Germany-based insurance firm the ARAG Group has teamed up with HDI Global Specialty to launch operations in Australia as part of its international expansion strategy.

Based in Sydney, ARAG Services Australia will operate as a managing general agent (MGA).

It will provide legal expense insurance products to insurance brokers and other intermediaries which will be underwritten by HDI Global Specialty.

Additionally, the newly created Australian subsidiary will underwrite into policies and manage claims for legal expense insurance on behalf of HDI Global Specialty.

The product line-up includes both commercial and private legal expense insurance for families.

Antoinette von Wendt has been named CEO of ARAG Services Australia.

Wendt, who joined the firm in 2015, has been working in the company’s corporate development department since then.

ARAG Group CEO Paul-Otto Faßbender said: “We’re continuously strengthening our international business activities through new strategic opportunities for the ARAG Group as our international legal insurance business accounts for 60% of our total legal insurance revenue. In 2018, we recorded a premium growth of 7% in the Group’s legal insurance segment from €938.9m ($1bn) to €1bn.

“The Australian legal expense insurance market offers interesting growth opportunities and we are eager to get started on the fifth continent, which is now the 18th country ARAG is active in.”

HDI Global Specialty– Australia general manager and head of branch Mark Fleiser said: “We are extremely excited to be working with ARAG Services Australia to bring a new legal expense insurance offering to the Australian market.

“We recognise the significant value in providing customers with insurance cover during times when they face unanticipated legal expenses.”

In February, ARAG Group reached an agreement to acquire DAS Legal Expenses Insurance Company in Ireland, which is part of part of the Ergo Group.