Markel International has confirmed the acquisition of the portfolio fine art and collectables business of Quay Underwriting (QU).

Quay offers insurance products for fine art and collectables, comprising bespoke products for niche businesses and unusual risks.

Markel worldwide retail operations head Steve Carroll said that the company has a tailed understanding of QU’s products and has built a good rapport with the Bridport team over the last three years.

"Our aim is to launch fine art and collectables as a new niche product in the UK, with coverage provided through our network of offices," Carroll said.

"Gross written premium for QU in 2011 was approximately £1 million, a figure that has significant potential for growth through our network."

Markel said that it has underwritten QU’s complete book since the inception of the company.

QU owner Richard Norman said Markel’s backing will provide the company to penetrate into the UK market and can further enhance its reputation.