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Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance
Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance

Blue Zebra eyes overseas expansion

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Underwriting agency Blue Zebra is considering expanding overseas following the rapid growth of its Australian operation.

The company, led by former QBE executives Colin Fagen and Blair Nicholls, aims to bring personal lines back to brokers and uses smart technology to increase efficiency.

Launched last year, the agency now has 17 staff and is handling $125 million annual gross written premium.

“We’ve been approached by players in Asia and North America to discuss anything from a full MGA model to just using our technology,” Mr Fagen told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

“Most of the interest is coming from markets like Hong Kong and Singapore. We’re also looking at opportunities in New Zealand. This is all at the preliminary stages – we want to bed down the Australian operation first.”

Blue Zebra currently offers landlord, household and motor products, but aims to add SME, cyber, commercial motor and fleet motor coverage.

It is currently backed by Zurich, but Mr Fagen says the agency could work with other underwriters on new products.

“We are keen to develop current partnerships, but every organisation has a different appetite for different products,” he said.

Mr Fagen says the current market hardening is impacting on rates. “We are pushing up rates a little bit because the loss ratio needs improvement.”

But he says positive feedback from brokers shows the agency is nimble and able to adapt.

“Brokers have a lot of clients that are looking for these products,” Mr Fagen told insuranceNEWS.com.au. “We give them an opportunity to pull back a lot of personal lines business from the direct market.”