AIG is noted for going above and beyond when serving its clients. Helping them safely move some unimaginably large treasures is all in a day’s work.
One such treasure was the Flying Scotsman. Built in 1923, it was the first locomotive of the London and North Eastern Railway, as well as the first locomotive used for the railway’s London to Edinburgh service. In the 1960s, Alan Pegler bought and restored the retired locomotive and turned to AIG to insure its passage for a promotional tour in 1969. A decade earlier, AIG had entered the marine insurance business in the U.K., which soon expanded to insure all forms of transport—including the Flying Scotsman.
A historic move of another kind was in 1998, when AIG's Risk Specialists insured the relocation of New York City’s historic Empire Theatre to a location just 170 feet away on 42nd Street. To move the building, a steel platform was built under the Empire to serve as a base for the building’s vertical columns. The theater was then slightly lifted via hydraulic jacks so the foundation under the walls could be removed. Then, horizontal jacks pushed the platform to the new location, aided by rollers lubricated with soap. Billed as the heaviest structure moved in the city's history at 7.4 million pounds, the theater was part of a major Times Square redevelopment project. The Risk Specialists companies' reputation for placing complex and unique coverages played a significant role in landing the project, which was completed without incident.
In 2012, an AIG Private Client Group client became concerned that Superstorm Sandy had caused dangerous erosion beneath his Cliffside home in Martha’s Vineyard. AIG extended coverage on the home so it could be moved to a new foundation, 350 yards away. The entire process was so nondisruptive that the client’s china was left in the cabinets, the artwork remained on the walls, and the home’s air conditioning and power continued to run throughout the move.
Another AIG Private Client Group client wanted to lend a painting to a Tokyo exhibit, but first needed to transport it from Florida to New York, from where it would be flown overseas. AIG made sure the painting was protected within a custom crate and transported up the East Coast in an air-ride suspension and climate-controlled truck, along with security officers. The precautions proved fortuitous, as the truck broke down along Interstate 95. The artwork remained safe, thanks to the security detail, and eventually made it to the Tokyo exhibition.
AIG often moves mountains for clients—or at least objects that might warrant comparison—and in doing so, tackles feats that make the history books.