Two Sigma-backed Integrated Specialty Coverages (ISC) is eyeing fresh program launches, team additions and an active M&A pipeline after adding the two Accident Fund-fronted trucking programs written by its MGA Paramount to its online platform, The Insurer can reveal.
The addition of the trucking programs expands the products on the AI and machine learning-driven platform outside of the contractors space.
The fast-growing program administrator is understood to have already built a book of around $250mn of premium since its launch two years ago and is continuing to pursue M&A and team additions as it looks for further growth.
In an interview with this publication, ISC’s founding CEO Matt Grossberg said the focus of the firm is on driving low loss ratios to its carrier partners through artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.
“The words AI and machine learning are tossed around quite a bit these days, but we’re actually doing it,” he said.
“We bind around 88,000 transactions a year on our platform and are integrated with 45 third party data sites which we use behind the scenes in dynamic applications to verify data as well as in proprietary algorithms to rate our policies,” he explained.
Paramount General Agency (Paramount), which was acquired last February by ISC, has a focus on the long-haul trucking industry and last week announced it had launched online a robust multiline suite of insurance products for its broker and carrier clients.
It provides commercial auto liability, cargo and physical damage coverage as well as general liability, wholesale markets and premium financing to trucking businesses in Texas.
The firm’s latest exclusive programs offered online include auto liability aimed at trucking and transportation companies hauling NAFTA-related goods to and from the trade zones, a domestic liability program for trucking and transportation companies hauling goods for hire from long-haul to a local radius, as well as a cargo and physical damage program.
Grossberg said that Paramount’s underwriting logic and rating algorithms have been added to the broader ISC tech platform with the use of a “bot” that does preliminary underwriting and rating on all of the MGA’s accounts.
That process allows for the rating of a fleet of vehicles in under five minutes. The system also allows underwriters to utilise outside data sources and creates a full underwriting file with any detailed follow-up questions that need to be resolved to complete the process.
Consistent reinsurer panels
ISC’s focus on using AI and data analytics at the centre of its underwriting process is aimed at delivering low loss ratios for its carrier partners, including the panel of reinsurers supporting its fronting relationships with Accident Fund and others.
Grossberg said the program administrator looks to build long-term relationships with its risk-taking partners.
Those long-term relationships will be key to navigating an increasingly challenging marketplace that has seen many MGAs faced with capacity issues.
“With the market the way it is today, we are trying to put ourselves in a position where if capacity starts to get scarce we’re one of the MGAs that can be relied on to deliver profitable premium even in a tough environment, which we believe our tech allows us to do.
“Ultimately we don’t want to grow when the environment is not right for growth in certain areas, so we hold our line and get the right rate for the risk. That requires discipline and building good relationships with our reinsurers and our fronting companies,” he explained.
Strong pipeline for M&A and team hires
Paramount accounts for around 45 percent of Harrison, New York-based ISC’s total book of program business.
The firm secured backing from Two Sigma private equity affiliate Sightway Capital with its first acquisition to buy Paramount.
It has since closed a deal to buy contractors specialist program manager and MGA Safebuilt Insurance Services (SIS) in July last year.
And in March 2020 ISC completed its third acquisition with a deal to buy wholesale broker Access Partners Insurance Services.
The group has four verticals with multiple programs within each vertical, but its largest two verticals – construction and trucking – account for around 50 percent and 45 percent of its premium volume respectively.
“Our backers at Sightway have given us a lot of ability to look within the market at teams or companies that need funding and want to be part of what we are building here”
Grossberg on Two Sigma ownership and M&A
Habitational property and hospitality account for the rest of the book, which were launched organically by the firm.
Grossberg told this publication ISC will continue to look at M&A opportunities and team additions and has a strong pipeline of activity.
“Our backers at Sightway have given us a lot of ability to look within the market at teams or companies that need funding and want to be part of what we are building here,” he said.
“We want the best underwriting teams in breed and we’ll then support them with the most effective tools we can bring to market,” the executive added.
On the M&A front, ISC typically does direct proprietary transactions but is not averse to participating in processes and will consider acquisitions in any Ebitda range.