Vörður tryggingar hf. is a general insurance company offering convenient insurance solutions to individuals, families and corporate customers. At the end of 2020 the company had 109 employees in 102 full-time equivalent positions and more than 62,000 customers.

Every year brings new challenges for all companies. The year 2020 was certainly no exception but our employees, like the rest of the world, were faced with an entirely new set of challenges which tested the ingenuity and creativity of the whole team. COVID-19 had a profound impact on all the company’s activities from March until the end of the year. Most of our employees worked from home but since the company had been transitioning to the use of laptops for some time, the move to working from home was smooth. The closure of our workplaces also meant that contact with our customers was mainly through digital channels. As a result our customers made increasing use of the My Pages platform and other digital self-service channels.

Despite the difficult social and economic situation, Vörður performed well in 2020. The total number of customers grew, both household and corporate customers. The joint branch of Vörður and Arion Bank at Glerártorg in Akureyri completed its first whole year and this new arrangement has been welcomed by customers of both companies.

We continued to work on the development and introduction of digital service channels and the goal is to enable customers to take care of their regular insurance needs by using their smart phones or other devices at any time of the day, all year round. At the same time customers have the option of obtaining advice and assistance from our experts at the company’s offices. This keeps us true to our strategy of offering digital services but with a personal touch. By developing digital solutions we aspire to grow and enhance the range of services offered by the company.


Last year Vörður received a motivation prize for excellence in the field of sustainability. Motivation prizes are awarded by Creditinfo and Festa - Center for Sustainability when the list of Outstanding Companies is published. The aim of the awards is to highlight the fact that running an outstanding business means that companies have to maximize their positive impact on the environment and society just as much as focusing on their financial performance. Companies need to have a clear strategy on social responsibility, sustainability, gender equality and employee rights. The company is immensely proud of this award and it will motivate the employees to continue to make a difference.

In 2020 we worked on a new sustainability policy which is modelled on the criteria set out in the Nasdaq ESG reporting guide. According to the policy the company supports all the UN Sustainable Development Goals but has selected five goals in particular which are best aligned with the company’s core operations. The policy also addresses the role and responsibility of the board of directors, management, employees and other stakeholders. The policy, targets and key conclusions for 2020 were approved by the board of directors on 26 August 2020.

Towards the end of 2020 our suppliers were sent a supplier assessment, which was designed to gain an insight into their performance in terms of sustainability. The initial idea is to have a positive impact on suppliers and our partners and to encourage them to think about sustainability in their immediate environment. The results of the regular supplier assessment will then be used when choosing suppliers and partners, as the company prefers to work with suppliers who are aligned with the same responsible values as Vörður.

Various projects are in progress aimed at reducing the company’s greenhouse gas emissions, and travelling to and from work accounts for 60% of all emissions at Vörður. Since the majority of employees worked from home for a good part of the year due to COVID-19, emissions from commuting were greatly reduced. It is vital that we continue to work towards reducing emissions as the goal is to reach the targets of the Paris Climate Agreement, i.e. a 40% drop in emissions by 2030.

Vörður has always worked tirelessly in support of equality and in 2014 became the first Icelandic financial institution to receive equal pay certification and this has been reaffirmed every year since. Good corporate governance has also been a key priority and in March 2019 Vörður was recognized for the first time as a company which had achieved excellence in corporate governance following a formal assessment based on guidelines on corporate governance issued by the Icelandic Chamber of Commerce, the Confederation of Icelandic Employers, and Nasdaq Iceland. Vörður gained this recognition following a comprehensive audit of corporate governance at the company, such as governance by the board of directors, sub-committees and management.

In 2020 Vörður was awarded the top equality prize by FKA, the Association of Businesswomen in Iceland, was named one of the companies of the year by the labour union VR, and, as already noted, received the motivation prize for excellence in the field of sustainability. Information security is critically important for an insurance company and the company has been certified according to ISO 27001 on information security management since 2016.

Operations and financial performance

Vörður performed well in 2020. The economic slowdown caused by COVID-19 altered the typical seasonal patterns in operations, as traffic decreased significantly in the first half the year, which in turn resulted in a drop in vehicle claims. As people decided not to travel abroad on holiday but instead spent the summer in Iceland, the number of vehicle claims increased once again. In the early part of the year there was much uncertainty over money that people had already paid for future flights and accommodation abroad. Since the company handles credit card insurance for two of the major banks, we anticipated substantial additional costs in this respect but in fact the situation turned out better than expected.

When it became clear the majority of people in Iceland were working from home, leading to a drop in traffic and vehicle claims, we decided to pass on some of the savings we made to our customers. In May our household customers were given a 33% discount on premiums for the month. This figure amounted to approximately ISK 260 million and our customers certainly appreciated the gesture by the company at a time when many people were feeling the economic impact of the pandemic.

The company did not receive any individual major claims during the year and there were no major property fires. The number of claims was similar between years, with the exception of vehicle claims which decreased. This development is likely to be reversed once the economic situation improves and people began to lead a normal life again.

The financial activities segment generated excellent results, considerably better than budgeted for. It is positive but also vital that our core business, i.e. insurance, always generates a profit.

Tasks ahead

Vörður has performed well in the last few years. The company has gone from strength to strength, attracting an ever growing number of customers, both households and corporates. The business is strong and the loyalty shown by customers is testament to the fact that they value the services and terms on offer. Yet it is important that we don’t take our foot off the pedal. The company has the ambition to do even better when it comes to service and other areas of the business. We will continue to use digital solutions, and by making the business more efficient we can pass on the benefits to our customers by offering more competitive insurance premiums.

As a subsidiary of Arion Bank we can harness the potential synergy to create a one-stop shop where customers can obtain all their financial services without having to go elsewhere.

In the past few years we have continued to add to our talented team of employees, recruiting skilled and motivated people who are dedicated to achieving success. We have achieved the right mix of people to bring the company to the next level over the next few years.


Vörður has a bright future and there are numerous opportunities to grow and expand the business. We have a dedicated team of employees and the opportunities created by being a subsidiary of Arion Bank lay the foundations for future results and success.