Domestic & General Insurance PLC
It is not often that a company starting its life in the outback of Australia arranging insurance cover for the transport of cattle and sheep eventually takes on the UK as its largest market for breakdown cover and protection of household appliances.
In a nutshell, that is the history of Domestic & General Insurance PLC. It was in the outback of Western Australia in 1912 that the Western Australia Insurance Company Limited (Waico) was set up by its founding owner, Samuel Copley.
In the UK
Samuel Copley gained his first foothold in the UK market as early as 1914 and rapidly grew his business in this country.
It was not until the 1950s, however, when the real commercial breakthrough came. These were the days when black and white television sets began popping up in many British homes, and Domestic & General became the first to offer insurance cover for the cathode ray tubes upon which they relied.
Although the company initially focussed on breakdown cover and extended warranty protection for electrical appliances, in 1977 the business extended into cover for kitchen appliances and in 1978 to central heating systems.
Between 1988 and 2007 Domestic & General was publicly listed on the London Stock Exchange, before returning to private ownership. It was subsequently acquired by CVC Capital Partners in December 2013.
In addition to the UK and its native Australia, Domestic & General has offices in a further 9 countries throughout Europe, and employs around 2,500 members of staff. Current turnover of the company is approximately £570 million and the insurer boasts a total of some 15 million customers worldwide.
Domestic & General's UK headquarters are in Wimbledon in west London but it also has offices in Nottingham, Nuneaton and Brighton.
Although it might be possible to be misled by the reference to general insurance, Domestic & General in the UK markets only extended warranty and breakdown cover for a wide range of household appliances such as:
- kitchen appliances - including washing machines, fridges and freezers cookers, hobs and vacuum cleaners;
- television and audio - televisions, DVD players, home cinema systems, cameras, camcorders and hi-fi systems; and
- central heating systems - principally boiler protection.
Domestic & General landlord insurance
Despite the reference to general insurance in its title, the company offers none of the general range of commonly purchased policies such as motor insurance or home insurance.
Neither does it offer the kind of landlord insurance typically designed to protect the let building or buildings and landlords' contents. Depending on the nature of your buy to let business and the range of appliances you might be making available to your tenants, however, you may nevertheless be interested in arranging warranty protection of such items as heating system protection and cover for any of your electrical or kitchen appliances used by your tenants.