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OUTsurance announces its global footprint expansion to Ireland on St Paddy’s Day

OUTsurance announces its global footprint expansion to Ireland on St Paddy’s Day
(Image: Unsplash / Matthew Hamilton | Wikimedia)

Having firmly established itself as a leader in the direct insurance market in South Africa, OUTsurance is casting its eye abroad.

The insurer, which has already successfully set up house in Australia, plans to launch in Ireland in the next quarter of this year. It was granted a licence by the central bank in December last year. 

Chief financial officer Jan Hofmeyr says the move will give the company greater earnings diversification when it comes to climate change risk, as the business will then have exposure to both the northern and southern hemispheres.

Chief executive Marthinus Visser says management is anticipating a five-year J-curve before the Irish business breaks even. 

“Starting a new business from scratch will require heavy infrastructure. Then you have to consider that it’s a regulated business and we need to establish call centre operation systems and all the other elements of the business,” he told journalists on Monday.

Visser says OUTsurance has already deployed a “significant amount of capital” into the Irish business to satisfy the regulator that it has sufficient capital resources to operate through this start-up period. 

OUTsurance will incrementally make further capital contributions over five to six years until the Irish business is successful enough that it no longer requires capital support.

The Irish Times has reported that OUTsurance plans to operate out of offices in Cherrywood Business Campus in Dublin, and is already hiring frontline staff to build a workforce of about 300 over the next three years.

Visser confirmed that the Irish venture currently has about 60 employees on the ground. 

“Most of the future employment growth will be from operational areas rather than back office,” he says. 

Minister for Financial Services, Credit Unions and Insurance, Jennifer Carroll MacNeill, heralded the new player in the insurance market as “good news for Irish consumers”.

“Later this year everyone will have a new choice of insurer to explore when taking out home or motor insurance. More competition in the Irish insurance market is good for people in Ireland,” she told the Irish Times. DM

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