Envest quietly adds two new niche underwriters to its portfolio

Aster SGUA Insurance Agencies

Envest has added two new niche underwriters to its portfolio in off-market transactions.

Aster Underwriting and SGUA (St George Underwriting Agency) joined the Envest Group in Q2, bringing the total number of underwriters in the Envest Group to 15.

Aster Underwriting has a suite of products spanning Marine Liability, Pest & Weed Control (including Pre-Purchase Building Inspectors), Security Industry Liability and also offers solutions for a variety of Protection & Indemnity risks as well as other Casualty lines.

SGUA is a specialist landlord underwriting agency based in Perth, formerly part of the Hollard Group. Envest acquired a 35% interest in the business, which is majority-owned by Rob and Rowan Watson.

Envest Chief Commercial Officer Richard Heilig said the investment in SGUA and Aster Underwriting aligned with the Envest Group strategy of investing in agencies with specialist skills, strong management and a consistent track record.

SGUA also complements Envest’s existing investments with landlord’s business, including PIP (Property Insurance Plus), Blue Zebra and QSelect.

“SGUA will celebrate its 30th anniversary this year and is expected to write close to $20m in GWP this year,” Mr Heilig said.

“Aster Underwriting has been growing steadily since inception and is benefiting from its ability to access multiple P&I markets, offering placement of both Liability and P&I risks from the one underwriting agency.

“Both businesses play in niche spaces with tremendous opportunities for growth.”

Aster Underwriting Director Phil Sholl said Aster was well poised to gain further traction due to the experience and diversity of the underwriting team in association with long standing insurer binder agreements on each product.

“Aster offers unique policy coverage via their local Australian security providers and offers further reach through their Lloyds Coverholder status,” he said.

“Our team brings a vast array of experience and industry knowledge to each of the specialised industries in which we participate. “

Aster Underwriting current appetite includes;

  • Marine Industry Combined Liability (MICL) – including both land and water-based risks
  • Marine Liability – Protection & Indemnity (limits up to USD$500m)
  • Pest & Weed Control (Domestic, Commercial, Agricultural, Fumigation)
  • Pre-Purchase Timber Pest & Building Inspections
  • Security Liability (static guards, crowd control, installers etc)
  • Money in Safe/Transit

SGUA Director Rowan Watson said the transition from Hollard to Envest was good timing for SGUA and an opportunity to align its vision and take advantage of a disrupted industry.

“I’m looking forward to working with the team at Envest to grow our business by leveraging their extensive experience and network in the insurance industry,” Mr Watson said.

“Landlords is a growing class of business and something property owners have been significantly exposed to when they least expected it. We see even more value in our products than ever before.

“We are excited about the major projects we have potentially lined up and executing them to bolster our business and the Envest suite.”

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