Demand for professional liability insurance rising in Asia

One specialist commercial insurance provider recently stated that demand for professional liability insurance in Asia is expected to rise.

Professional indemnity insurance underwriter Markel International stated that demands in the region will increase as it becomes more affluent and sophisticated.

Markel is one of the largest business liability insurance underwriters in the world.  40 per cent of its total premiums are provided by its international business accounts. Markel’s 2009 total premiums tallied at nearly £1.29 million.

The chief operating officer and president of the firm recently commented on the development.  William Stovin stated that Markel currently writes wholesale business.  However the long-term strategy for the firm is to become a local professional indemnity insurance provider.

Mr Stovin stated that demand for cover will match the firm’s offering as it becomes more local.  He added that Markel is already experiencing said increase in demand.

Markel’s regional Asia hub is located in Singapore.  The firm opened its offices there in 2007.  In the Singapore market, liability cover for directors and officers has penetrated the market at a rate of 60 per cent for listed companies.  The rate for unlisted firms is far lower.

This coming January will see Markel’s newly set up Hong Kong service company begin operations. The specialist liability market for the city represents a potential £64 million in premiums. Yet this is but a small percentage of the entire market for Hong Kong; gross premiums for non-life insurance amounted to £1.85 billion last year alone.

Earlier this year Markel also announced its launch of a service company in Malaysia, on the island of Labuan. The specialist liability market for Malaysia has been estimated to be approximately £25 million in income from premiums.

Markel offers a comprehensive suite of liability products.  Included in its offering is prospectus liability insurance in addition to cover for fund managers and financial advisers.

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