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Ensurance says UK business growing despite lockdown

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Underwriting agency Ensurance says its main UK and international operations performed strongly in the June quarter, suffering just a brief dip in business during the recently ended virus lockdown.

As at June 30, the business recorded gross written premium (GWP) of nearly £17 million ($30 million), more than double that of the prior year. It has a renewal book of £7.6 million ($13.7 million) for the next 12 months.

“Overall performance of the UK operation exceeded the levels originally forecast for [the 2019/20 financial year],” Ensurance said in an investor update last week. “Despite ongoing uncertainty of COVID-19, UK operations delivered [a] solid quarter.”

Ensurance says GWP for project business fell during the lockdown but the September quarter will see improved numbers with the re-opening of UK building sites following the easing of restrictions in May.

“Sites began to reopen throughout June and therefore it continues to be expected that the September 2020 quarter will see demand for this product line return to its pre-COVID-19 levels,” the agency says.

“All other products continued to perform during the June 2020 quarter in line with expectations, with COVID-19 having an immaterial impact on these areas.”

The UK is now Ensurance’s main market following the completion in March of the sale of its Australian underwriting arm for $1.1 million to 360 Construction. The sale is part of the agency’s restructuring exercise.

Executive Chairman Tony Leibowitz told the company “started with no revenues in the UK three years ago and we’re nearly up to £17 million. And it’s not just the UK – it’s the UK, Europe and America.”

He says the business has performed exceptionally well with “a lot on the agenda and many things happening from an operational and an acquisition perspective”.

Mr Leibowitz now runs the business from Australia, supported by a part-time financial controller, a part-time company secretary, a part-time administrative assistant and two non-executive directors.