The Finnish Federation of Accident Insurance Institutions (FAII) was founded on 27 March 1920 in Helsinki. At the time, about a dozen Finnish insurance companies operated in the country, but the founding meeting was attended by seven delegates from six companies. They were Dr. Karl Alfred Paloheimo from Tapaturmavakuutus-Osakeyhtiö Kullervo, Director Karl Oskar Lindberg from Tapaturmavakuutusosakeyhtiö Patria, Director Uno August Jansson and Treasurer Helge Fleege from Yleinen Suomalainen Vakuutusosakeyhtiö, Herman Paavilainen, MA, from Maanviljelijäin Keskinäinen Tapaturmavakuutusyhdistys, Jon Hartman, LL.M., from Keskinäinen Vakuutuslaitos Sampo and Karl Sucksdorff, LL.M, from Suomen Teollisuudenharjoittajain Keskinäinen Tapaturmavakuutusyhdistys.
There were several motives behind the new federation. Private insurance institutions sought to promote their interests and influence future legislation, but also wanted to ensure the best possible accident insurance and care for those injured, and help prevent accidents and harmonise the practices used in deciding on claims.
During its first decades, the Federation took on responsibilities such as the printing and distributing of forms needed to enforce statutory accident insurance.
Karl Sucksdorff was elected the first chairman of the Federation, and the first secretary was Auli Markkula, LL.M., (1920-1921), who was forced to resign the duties due to lack of time. The next secretary was Helge Fleege (1921-1943), one of the delegates in the founding meeting.
Finnish labour and social welfare legislation saw rapid development throughout the 1920s. For FAII, the most notable reform was the employees’ accident insurance act of 1925, which extended insurance cover to all manual workers regardless of industry. The new law was also harmonised with the standards of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which had been founded in 1919. At the same time, the number of workers insured against accidents at work grew to more than 500,000 for the first time.
From the start of 1927, accident insurance law also covered State employees.
Already from the early years, Finnish efforts to prevent accidents were determined and co-ordinated. After the legislative reform, however, the need for careful and uniform educational work was also recognised. To that end, FAII decided in 1928 to set up its own magazine, Työväenvakuutus – Arbetareförsäkring (from 1963 the Tapaturmavakuutus Magazine) to raise public discussion on themes related to occupational accidents and diseases.