Eagle Star Insurance

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Eagle Star
SuccessorZurich Financial Services
HeadquartersCheltenham, Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom
Key people
Sir Denis Mountain, (Chairman)

The Eagle Star Insurance Company plc (formerly Eagle Star Insurance Company Limited) was a leading British insurance business. It underwrote the full range of risks including liability, fire, accident, marine, motor, life, contingency and Pluvius (weather) insurance. It was listed on the London Stock Exchange and was a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.


Former Eagle Star building on The Headrow in Leeds.
Former Eagle Star Insurance building at the Regent Centre, Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne.

The Company was founded by Edward Mountain in 1904 as the British Dominions Marine Insurance Company, which operated as a marine insurance office in the five principal overseas Dominions.[1] It started writing fire and accident policies in 1911 and life assurance policies in 1916.[1]

It expanded rapidly in its early years acquiring the Eagle (founded by Sir William Rawlins in 1807) in 1916 and both the Sceptre (founded in 1864) and the Star (founded in 1843) in 1917.[1] It was renamed the Eagle Star & British Dominions in 1917 and Eagle Star in 1937.[1] (The story surrounding the final renaming is that Sir Edward Mountain's son Brian was in the USA promoting company business. Having given the name of his firm to an American businessman, the American is said to have replied, "Are you trying to sing a song, or sell insurance?" The company's name was swiftly changed!)

For many years its Head Office was at the rather prestigious address of 1 Threadneedle Street, London EC2. However, a new administrative head office and computer centre was opened in Cheltenham in October 1968.[1]

In 1981 it fought off a takeover bid from Allianz, the German insurance Group.[2]

It was acquired by BAT Industries for £968m in 1984.[1] It is now one of the insurance brands owned by Zurich Financial Services although its active use has now been discontinued.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Eagle Star at Euroarchive". Archived from the original on 2012-07-31. Retrieved 2009-02-28. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  2. ^ Sir Denis Mountain: obituary The Independent, 6 January 2006
  3. ^ Zurich - a new name for Eagle Star Archived 2009-04-10 at the Wayback Machine Irish Times

External links[edit]