Insurance Campaign

Insurance Campaign


in Russia, the establishment of sickness benefit funds and insurance agencies in 1912–14 on the basis of the insurance laws of June 23,1912.

The insurance campaign was headed by the RSDLP and promoted by the newspaper Pravda and the journal Voprosy strakhovaniia (Problems of Insurance). The Liquidators, in an attempt to take control of the campaign, founded the journal Strakhovanie rabochikh (Workers’ Insurance). The tsarist government intended to establish sickness benefit funds and insurance associations and to appoint “reliable” workers to the newly created insurance agencies. However, the Russian proletariat was guided not by the government but by the Bolshevik insurance program drafted by V. I. Lenin and adopted at the Sixth (Prague) All-Russian Conference of the RSDLP.

Industrial workers staged meetings and strikes, demanding improvements in the insurance laws. On Dec. 14,1912, the first inquiries of the workers’ deputies to the Fourth State Duma were supported by the workers of St. Petersburg with a strike in protest against the tsarist insurance laws. The insurance campaign was furthered by the Kraków Meeting of the Central Committee of the RSDLP and Party Workers. The meeting’s resolutions were written by V. I. Lenin.

The government’s plan to accelerate the implementation of the insurance campaign was a failure. In 1912 only eight sickness benefit funds were established on an experimental basis in St. Petersburg. The plan to separate workers by branches of industry also failed. In late October 1912 a city-wide insurance center to conduct the insurance campaign was created by the Bolsheviks of St. Petersburg. The Bolshevik insurance campaign was successful in Moscow, Kharkov, Riga, and Ekaterinoslav. The Bolsheviks were also victorious in the final phase of the insurance campaign—the elections in St. Petersburg on Mar. 2,1914, to the Insurance Council and to provincial insurance offices. The steering committee of the Insurance Council was made up of candidates from Pravda, including several members of the illegal insurance center (N. I. Il’in, G. I. Osipov, S. D. Chudin, N. M. Shvernik, and G. M. Shkapin).

The insurance campaign led to the establishment of hundreds of sickness benefit funds in the industrial areas of the Russian Empire. These funds served to screen the clandestine revolutionary activities of the Bolshevik Party.


Lenin, V. I. “VI (Prazhskaia) Vserossiiskaia konferentsiia RSDRP.” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 21.
Lenin, V. I. “Izveshchenie i rezoliutsii Krakovskogo soveshchaniia Tsentral’nogo komiteta RSDRP s partiinymi rabotnikami.” Poln. sobr. soch., vol. 22.
KPSS v rezoliutsiiakh i resheniiakh s”ezdov, konferentsii i plenumov TsK, 8th ed., vol. 1. [Moscow] 1970.
Portiankin, I. A. “Pravda i strakhovaia kampaniia: 1912–1914.” VoprosyistoriiKPSS, 1962, no. 2.


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