R&Q’s Accredited America platform has onboarded the first deal at its recently launched E&S carrier, with a partnership with Southern Star MGA that targets North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) cross border trucking business, The Insurer can reveal.

Accredited and Southern Star

The tie-up sees Southern Star underwrite general liability and auto liability products on behalf of AM Best A- rated Accredited Specialty Insurance Company (ASIC).

The new products complement the MGA’s existing trucking physical damage and cargo offerings.

Southern Star is licensed in Texas, California, Arizona and New Mexico and the program is led by the MGA’s CEO David Licona.

Accredited told this publication that Licona is a recognized leader in US and Mexico within the transborder transportation industry.

Licona commented: “I’m excited about the partnership with Accredited Specialty, the premier carrier in the hybrid fronting space. We worked closely with the Accredited team in refining our cross-border transportation program.”

He added: “While I have been involved with other programs, Accredited Specialty distinguishes itself as an example in professionalism, organization, and expertise. Our products have been enhanced by the robust due diligence and underwriting acumen that Accredited consistently employs.”

He added that the partnership will act as a positive differentiator from the MGA’s competitors.

ASIC’s CUO Paul Amrose worked on the deal for Accredited after joining from Ascot earlier this year

“Southern Star personifies the relationship between program administrator and Accredited Specialty.  We see underwriting as being the key differentiator for successful managing agents,” he said.

“David Licona has built a profitable platform upon an underwriting foundation. These are the types of partnerships that distinguish the Accredited Specialty brand.”

Amynta Group subsidiary Risk Services provided the brokering and captive management functions for the partnership.

Consolidated US platform

As previously reported, Randall & Quilter Investment Holdings Ltd consolidated its two US program operations as Accredited America under the leadership of former Aon executive Pat Rastiello earlier this month.

Accredited America is the umbrella brand name for R&Q’s established admitted program arm and its recently launched E&S business, which underwrites non-admitted business via Arizona-domiciled ASIC.

Accredited provides fronting capacity for MGAs and sits between them and their reinsurers, which supply the underwriting capital. The program market has been expanding rapidly as MGAs become an increasingly popular platform for entrepreneurial underwriters and reinsurers keen to access business directly.

Rastiello – who joined the group last year and spearheaded the ASIC launch – now also leads admitted carrier subsidiary Accredited Surety and Casualty Company (ASCC). 

“Accredited America is proud to have Southern Star as a partner with their unique distribution and disciplined approach to underwriting. David Licona has built a business which we expect will grow into the leading MGA in the Cross Border business,” said the executive.

Rastiello has named a three-person senior management team consisting of Tony Barner as SVP and CUO in charge of admitted business; Paul Amrose as SVP and CUO, E&S property; and Dawn Puro – who recently joined from ProSight – as SVP and CUO, E&S casualty.

The new E&S platform adds to the group’s established ASCC subsidiary which has built a $600mn+ contracted premium portfolio with US MGAs from a standing start in less than four years.

The Southern Star program is the first of what is expected to be a flurry of E&S deals in the coming months as ASIC addresses a strong pipeline of business.