusahaan Pertanggungan Djiwa Sedjahtera. In 1961, nine Dutch-owned life insurance companies were merged with the NILLMIJ van 1859 to have formed Perusahaan Negara Asuransi Djiwa Eka Sedjahtera. Four years later, the name was changed into Perusahaan Negara Asuransi Djiwa Djasa Sedjahtera. A year later or on 1 January 1966, Perusahaan Negara Asuransi Djiwa Djasa Sedjahtera was merged into Perusahaan Negara Asuransi Djiwasraja. At the same date, too, the Indonesian government integrated its company, PT Pertanggungan Djiwa Dharma Nasional, into Perusahaan Negara Asuransi Djiwasraja.

In 1973, the company name was changed into Perusahaan Perseroan (Persero) Asuransi Jiwasraya then as PT Asuransi Jiwasraya on 21 August 1984. The final name of PT Asuransi Jiwasraya (Persero) was officiated on 14 July 2003 and it has been what we have known it until today.

PT Asuransi Jiwasraya, the state-owned company, underwent around 159 years in the making of its name. The company pioneers life insurance industry that sees almost 50 private companies playing in the sector at the moment. Local life insurance companies form Indonesia Life Insurance Association (AAJI) for creating fair rules for all.

Shady front look of the building

Shady front look of the building (Courtesy of Eny Wulandari)

Life insurance is one of insurance types other than health insurance, education insurance, insurance for property, vehicles and many more. In fact, national life insurance industry recorded strong year-on-year growth in the second quarter of 2014 and second quarter of 2018, data from the association said. Togar Pasaribu, Executive Director of the Association told that new insurance premium between the period grew 18.3%.

From the building of PT Asuransi Jiwasraya we can learn how much life insurance in the country has changed in accordance with growing needs from the residents. What was then afforded by elite class during the Dutch colonialism is now customary for medium and even low-class people. For some people, having life insurance is a necessity in modern life.

In the span of 159 years, the office has remained functional and even got more elegance with updated designing touches here and there. Take a seat and reflect upon long journey of life insurance industry when you drop by at the ancient, refreshed building.



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Eny Wulandari

Eny Wulandari

A passionate writer and translator

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