Own IAG (ASX:IAG) shares? Here’s what you’re really invested in

Here’s what’s under IAG’s hood…

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If you own Insurance Australia Group Ltd (ASX: IAG) shares, firstly, commiserations are in order. The IAG share price has had a shocker today, falling by a nasty 2.51% to finish the day at $4.27 a share. That almost mirrors the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO), which finished the trading day down by 2.49%.

IAG’s recent share price performance hasn’t lit anyone’s eyes up either, I’d wager. The IAG share price remains down by a rather horrible 14.4% over the past 12 months, and down by close to 30% over the past 5 years.

But let’s not dwell too deeply on those sobering figures, and instead let’s check out what you actually own if you own IAG shares. Remember, this is a company that once attracted the sought-after dollars of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc (NYSE: BRK.A)(NYSE: BRK.B) a few years ago.

IAG shares: what’s in a name?

So no doubt the name ‘IAG’ wouldn’t be too familiar with Australians outside the investing space. That’s because IAG doesn’t slap its own brand on most of the insurance policies it sells. Instead, the company uses a number of subsidiary brands to this end. Heard of NRMA Insurance? That’s owned by IAG.

As is SGIO. SGIO stands for State Government Insurance Office and was an old state-owned company from Western Australia. Today, IAG owns SGIO in full. It’s the same with SGIC (State Government Insurance Commission) in South Australia. IAG acquired both names in 1998.

Other brands IAG own and offer policies through include Swann Insurance, WFI, CGU Insurance and Lumley Special Vehicles.

IAG is also the business behind the white-label Coles Insurance, offered, of course, by Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL). When you buy car or home insurance from Coles, you are really buying a policy underwritten by IAG.

Through this rather large network of businesses, IAG gives its customers insurance on anything from cars, motorcycles and boats to crops and livestock, income protection and home and contents.

So that’s what you indirectly have a stake in if you own IAG shares.

At the latest IAG share price, this ASX insurer has a market capitalisation of $10.46 billion, with a trailing dividend yield of 3.3%. 

Should you invest $1,000 in IAG right now?

Before you consider IAG, you'll want to hear this.

Motley Fool Investing expert Scott Phillips just revealed what he believes are the 5 best stocks for investors to buy right now... and IAG wasn't one of them.

The online investing service he’s run for over a decade, Motley Fool Share Advisor, has provided thousands of paying members with stock picks that have doubled, tripled or even more.* And right now, Scott thinks there are 5 stocks that are better buys.

*Returns as of January 13th 2022

Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns and has recommended Insurance Australia Group Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Berkshire Hathaway (B shares). The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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