Re-Insurance asks what is behind the recent rebrand of its program underwriting division and why demand is growing for its services on both sides of the Atlantic.
Why has R&Q adopted Accredited as the brand name for its program division?
CJ: It represents the importance of program underwriting services to the R&Q Group. As a business, we are streamlined and focussed on two core businesses and we are determined to be best in class for both.
R&Q is, of course, well known for legacy acquisitions and for providing first class innovative exit solutions to owners of discontinued business.
Since 2017, we have brought this same level of professional, client-focussed attention to MGAs in the US and in Europe who require a program underwriting partner who can act as the conduit between them and their reinsurers. Our business offering is the same on both sides of the Atlantic – it makes sense to our clients and prospective clients that they know the same level of high level of service is available. As we say: “Two continents, two underwriting platforms and one name”!
TC: R&Q’s US admitted insurer is already called Accredited Surety & Casualty Inc. We have traded for 45 years and are licenced in all fifty states to write admitted P&C business with 97 percent coverage. The renaming of our European platform to Accredited Insurance and our overall program division is, as Colin says, a demonstration of the group’s commitment to its program partners and to make our offering easy for the market to understand. There is a growing demand for program partnerships and Accredited is determined to be the market’s go-to choice on both sides of the Atlantic.
Why is demand growing for program business?
CJ: A number of reasons. Looking specifically at Europe, we have seen a sharp reduction in program capacity over the last 18 months with the loss of companies such as Elite, CBL and Alpha and therefore the introduction of our A-rated paper has generated great interest among MGAs and their brokers as they seek long term, financially strong partners. A second reason is the continuing uncertainty over Brexit. After Brexit, Accredited Insurance (Europe) Ltd will still be licenced to write business across all 27 member states via its hub in Malta and our UK branch office will be in place to write UK business. With six months to go, Brexit is still a grave uncertainty for many businesses but Accredited provides a gold-plated solution.
TC: We don’t have Brexit uncertainties to contend with in the US but we have also seen significant turmoil among existing program writers which has seen a reduction in capacity.
Also, program underwriting services is at the heart of a major strategic shift in the (re)insurance landscape. The barriers to establishing (re)insurance companies from scratch are growing as regulators and counter-parties demand ever higher standards of security, resources and governance. But reinsurers still want to support innovative underwriters and innovative underwriters still want to be entrepreneurs.
Accredited acts as the conduit between the two. We provide all the infrastructure, corporate governance, highly rated capacity and licences to enable reinsurance capital to support entrepreneurial MGAs.