Belfast Telegraph

Insurer to create 40 new jobs in £1.5m expansion

By Margaret Canning

An Independent insurance underwriting agency is set to create 40 new jobs in an investment of over £1m.

Midas Underwriting in Newtownards, which employs around 30 people, handles household and private motor claims for brokers.

Its £1.5m expansion, which is part-funded by Invest NI, will enable the 10-year-old agency start offering policies to brokers in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

Invest NI has offered £160,000 through its Jobs Fund intended to enable companies to create the new jobs, focused in back-office functions and paying below the private sector average of £18,200.

Midas Underwriting was formerly known as Claimsafe (UK). A spokesman said it was registered in Essex for regulation purposes but keeps its head office in Newtownards.

Fourteen staff of the present workforce have been recruited under the new expansion. The spokesman said all the new jobs, which will be created over the next two years, were for the Newtownards base.

Alan Hunter, managing director of Midas Underwriting, said: "Given the current economic climate and the strong competition within the marketplace, we felt we needed to diversify. This project will enable us to enhance our product portfolio and generate new income streams."

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster visited the company's headquarters to announce the expansion.

She said: "Midas Underwriting is diversifying into new business areas and is building a portfolio of bespoke services that will differentiate it from the competition.

"Invest NI's support will help the company to create new jobs quickly and increase the company's ability to compete in a difficult marketplace.

"The Boosting Business campaign features a wide range of support to help businesses create employment, develop new products and increase their export activity. Midas Underwriting, like many other companies, is benefiting from this fast-track support."

DETI last week announced more than 160 jobs at Co Tyrone pork plant Vion.

While the Dutch-based company was investing £11.5m, support of £0.96m from Invest NI also included £244,500 from its Jobs Fund.

And in January, Omagh engineering company JMG Systems announced it would create 21 new jobs with the help of £80,000 from the Jobs Fund.

£160,000

The amount of funding the underwriter has been offered from Invest NI

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