AIG Europe Limited

aig logo

AIG stands for American International Group. According to the Forbes Global list for 2014, AIG is the 42nd biggest public company in the world. It claims to have more than 88 million customers worldwide in more than 130 countries. Its headquarters are in New York and the multinational employs more than 64,000 individuals in over 90 countries.

AIG Europe Limited is the multinational's trading arm in Europe and UK operations are based in London. Between 2009 and until December 2012, AIG Europe Limited was known as Chartis Europe Limited.

AIG is able to trace its origins to 1919 when an American, Cornelius Vander Starr founded a general insurance company in Shanghai, China, called American Asiatic Underwriters (AAU). The general insurance business was extended into life insurance and the company grew rapidly during the 1920s and 30s. Its headquarters were moved from Shanghai to New York on the eve of the Second World War in 1939, under a new company name, American International Underwriters (AIU)

The post-war years saw further expansion of AIU's global reach, this time into Europe and the UK. Cornelius Vander Starr remained at the helm of the company until his death in 1968, which occurred shortly after the renaming of all the general and life insurance business as American International Group, Inc.

In 1969, AIG became a public company, and in 1984 its shares were listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The company was subsequently also listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Continued growth of AIG has been based on the expansion of its product range to one of the strongest and broadest in the insurance market for individuals and businesses. In the UK, for example, AIG Europe claims to insure millions of individuals, many of the country's leading business corporations and thousands of small and medium sized enterprises.

Landlord insurance

In recent years, the UK property market has witnessed something of a boom in buy to let businesses.

With the growth of this sector of the market, there has also grown a considerable demand for landlord insurance - designed not simply to protect the structure and fabric of the landlord's investment in the property itself, but also in its contents, and protection against some of the major risks of running such a business.

AIG landlord insurance

While AIG welcomes business from every size of enterprise from the sole trader to the largest of corporations, there is a lack of information about its insurance policies for landlords.

Some of this may be explained by the general target market for many of its products. In its guide to insurance brokers, for instance, AIG includes a heading for Business Property, but advises that this is principally intended for multinational clients and others with the need to protect high-value risks. Even its "middle market" property insurance products are designed for premises valued at US$50 million or more.

For the British buy to let landlord, probably the most appropriate of AIG's policy is the "commercial combined" cover that includes all risks physical damage to property, business interruption (loss of rental income, for example) and public and employer's liability cover. According to AIG's guide, such policies are suitable for UK businesses with a turnover of up to £10 million.