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GENERAL PROVISIONS.

All agreements waiving wholly or partly the benefits conferred by this act are null and void. Indemnities or annuities paid under this act are not subject to cession or seizure.

All claims under this act must be made within one year from the date of the accident.

All contracts and legal documents executed in compliance with the requirements of this law are free from stamp dues, insurance taxes, or similar taxation.

APPLICATION OF THE LAW.

Voluntary insurance of workmen against accidents has been practiced in Italy by the National Accident Insurance Institution since 1883. With the establishment of the compulsory system of insurance the functions of the national insurance institution were greatly enlarged. New tariffs were prepared, to provide for insurance in compliance with the requirements of the law, though the old tariffs remained in force for voluntary accident insurance. But private insurance companies rapidly went into the field in competition. Four private accident insurance companies qualified toward the end of 1898, and one in 1899.

The other forms of insurance provided by the law did not grow in popularity under the old law of 1898. Only four employers' mutual accident insurance associations were organized under this law. One of these, the so-called “Subalpine Syndicate," was established in Turin and approved November 30, 1898. By its constitution this association was authorized to accept employers of all industries covered by the law in the Provinces of Turin, Alessandria, Novara, and Coni. It began its operations in December, 1898, with 333 members and about 19,000 employees insured, and by 1899 the number of members increased to 600 and the number of insured persons exceeded 30,000.

The mutual association of mine operators, organized in Sardinia and authorized March 31, 1899, had no territorial limitations to its activity. The association “Legure,” in Genoa, was formed January 25, 1900, with only 8 members; but all these were large establishments in the iron and steel industry. Its constitution admitted all enterprises except the manufacture of explosives. The association of public works, buildings, and similar undertakings, in Florence, was authorized February 14, 1900, and included at the beginning 393 members and 4,098 insured employees.

In addition, there were organized in 1899 three cooperative fundsone in Florence, consisting of two mine operators; one in Palermo, comprising a number of Sicilian wine manufacturers; and one in Vercelli, with 88 small, miscellaneous manufacturing establishments, employing 552 workers. Finally, 10 independent cooperative funds qualified in 1899 with a number of employees varying from 500 to 2,000. The largest among these were the fund of a shipbuilding concern, in Livorno, with 2,047 employees; the fund of subsidiary railroads, of Sardinia, insured 1,655; the fund of a large linen-goods factory, in Vicenza, with 1,681 employees; the fund of a machine shop, in Milan, with 1,237 employees; and a paper and printing establishment, in Florence, with 710 employees. Few of these private benefit funds were organized in 1899, but most of them had existed for some time before the adoption of the law of March 17, 1898, and had simply applied for recognition under the law. The amendment of the law in 1903, by extending the scope of the application of the law and the raising of the premium rates of the National Accident Insurance Institution, stimulated the formation of employers' mutual associations and private benefit funds. In 1904 three voluntary mutual associations were organized in Genoa, of which one included the works in the maritime port and one the seamen of that port. An employers' compulsory mutual association for the sulphur mines of Sicily was established in the same year. Three more voluntary associations and the compulsory association for insurance of seamen were established in 1905, and two voluntary ones in 1906.

Three cooperative benefit funds were organized in 1904, three more in 1906, and one early in 1907. Within the same period 12 private funds were formed, 3 in 1903, 3 in 1904, 5 in 1906, and 1 early in 1907. The most important of these are the funds of street railway employees in Florence and Naples, organized in 1903. Altogether, according to the list of accident insurance institutions brought up to February 28, 1907,(a) there were, in addition to the National Accident Insurance Institution, 7 private insurance companies, 12 employers' voluntary mutual associations, 2 employers' compulsory mutual associations, 10 cooperative benefit funds, and 22 private benefit funds.

GENERAL STATISTICS.

Unfortunately, the statistics of the activity of these various insurance institutions in Italy are very meager and fragmentary, and anything like a complete and up-to-date account of them is quite impossible.

A statistical report concerning the app.ication of the law for the first fourteen months, ending December 31, 1899, was published early in 1901.0) Later reports concerning all the accident insurance institutions were published in 1906.(C) Reports for more recent

a Bollettino di Notizie sul Credito e sulla Previdenza, February, 1907, p. 196. 6 Bollettino di Notizie sul Credito e sulla Previdenza, Vol. XIX, 1901, p. 140. c Bollettino di Notizie sul Credito e sulla Previdenza, August, 1906, pp. 1371-1490.

years were published in the official organ of the Office of Credit and Savings Institutions.(a) Reports concerning the statistics of accidents alone are available for the second half of 1904, for 1905, and for 1906, but these do not contain any information concerning other results of the insurance system. Very little is known concerning the effects of the amendments to the law. Besides, these reports are very fragmentary, so that even the total number of persons insured is not stated.()

On December 31, 1899, 28,307 industrial establishments carried accident insurance, but for 20,459 establishments only was the number of employees known, which aggregated 1,050,763 persons. On December 31, 1900, the number of establishments carrying insurance was 36,020; the number of persons insured in 31,788 establishments was 1,272,592.)

In the report of the commission of the Chamber of Deputies concerning the ministerial proposal of March 13, 1908, the number of persons insured is stated as follows: For the year 1903, 869,874; 1904, 937,570; 1905, 1,089,086, and for 1906, 1,106,256. These totals are so low in comparison with the reports of the earlier years that some doubt as to their accuracy exists. As a matter of fact, data from only one private insurance company out of seven are available for 1903 and 1906, and for two only for 1904 and 1905.

a Bollettino di Notizie sul Credito e sulla Previdenza, September October, 1908,

p. 1126.

b Many fragmentary but valuable statements may be found in the reports which Dr. Vincenzo Magaldi, Chief of the Bureau of Credit and Social Insurance, of the Ministry of Agriculture, Industry, and Commerce (Direzione Generale del Credito e della Previdenza, Ministero di Agricoltura, Industria e Commercio) periodically furnishes to the international congresses of social insurance, and which may be considered semiofficial, as the supervision of these institutions is intrusted to this bureau. Finally, Doctor Magaldi's two studies of labor insurance in Italy, published in Doctor Zacher's well-known series in 1905 and 1908, contain some statistical information which could not be found in the publications either of the Bureau of Credit and Providence (Inspettorato Generale del Credito e della Previdenza) or of the Bureau of Labor, and these data have been made use of in the following brief review. Concerning the activity of the National Accident Insurance Institution, the statistical information available is much more complete.

c Les accidents du travail en Italie, par. V. Magaldi (Congrès International des Accidents du Travail et des Assurances Sociales, Dusseldorf, 1902, p. 681).

67725°-VOL 2-11-16

No complete official record of the distribution of the total number of insured workmen among the various insurance institutions is available, the data for 1903 to 1906, published by the parliamentary commission, being admittedly very incomplete. These data are as follows:

NUMBER AND PER CENT OF INSURED WORKMEN IN ITALY, CLASSIFIED BY KIND

OF FUND OR ASSOCIATION, 1903 TO 1906.

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The data indicate mainly a steady growth in the popularity of the mutual accident insurance principle. The figures for the cooperative funds also indicate a steady growth, the number of insured having almost doubled within three years.

The following table, constructed from the various reports of Doctor Magaldi, shows the number of accidents compensated by the various groups of insurance institutions, and therefore gives indirectly an idea of the comparative importance of these institutions:

NUMBER AND PER CENT OF ACCIDENTS COMPENSATED BY EACH KIND OF

INSURANCE INSTITUTION, 1899 TO 1905. (Source: Congrés International des Accidents du Travail et des Assurances Sociales, Paris, 1900; Dussel

dori, 1902; Bollettino di Notizie sul Credito e sulla Previdenza, August, 1906; Bollettino dell' Ufficio del Lavoro, Vol. III and Vol. VII.)

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National institution...
Private companies..
Employers' associations.
Private and cooperative funds
Railroad funds..

12, 167 41,676

914

20.8
71.2

1.6
1.0
5.4

15. 726 36. 293 2,352 1,053 3,309

26.8 61.8 4.0 1.8 5.6

22.021
37, 017
2, 471
1,190
3, 596

33. 2
55.9
3.7
1.8
5.4

602 3, 129

8,627

18.2

22,340

19.3

Total....

58,518 100.0 58, 733 100.0 66,295 100.0 247,398 100.0 6116,019

100.0

a Exclusive of 517 accidents for which the mode of insurance was unknown or which occurred in establishments not subject to insurance, making a total of 47,915 accidents.

b Exclusive of 8,299 accidents for which the mode of insurance was unknown or which occurred in establishments not subject to insurance, making a total of 124,318 accidents.

The most important indication of this table is the gradual decline in the relative importance of private insurance and the growing importance of the state insurance principle (in the National Accident Insurance Institution) on the one hand and of various mutual organizations on the other. Assuming that the number of accidents compensated is fairly representative of the number of persons insured, neither mutual employers' association nor private funds showed a very extensive activity in the earlier years of the application of this law, as they did not claim more than 5 or 6 per cent. The employers' associations showed a tendency to grow. For the later years it is unfortunately impossible to differentiate the activity of private funds from that of the employers' associations; but together these private and cooperative efforts show a considerable development, partly due to the establishment of obligatory mutual employers' associations.

The growth of the national institution has been very rapid, the slight decline in 1905 being due to the formation of the Sicilian Sulphur Mines Mutual Accident Insurance Association, since the insurance for these mines had been carried previously almost exclusively by the national institution. In 1899 only one-fifth of all accidents was compensated by this institution, and in 1904 two-fifths.

The growth was at the expense of the private insurance companies which in the beginning claimed over 70 per cent of the insurance, as the employers hurried to comply with the requirements of the law, but gradually lost, the employers being attracted by the lower rates of the national institution.

In the following table the accidents compensated by each group of insurance institutions are classified according to the termination of the injuries sustained, whether in death, permanent disability, or temporary disability. Only for the years 1899 to 1901 are these data available; while for the year 1902 the accidents may be thus classified, but not for each class of insurance institutions separately.

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