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Legal insurer gains Australian foothold with HDI

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German legal insurer ARAG Group has expanded into Australia in concert with HDI Global Specialty.

A new underwriting agency, ARAG Services Australia, will target the intermediary market, and establish policies and handle claims for legal insurance policies on HDI’s behalf.

ARAG now has operations in 18 countries. Its international legal insurance business is increasingly important, making up 60% of total legal insurance revenue.

CEO Paul-Otto Fassbender says the Australian legal expense insurance market “offers interesting growth opportunities and we are eager to get started on the continent”.

Antoinette von Wendt has been appointed CEO of the Australian operation. She previously worked in ARAG’s corporate development department.

HDI Global Specialty launched this year as a joint venture between HDI Global and Hannover Re, covering business lines such as legal expenses, errors and omissions, directors’ and officers’ insurance, sports and entertainment, aviation, offshore energy and animal cover.