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QBE Insurance (Europe) Limited

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QBE is Australia's largest insurance company with a global reach that takes in Europe, the United States and the Asia Pacific region. It is represented in more than 50 countries worldwide and employs more than 16,000 individuals.

QBE Insurance (Europe) Limited is the trading arm based in the UK, with European operations accounting for some 29% of QBE's turnover. In addition to the head office in London, the company also maintains regional branches in the UK in:

  • Birmingham;
  • Belfast;
  • Bristol;
  • Leeds;
  • Manchester;
  • Stafford; and
  • Glasgow.

In the general history of multinational insurance companies, QBE is a relative newcomer, having been formed in 1973, when it was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange following the merger of three Australian businesses (whose initials form the name QBE) namely:

  • Queensland Insurance;
  • Bankers' and Traders Insurance Company; and
  • Equitable Life and General Insurance Co.

Accounts filed for the year ending 31 December 2013 reported that the group as a whole had underwritten some £11,436 million in gross premiums and had a share capitalisation of £6,251 million. Group headquarters are in Sydney, Australia.

In the UK and Ireland, QBE specialises in property and business interruption insurance, principally to large corporate clients. Nevertheless, it also offers a range of products specifically designed for small businesses called a Business Portfolio.

Landlord insurance

Landlord insurance is typically plays an important role in the armoury of safeguards required by landlords and those running any kind of buy to let business.

It generally offers protection against loss and damage to the let building and its contents, other liabilities assumed by the owner of let property, and typically includes some element of compensation for loss or rental income or other forms of business interruption associated with let property.

Conventionally, therefore, standard home building and contents insurance is unlikely to provide sufficient protection for the owner of let property. Indeed, in many cases, home insurance designed for owner occupiers is likely to become invalid if the property is subsequently let to tenants.

QBE landlord insurance

QBE's principal interest is in offering insurance to larger, corporate property owners representing a range of different industries such as distribution, food, manufacturing, technology and transport. Nevertheless, QBE Europe makes a point of directing its services towards property owning businesses whatever their size.

These services are offered principally through the company's Business Portfolio for small businesses and, in particular, QBE's FastFlow division based in Stafford.