The history of PZU goes back to the 1920s, when Polska Dyrekcja Ubezpieczeń Wzajemnych  (the Polish Directorate for Mutual Insurance) was established. The first nationwide insurance institution providing a full insurance package, then transformed into Powszechny Zakład Ubezpieczeń Wzajemnych (Universal Mutual Insurance Institution).

In 1952, Powszechny Zakład Ubezpieczeń Wzajemnych was transformed by law into Państwowy Zakład Ubezpieczeń (PZU, State Insurance Company).

As a result of the political transformation after 1989, PZU was transformed into a joint stock company limited by the State Treasury. In December 1991, a joint-stock company PZU Życie was also established, for which PZU transferred its portfolio of life insurance contracts.

In connection with the reform of the pension insurance system in Poland, in 1998, PZU Życie established a joint-stock company PTE PZU, which manages the OFE PZU (Open Pension Fund).

On November 5, 1999, the Share Purchase Agreement was concluded, under which Eureko and BIG Bank Gdański SA acquired shares constituting respectively 20% and 10% of the share capital of PZU. In the context of the implementation of the Agreement, a dispute arose, the amicable settlement of which took place in October 2009. Between the parties, the State Treasury, Eureko, PZU and Kappa, a Settlement and Divestment Agreement has been concluded.

In 2002, as a result of the acquisition of shares in UAB DK "Lindra" (PZU Lietuva), the PZU Group commenced operations on the Lithuanian insurance market. In turn, by acquiring shares in OJSC "Skide-West" (PZU Ukraina) in 2005, it began operations in the Ukrainian market.

Since May 12, 2010, PZU has been listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, where - since its debut - it has been at the forefront of the most valued and liquid companies. It is the first company that became part of WIG20 on the first trading day. On the first trading day, the volume of trading reached PLN 5.1 billion and the total offer in the IPO amounted to PLN 8.1 billion (USD 2.7 billion).

In 2014, insurance companies were acquired in the Baltic States (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia) and a company conducting direct insurance activity in Poland - LINK4.

In addition to the insurance area, PZU is building its position in the banking sector in Poland.

In 2015, the transaction of purchasing a 25.19% stake in the share capital of Alior Bank SA took place. The next stage was the transaction carried out by Alior Bank for the purchase of a separated part of Bank BPH, including its core business.

On December 8, 2016, PZU and PFR signed a contract with UniCredit regarding the purchase of 32.8% of shares in Bank Pekao. The transaction was finalized on June 7, 2017. It was one of the largest transactions in the banking sector in Europe in recent years. Thanks to this strategic investment, PZU has become the largest financial group in Poland and Central and Eastern Europe.