Australian insurance company QBE has expanded its marine offering in Europe to provide international trade coverage for clients seeking local services.

The insurer said that the latest expansion comes as the marine insurance business has high growth opportunities in Europe.

With a presence across 28 European countries, QBE has deployed a team of underwriters across the European region.

Utilising international expertise, this team of underwriters, working under the management of QBE Europe Marine practice lead Tania Bensoussan-Arthur, delivers local service to QBE’s clients on the continent.

QBE began writing marine in France in October 2022, followed by the Nordics region in April 2023.

The company is now launching marine offerings including Marine Cargo and Fine Art & Specie products in Germany.

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It has also hired Lars Habersaat as marine underwriter and Philip Specht as senior marine underwriter, who will operate from QBE’s Hamburg office.

Moving forward, QBE will focus on other European countries, with the Netherlands as its main priority.

Bensoussan-Arthur said: “QBE has a long-standing marine business and it is very exciting for me to expand and roll out the product line locally into Germany after France and the Nordics.

“Trade routes are changing; cargo risks are evolving and our product aims at supporting the marine sector’s resilience.

“International trade requires international expertise combined with local knowledge and our European team will deliver this cross-border competence tailored to country-specific needs.”

Citing statistics from the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI), QBE highlighted that the marine insurance market has witnessed strong performance in Europe while marine insurance growth is slowing down in Asia.

IUMI’s data shows that marine premiums rose by 8.3% to $35.5bn last year and almost half of this amount, approximately 47.7%, originated from Europe alone.