New insurer set to operate from Gibraltar with £50m capacity

Europ Assistance has sold its after-the-event (ATE) legal expenses business to start-up insurer Lamp Insurance Company.

The new insurer is seeking a licence to write from Gibraltar. It will have a capacity of £50m in its first year, aimed primarily at the ATE market.

It will also be looking at specialist private medical insurance and the before-the-event market.

Europ Assistance said the majority of its ATE accounts should be transferred by the end of April, when they are due to expire.

Lamp will be headed by Helphire chairman Michael Symons with a number of existing Europ Assistance staff, led by legal business director Alan Strange.

Symons said: "We won't be a single strand insurer, however we will be concentrating on the ATE market for the first year.

"Lamp will be a well-run, well-funded organisation set up with funding from institutional investors."

A Europ Assistance spokesman said: "Europ Assistance can confirm its decision to cease underwriting ATE business over the next few months.

"Arrangements are being finalised to transfer the business into a new company being set up by Michael Symons. A number of current Europ Assistance staff will be transferring to the new company to ensure continuity of service for clients."

Europ Assistance currently underwrites Helphire's legal expenses insurance.