History of AIG
American International Group (AIG) got its start far from America in 1919, stemming from a series of insurance organizations in Shanghai, China, created by Cornelius Vander Starr. For the first ten years, C.V. Starr established a general insurance company and a life insurance operation, opening branches of the American Asiatic Underwriters in China, Vietnam, the Philippines, and an office for American International Underwriters in the United States. In the 1930s and 40s, the organization expanded further, opening an insurance company in Cuba, relocating the headquarters to New York City, and establishing Japanese and German branches.
Further expansion took place in the U.S. during the fifties, as the organization acquired a general insurer domestically. They continued worldwide business by offering coverage in the U.K. and Australia, forming American International Group (AIG) as a public company (now one of the world’s largest) by the following decade. As AIG developed over the last part of the 20th century, it listed its shares on the NYSE, opened locations in more countries, and increased its lines of business with mortgage insurance, retirement savings, and other coverages.
In the new millennium, AIG partnered with Tata to provide insurance products in India, and also acquired American General, Matrix Direct, Travel Guard, and a portion of 21st Century Insurance, an online auto insurance specialist. Business was progressing until the company and former CEO Maurice Greenberg, Starr’s replacement, got involved in an accounting scandal which was heavily investigated by state and federal powers in 2005. Greenberg left the company shortly thereafter, and AIG took on billions of risk affiliated with mortgages, though they neglected to purchase reinsurance. The company also used collateral on deposit to purchase securities backed by mortgages. These faulty moves led to their financial demise during the recession.
During this time of transition and the tip of the economic collapse, AIG purchased the remaining percentage of 21st Century Insurance that they did not own previously and rebranded AIG auto insurance to 21st Century. AIG was attempting to maintain stability until devastated by the crisis in September 2008, when their stock dropped and the company had to get a lifeline from the U.S. federal reserve, experiencing the greatest loss in the nation’s history. In order to pay off its government loans, AIG has sold off its assets, including 21st Century Insurance, who is now owned by Farmers Insurance Group.
21st Century Auto Insurance
Presently, AIG specializes in life, travel, annuities, warranty, accident, and health insurance for individuals, and a vast array of insurance services for businesses. 21st Century Auto Insurance, a Farmers Insurance Group company, is now backed by one of the nation’s top insurers of automobiles, small businesses, and homes, who covers more than 20 million individuals and 10 million households. As an auto insurance policyholder, you have access to the Farmers Circle of Dependability Program, a network of over 2,200 repair shops across the U.S. that keeps your car in running condition as long as you own it.
Offering a standard selection of services and affordable rates, 21st Century is an option to consider when shopping for coverage. Though their reviews and ratings from customers are not outstanding on average, there are accounts of positive experiences with the company and their pricing is competitive. If they sell products in your area and you find their rates more affordable than others, 21st Century is worth a try.
For an auto insurance quote from 21st Century Insurance and other companies, visit East Coast Auto Insurance.
1. AIG. Our History.
2. Wikipedia. American International Group.