Although established to transact fire business, the company added life assurance in 1862 (when it also began to offer fire insurance overseas) and marine in 1863. In 1900, the company expanded its business to include burglary and accident insurance followed by plate glass insurance in 1901 and trustee and executor business by 1905.
Over the last quarter of a century the company has undergone a number of changes. On 4 January 1982, it was renamed the Commercial Union Assurance Company plc and its holding company, Commercial Union Plc announced a merger with the General Accident Plc on 25 February 1998.
On 1 October 1999, the company's name changed to CGU International Insurance Plc, a subsidiary of the new holding company CGU Plc. On February 21 2000, CGU announced a merger with Norwich Union Plc to form CGNU Plc, which was re-branded in July 2002 as Aviva Plc. Finally, on September 1 2006, CGU International Insurance changed its name to Aviva International Insurance.
by Paul Green