The article provided characteristics of cooperatives in the insurance sector of the national economy: insurance cooperatives and mutual insurance societies. It is established that by their economic nature insurance cooperatives are very close to friendly societies. The main differences between these organizational forms are not associated with the method of creation of insurance products, and the division or no division of capital into shares of these organizations, as well as the amount of rights of members of each organization to benefits other than insurance reimbursement.
The historical background and patterns of emergence of cooperatives in the insurance sector in European countries and Ukraine are summarized. The specific features of friendly societies are systematized: the activity is not related to a profit from insurance activities; insurers or clients are both insurers; insurers are co-owners and owners of all the assets and profits of the company; the only source of profit for the expansion of the insurance fund is an investment activity; high degree of stability with respect to economic fluctuations; activities based on the principle of solidarity; homogeneity of the participants: the similarity of business (if applicable), specific list of insurance services (for individuals and legal entities); Insurance is based on a contractual basis; change in premiums as a result of performance (profit or compensation to participants); proper use of the insurance fund and the distribution of losses among members. The critical assessment of the legal framework of their creation and its implementation are discussed. The benefits of mutual insurance societies are identified with their greater efficiency and greater reliability because insurers operating in their own interests; risk reduction, since insurance coverage is the original motive of the insurance company; providing a wide range of insurance services, which is formed according to the needs of society; shared ownership encourages each participant society to actively participate in the management of insurance company; Net fee for insurance services due to lack of administrative costs, advertising costs and finding new customers; guarantee the payment of insurance premiums in the event of insurance claims in the required (full) amount despite the fact that this amount of loss was not foreseen in the contract; the most complete account of the specific insurance needs of members as insurance terms developed and approved by them. The benefits of creating prerequisites of becoming a mutual insurance companies in Ukraine under current conditions and their transformation into powerful institutional investors are investigated.