26th November 2012

W. R. Berkley Insurance Australia.

QUS Announces Agreement with W. R. Berkley Insurance Australia.

QUS are pleased to announce today that APRA authorised insurer W. R. Berkley Insurance (Europe) Limited, which trades as W. R. Berkley Insurance Australia (W. R. Berkley Australia), has agreed to provide it with capacity, beginning 1 January 2013.

From 1 January 2013, all insurance policies underwritten by QUS will be issued on behalf of W. R. Berkley Australia.

QUS and Calliden Insurance Limited, which will cease providing QUS’s security on 31 December 2012, had mutually agreed to find another capital provider that could help QUS reach its full potential. QUS conducted an extensive market review over the last 12 months to identify a long-term trading partner.

QUS General Manager Craig Hodgson says the change in security gives the underwriting agency strong financial capacity which will enable it to generate significant opportunities.

“We’re an agency with specialist product knowledge in strata insurance and superior products. We are pleased to be underwriting on behalf of a leading and secure insurer that is rated ‘A+ (Strong)’ with a stable outlook by Standard & Poor’s,” he said.

W. R. Berkley Australia started underwriting business in Australia in 2003 and has built a significant portfolio of business based on its high service standards, local authority and flexible approach. The W. R. Berkley group of companies is headed by W. R. Berkley Corporation, which had more than US$19.9 billion in assets as of 30 September 2012 and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

QUS launched in June 2008 as a specialist provider of property owners’ insurance products, transacting business only through licensed insurance brokers. Since then it has gained significant market share in the strata market and, with the capacity available through W. R. Berkley Australia, will increase its capabilities for larger risks and expand its market share.
“QUS is also introducing new technology to make it easier for brokers to transact business with us electronically,” Mr Hodgson said. “Our online quoting and binding platform will come to fruition in 2013.”

Tony Wheatley, W. R. Berkley Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, said the QUS relationship was an excellent fit because both companies were broker focused. “Our brokers and policyholders are treated as individuals by an insurer who understands their specialist business risk exposures and provides long-term solutions in underwriting and claims,” he said.

“QUS shares that philosophy and W. R. Berkley is keen to help this highly professional, well-respected agency expand its market share,” he said.

“This is part of a corporate strategy to align with agencies that demonstrate superior knowledge and expertise and thus provide us with opportunities for growth in their specialist niche markets.”

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