In what has been dubbed a surprising move, Quinn Group, the parent company of insurer Quinn Direct, has agreed to acquire BUPA Ireland, enabling the company to enter the health insurance industry and safeguarding 300 jobs.

The implementation of the new arrangement will take several weeks and, during this period, BUPA will accept new business and continue to renew all existing contracts. Quinn Group has also confirmed that there will be no price increase in 2007.

We believe our agreement with BUPA presents an opportunity for real competition in the Irish health insurance market, commented Quinn Group chairman Sean Quinn. In all of our businesses, we operate in an open and competitive environment and we trust that the report of the review group established by the minister for health, Mary Harney TD, and other initiatives, will lead to a more open and competitive landscape in this market.

The agreement with the Quinn Group is good news for our members, added BUPA Ireland managing director Martin O’Rourke. The group is financially very strong and has a record of innovation in customer service and the capacity to compete strongly in the consumers’ interest.