Beazley has been underwriting US risks since the company's formation in 1986. Today, the bulk of our US business continues to be underwritten in London by our Lloyd's underwriters, but we also have a rapidly growing local presence in the United States. We opened our first US office in Farmington, CT in 2004 to underwrite professional and management liability insurance on a surplus lines basis. Through our A rated admitted carrier, Beazley Insurance Company, Inc., we are also underwriting an increasing volume of business - including management liability, professional liability, and property.
The goal of our US operations has been to offer US retail and wholesale brokers and their clients a level of expertise and responsive service that is not always easy to obtain in the existing domestic market, particularly for mid-size and small risks. Like our Lloyd's operations, our US business is run on a non-hierarchical, non-bureaucratic model that empowers our experienced underwriters to make rapid decisions. The tagline for our US corporate advertising - STRAIGHT ANSWERS - reflects this.
Our claims service similarly relies on highly experienced experts working within a non-bureaucratic structure. As in London, our US Specialty Lines claims professionals work alongside their underwriting colleagues as members of integrated teams.
Since Beazley began business in 1986 in a small office in Fenchurch Street in the City of London, we've grown steadily in many ways. Our principle UK location is in London, at Plantation Place South, from where both our Lloyd's managing agency and the syndicates are run. We also have satellite offices in Birmingham, Ipswich, Leeds and Manchester.
Beazley is a proud participant in the Lloyd's market, the largest and oldest insurance market in the world. Through the Lloyd's broker network and the market's trading licenses, we are able to access a wide range of insurance and reinsurance businesses from around the world.
Many of the lines of business we underwrite, such as marine and energy insurance, political risks insurance, and contingency insurance, were either pioneered or specifically developed as insurance classes at Lloyd's.
Beazley also has a growing UK regional business extending our expertise in specialist products around the country.
In Australia Beazley has a particular focus on contingency insurance which is experiencing strong demand driven, for example, by interest in extreme weather events such as the bushfires and floods of recent years.
Beazley has been underwriting French risks for more than 10 years. In 2006, our presence in France was strengthened by opening a branch in Paris, enabling us to offer an improved local service to our French clients and their brokers. This was further expanded with an office relaunch in 2012.
The team in Paris specialises in professional indemnity and financial guarantee risks. Our preferred lines of business are the non-regulated and regulated professions, in particular insurance and financial intermediaries (including banking agents, tied agents and independent financial advisers) as well as non-regulated service providers, surveyors, real estate experts and driving schools. We also write marine liability, political, trade credit, contingency and terrorism as well as technology, media and business services.
Our Munich office opened in October 2008 to service brokers and clients in Europe's centre of reinsurance. A dedicated reinsurance underwriter heads the office, whose focus is on European business that does not traditionally come via the wholesale channels to London, echoing the strategy we have adopted with our US primary business.
Since we wrote our first Asia Pacific risk three decades ago we have developed a reputation for exceptional service delivery and expertise in underwriting what are often some of the hardest to place insurances that the market has to offer. As our reputation grew, in 2006 we opened our first office in Singapore which has now become the hub for Beazley's underwriting activities throughout Asia Pacific.
We opened our Middle East office in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) in December 2014 to underwrite (re)insurance for Political risk, trade credit, terrorism, political violence and contingency (event cancellation and related covers). Having a presence on the ground will allow us to target markets across both the Middle East and North Africa, including Morocco, Algeria, Libya and Egypt and deliver locally the highly specialised underwriting for which we are known in London.
In April 2010 we opened our Oslo office to service energy business. The operation is complementary to our Lloyd's offering and our local presence allows us to bring our specialist knowledge to the Scandanavian market, strengthening our position.