Expansive US insurance group Applied Underwriters has acquired South Carolina-based trucking MGU Blue Ridge Specialty, The Insurer can reveal.

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The MGU is thought to write around $35mn of premium as a niche player targeting distressed trucking business and generating market-beating loss ratios.

The Greenfield, South Carolina-based MGU describes itself as a full-service wholesale brokerage and program manager providing coverage for transportation clients.

It writes on behalf of A rated auto physical damage and motor truck cargo markets that target mid-size and large fleets.

It also has access to an auto liability market offering North Carolina reinsurance facility rates on truck risks domiciled in the state, and access to Lloyd’s physical damage and cargo products.

The MGU is led by former Canal Insurance Company executives Mike Gordon and Shane Dennie and writes in 24 states.

Co-founding principals Gordon and Dennie will continue to lead the business under its new ownership.

Expansion plans

In a statement, Applied Underwriters chairman and CEO Steve Menzies said the acquired MGU is poised to expand its reach using the marketing, underwriting and claims management strengths of its new owners nationally.

“We have begun a dramatic expansion in the P&C space to provide the very best in coverages to our growing national brokerage force, and acquisitions such as Blue Ridge are setting the tone for excellence in product development and management,” he continued.

Recent acquisitions by Applied Underwriters include the MGA of Florida homeowners specialist Centauri Insurance along with an option to acquire its two carrier subsidiaries.

In a statement to this publication at the time, Applied Underwriters said that given its nationwide carrier platform and “financially over-capitalized and liquid position”, it expects to make “many transactions” as the impact of the Covid-19 shutdown unfolds on a hardening P&C market.

As previously reported, Applied Underwriters founding CEO Steve Menzies bought the workers compensation specialist’s core insurance subsidiaries including North American Casualty from Berkshire Hathaway in a $920mn deal that closed last October.

In a related transaction, an investment group including Rivington Partners’ Jamie Sahara and Quadrant Management bought Applied Underwriters Inc, the non-insurance service companies of the group. Sahara is president of Applied Underwriters Inc.

The insurance company and services operations continue to work closely together.