SA insurer expanding Kiwi operations

by Maryvonne Gray 11 Mar 2014

SA insurer expanding Kiwi operations

New Zealand may soon have another insurance company competing in the space in the form of upstart firm Youi.

A Youi spokesman confirmed to Insurance Business that the insurer is "investigating the opportunity of expanding into the NZ market" but  "the plans are still subject to board and regulator approval".

The company opened a call centre in Greenlane last August which currently services the Australian market. However, the Youi website is also actively advertising for sales advisors to start at the end of March with additional roles to be filled, including customer service, throughout the year.

Peter Broome is listed as the head of New Zealand operations.

Youi started up on the Sunshine Coast in 2008 and has recorded massive growth in the past half year with almost 500,000 clients in Australia up from 350,000 in the corresponding period, the Courier Mail reported.

Now South African parent company Outsurance Holdings has earmarked almost A$46 million to grow Youi’s business and flagged a possible expansion into NZ in the "next financial year", the report said.

While small, the direct insurer is among a growing group of smaller names competing against dominant insurers IAG and Suncorp.

Australian CEO Danie Matthee said: “It’s very much a growth in customer numbers that is driving it.”