Markel Insurance is opening three offices in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne this month as launchpads for the US specialty insurer’s entry into the Australian market.
The business has hired Axa XL Head of Long Tail Lines Rory Morison as Markel Australia MD and he will run the three offices.
“Australia is the world’s tenth-largest insurance market, and it’s growing. Specialist commercial insurance forms a significant portion of this premium,” Markel Asia Pacific MD Christian Stobbs said.
Industry research firm Axco estimates in a 2022 report that the Australian market generated $43 billion in non-life premiums in 2019, making it the tenth largest globally.
Markel Australia says demand is growing for specialty commercial insurance, particularly in casualty and financial lines. The demand is driven in part by the growth of the digital economy alongside traditional industries.
The insurer plans to introduce new products to Australian clients such as its fintech and commtech insurance solutions that are designed to protect fast-growing technology businesses from a range of risks. These risks include professional indemnity, general liability, directors’ and officers’ liability, and cyber.
Markel will also continue to support Australian brokers and commercial customers with its broad range of specialist insurance products.
Additionally the insurer will focus on providing underwriting solutions to businesses that traditionally purchase insurance in the domestic Australian market.
“We know that local underwriters understand local conditions and are uniquely focused on the needs of local clients,” Mr Stobbs said.
“By establishing a strong underwriting presence in Australia under Rory’s leadership, we are well-positioned to serve our clients as part of the domestic market, raise our game, and further Markel’s international vision.”