Outsurance wants to triple its workforce in Republic

State’s newest insurer says it has no plans to enter the sports sponsorship arena

Ireland’s newest insurer wants to double or triple its headcount in the Republic over the next few years as it seeks to grab a high single or double-digit share of the market, its chief executive has said.

Willem Roos, the former chief executive of Outsurance and still a board director, also said the South African company has no immediate plans to enter the sports sponsorship arena as other insurers in the Irish market have done.

Mr Roos was speaking to The Irish Times on Tuesday in Cape Town where he spoke to a delegation of more than 100 Irish entrepreneurs. The group is attending the annual EY Entrepreneur of the Year (EoY) chief executive retreat this week.

Outsurance, which launched in the Republic earlier this year after securing regulatory approval from the Central Bank of Ireland, is “very much at the beginning of the journey” in the Republic, he said.


“As in most countries, getting an insurance licence is not a trivial exercise. But I must say the Irish process is a tough and rigorous one, but we’ve got through it.”

Ireland is just the third country Outsurance has launched in since its foundation in 2006 after South Africa and Australia.

Mr Roos said the reaction to its launch in the Republic has been as positive as expected. “One of the reasons why we entered the Irish market is it’s a competitive market but not overly so. We felt there was certainly space for a new entrant with maybe some new product features like the out bonus or even get some of your premiums back if you if you don’t claim.”

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He said the cost of insurance as a percentage of disposable income was relatively high in Ireland. However, the ongoing reform of personal injuries awards rules will help to bring that down, Mr Roos added.

Outsurance, which employs around 140 people in Ireland at the moment, wants to “double or triple” in size “over the next couple of years”, he said, and it is aiming to take a “high single digit or even double-digit slice of the market”.

Mr Roos told the delegation on Tuesday morning that the Republic’s car insurance market was about 80 per cent the size of the South African market so even a small foothold would be a positive development for Outsurance.


is a kit sponsor for rugby referees in South Africa but has no immediate plans to enter the sports sponsorship market in Ireland. “We’ve never been big fans of large sponsorship. We just feel that it’s relatively poor value for money compared to just buying advertising space.”

Mr Roos was one of two well-known South African executives to speak to the EOY delegation at Cape Town’s Graduate Business School on Tuesday. He was preceded by Jannie Durand, chief executive of Remgro, a multifaceted investment conglomerate and one of the largest listed companies in the country.

Ian Curran

Ian Curran

Ian Curran is a Business reporter with The Irish Times