AIG Sues Newly Launched Dellwood Insurance and Its Founders

American International Group and a group of its excess and surplus lines subsidiaries have filed suit against Dellwood Insurance Group and three former AIG executives who launched the nationwide E&S lines insurance holding company about a month ago.

According to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, AIG seeks to stop the “unlawful misappropriation of AIG’s trade secrets and confidential information” allegedly committed by Michael Price, Kean Driscoll, and Thomas Connolly. AIG is also suing for alleged breaches of contract, breaches of fiduciary duty, unfair competition, and violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The insurer is seeking injunctive relief and damages.

New Jersey-based Dellwood announced its launch in early March with more than $250 million in capital and backed by RenaissanceRe, PartnerRe, Starr Insurance, and Central Insurance. Individual investors include Dominic Addesso, David Delaney, VJ Dowling, Jim Hays, and principals from Stone Point Capital. Howden Tiger Capital Markets & Advisory served as Dellwood’s financial advisor and Foley & Lardner served as Dellwood’s legal advisor.

Related: Former AIG Execs Launch E&S Company Dellwood Group for Small/Middle Sized Risks

Price was AIG’s CEO of North America General Insurance before leaving the company on June 30, 2023. Driscoll, AIG’s former global chief underwriting officer of General Insurance left effective March 3 — after his “garden leave” and just days before the launch of Dellwood was announced, according to the lawsuit. Connolly was formerly chief financial officer of AIG’s North America General Insurance.

Price and Driscoll are now CEO and CUO, respectively, of Dellwood, formed for P/C wholesale brokers with eye on small- and middle-enterprise risks.

“This business is directly competitive with those of the AIG E&S Insurers,” said AIG. “AIG was at the forefront of a recent market trend of moving the E&S market from a dual distribution model to a wholesale-only model. AIG developed its own unique and proprietary version of the contract bind process that eliminated the need for hiring a fleet of sophisticated underwriters, a substantial cost. Dellwood appears to have adopted that strategy and, on information and belief, intends to leverage the relevant expertise that Price, Driscoll, Connolly, and other former employees learned at AIG to develop a company that competes against AIG not only in the E&S market but in other segments as well.”

According to AIG, Price and Driscoll each have agreements with the insurer that prohibit them from competing with AIG, soliciting customers, disclosing confidential information, or disparaging their former employer. AIG said the duo “breached their obligations to AIG long before their non-competes expired,” and raised capital to start Dellwood by actively marketing the start-up to investors — competing against AIG.

Furthermore, AIG said Price and Driscoll violated agreements not to solicit AIG employees by hiring Connolly. “Worse, Price and Driscoll convinced Connolly to work for Dellwood as a secret agent during at least his final month at AIG, which concluded March 15, 2024,” said AIG, adding that it has evidence Connolly did work for Dellwood while still employed with AIG, sent confidential information to his personal email, and tried to get coworkers to join him at Dellwood.

Dellwood told Insurance Journal that they do not comment on active litigation.