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What it takes to be a long-term insurance partner

Dominik Bark, AIG’s Head of Financial Lines covering EMEA, shares how AIG helps clients position their organizations for long-term growth across the region.

Dominik Bark has been a leader in the insurance industry for the past 17 years. When it comes to supporting clients, one of his top priorities is being a long-term insurance partner, which means helping clients manage not only today’s risks, but also potential risks associated with future growth and expansion.

“If you are in the role of a risk manager today or a CFO, I think your number one priority is to have consistency in your insurance program,” says Dominik, who heads AIG’s financial lines business across EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa).

The financial lines business includes insurance policies covering directors and officers, cyber liability, professional indemnity, and mergers and acquisitions. Many times, this involves helping brokers and clients navigate a range of diverse economic, regulatory, and business environments across the region.

To help identify potential exposures, AIG proactively monitors regulations, laws, and litigation practices.

For instance, Dominik recalls working with a client looking to expand its services by opening a subsidiary in another region. AIG’s risk experts worked with the firm to help make sure the subsidiary’s insurance coverage complied with local rules and regulations.

“Because EMEA is a consolidation of different countries and jurisdictions, we have to think globally, but act locally,” Dominik says. “Having teams in place across jurisdictions versed in the local regulatory and legal requirements really makes a difference to our clients.”

For those interested in growing their business through acquisition or merger, Dominik encourages companies to think ahead about how their organization’s exposure to risk could change.

He points to one example in which a client based in Italy acquired a local entity as part of its plans to further expand the business globally. With this expansion, however, the client became more vulnerable to cyber risks. So, AIG’s risk experts developed an insurance solution tailored to the needs of the firm, including a local insurance policy to help mitigate their expanded risk, while complying with contractual requirements both locally and abroad.

“Nurturing long-term relationships allows us to closely follow the development of our clients’ businesses and respective risks so we can tailor solutions that evolve with their risk profiles,” Dominik says.

Supporting clients long term, Dominik adds, also enables AIG’s local claims team to deepen relationships with clients and ultimately help them manage and resolve claims more efficiently.

“Our local expertise and decades of experience allow us to negotiate and settle claims in an efficient manner,” Dominik says. “Clients appreciate having someone available locally that speaks their language and supports them when they experience a loss. That's what makes us a stronger proposition.”

Challenges in the marketplace

For Dominik, being a long-term insurance partner also means helping clients manage broader economic and insurance industry challenges.

As the costs of business risk become more complex amid macroeconomic challenges such as political uncertainty, inflation, climate change and regulatory changes, Dominik says it is imperative that AIG maintains a disciplined underwriting approach to remain a reliable, sustainable insurance partner.

“Over the past couple of years, financial lines in EMEA went through a comprehensive remediation,” said Dominik, who leads a team of some 250 underwriters across 10 geographic clusters of 23 countries. “Our underwriters put a lot of time and effort into renegotiating programs to meet client needs while also balancing the types of risks that AIG chooses to add to its portfolio of risks.”

In cases where brokers and clients struggle to find the level of insurance coverage they need, AIG is prepared to provide them with alternative solutions.

For example, Dominik recalls helping a client based in France looking to expand insurance coverage following an assessment of the businesses’ overall exposure to risk. Since the local insurance market at the time offered limited capacity to adequately cover the firm’s risks, Dominik and his team worked with the client to form a captive insurer, which essentially allowed the firm to insure itself through the creation of its own insurance company.

“Brokers and clients value our commitment to the partnership, even during challenging times,” Dominik says. “We take the time to listen, and use our expertise to help them find a tailored insurance solution.”

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American International Group, Inc. (AIG) is a leading global insurance organization. AIG member companies provide a wide range of property casualty insurance, life insurance, retirement solutions and other financial services to customers in approximately 70 countries and jurisdictions. These diverse offerings include products and services that help businesses and individuals protect their assets, manage risks and provide for retirement security. AIG common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

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