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Northern Ireland IT insurance firm reroutes €70m (£60m) of business to Dublin in Brexit-proofing move

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MCL InsureTech, the name behind online insurance brands Its4women, 25plus and Boxymo, has relocated its Irish operations to Swords, Dublin with the creation of 40 new roles there.

The move by the Coleraine-based firm will represent an investment to the Irish economy of £3m and comes as a result of continued uncertainty around the UK’s exit from the EU.

It will give the company assurance that it can access 500 million potential customers in the Single Market and easily manage its Irish customer-base without the restriction of any Brexit-induced regulations and it follows on from MCL InsureTech’s successful application for regulation by the Central Bank of Ireland which allows its new Swords centre to become its own Irish entity, operating separately from the northern base.

Already the company services around €70m of gross written premium and 90,000 customers in Ireland. That business was originally processed at its Co. Londonderry base but the firm, which has operated from Coleraine for 10 years, is keen to safeguard that business hard or soft exit says Managing Director, Gary McClarty.

He said: “The threat of a hard Brexit has forced us to set a mechanism in place to protect our EU business and in this case it has resulted in the launch of a new Irish entity based in Dublin and unfortunately the loss of €70m worth of business to the Northern Ireland economy.

“This office will allow us to operate in the Single Market and access the 500 million people in that market. Unfortunately, after Brexit, when the UK becomes in effect a third country, any passporting rules that NI was privy to will no longer apply.”

Mr McClarty said that he did not foresee any job losses in his NI business but said any new business and products for the larger European markets will be routed through the new Swords base.

“Now that we are authorised by the Central Bank there are exciting times ahead for our business in the South. We will be launching a range of new products and services that will benefit the Swords and wider area in terms of employment for now and in years to come.”

MCL InsureTech in Coleraine serviced the whole of Ireland for the past decade. During that time, it has tripled its staff numbers there to 102. Those staff will continue working at the Co. Londonderry base, which will trade as normal following the opening of the Swords office.

MCL InsureTech prides itself on being one of the first bespoke online car insurance firms in the Irish market with its brand its4women.ie and following its success the company introduced the 25plus.ie brand, which offers online home, car, travel, health and property insurance for the over 25s.

In 2013 it launched its telematics brand, Boxymo.ie, which rewards better driving and offers younger drivers more competitive insurance.

Its4women was a product originally offered to drivers in the South but earlier last year MCL InsureTech expanded to offer access to NI female drivers with an aim to secure up to 10% of the NI car insurance market within the next five years.

To hit that target the company also has plans to create new roles and invest in its IT and contact centre business.

Explaining MCL InsureTech’s unique online proposition, Mr McClarty* said: “We are passionate about everything online and are constantly embracing new ways of working to give customers the best possible online experience. We have the technological know-how and expertise to create innovative online loyalty services that will enhance the lives of customers who choose us as their online car insurance partner. We also market test our IT solutions in a real-time environment, enabling us to continuously improve the end result for both the consumer and business user.

“At the backend, our systems are designed to provide as much automation through the administrative process to increase efficiency and reduce errors. Our software solutions give us an edge in the competitive online insurance market.”

MCL InsureTech also owns a software programming company DotSys Ltd which provides financial software solutions to the financial services industry.

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