AIG, Greenberg Battle Over Starr MGA Accounts

January 31, 2006

New York State Supreme Court Justice Herman Cahn has granted American International Group Inc. a temporary restraining order against a managing general agency owned by C.V. Starr & Co., the insurance company being run by AIG’s own former chairman, Maurice “Hank” Greenberg.

The order bars Greenberg’s agency from pursuing contracts with National Indemnity on business currently with AIG. It is in effect until Thursday, Feb. 2, when the court will hear arguments from lawyers on AIG’s allegations against C.V. Starr and Starr Technical, its MGA that specializes in oil and chemical industry insurance.

AIG has claimed that Starr Technical has been using “unauthorized” reinsurance agreements with National Indemnity, a unit of Berkshire Hathaway, to take business now placed with AIG and give it to other insurers. AIG maintains that Starr Technical and AIG have had an exclusive contract since 1992, which includes allowing Starr Technical to sell policies in AIG’s name.

C.V. Starr has countered with its own lawsuit claiming AIG is trying to keep its agency from competing. Starr claims that its agency is free to write accounts with other carriers when AIG is not competitive. Its lawyers have accused AIG of trying to close down Starr agencies and urging clients not to do business with Greenberg’s companies.

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