Building Block Insurance PCC Ltd (BBI), the Malta-based protected cell company, has signed a distribution agreement with Frost Insurances Ltd to bring their gadget product to the Irish market.

This agreement has been swiftly followed by Frost also distributing Building Block’s GAP and AgriGap products within the Republic with an Excess product to be added to the portfolio in January next year.

Limerick-based Frost is one of the leading brokers in the Republic, and Building Block’s chief executive Paul Brierley said the deal was an important first step in widening BBI’s footprint beyond the UK into the European Economic Area (EEA).

“Our primary focus to date has been on building niche and specialist products for distribution in the UK, but we believe the EEA as a whole presents a significant addressable market.

He explained: “Frost has a distribution network of around 290 sub-agents. Through Frost, we will also seek deals with the phone networks.

Brierley said the annual renewable product, which was built in-house, covers single smartphone and multiple gadget options. Claims handling, including courier and repair networks, are already in place, and he expects it will deliver significant premium income by the end of year one.

He said: “The partnership with Frost is our first non-UK deal, but we are in advanced discussions with niche distributors in other EEA markets. Being Malta-backed has the advantage of giving us a focus well beyond the UK, as, thanks to Malta’s EU membership, we are able to trade across the EU.”

Commenting on the agreement Ted Frost, managing director, said: “We are delighted to partner with BBI for gadget insurance, which is a fast growing sector in Ireland.”

He explained that, by the end of last year, 2.37 million citizens owned a smartphone, equating to 70% of the Irish population (2012 – 39%).