American Specialty is an MGA/MGU with letters of authority, that writes business through 1,000 independent agents. They underwrite for sports, leisure and entertainment industries nationwide – businesses that place the company in the crosshairs of exposures such as injuries, concussions, sexual harassment and abuse, guns, terrorism, and venue issues. And now, they are in the midst of dealing with the implications of COVID-19 pandemic to these industries.
We spoke with our client Drew Smith, who has 60 teammates in Fort Wayne, Indiana working in sales, accounting, IT, underwriting and claims. American Specialty was established in 1989, and then purchased by Brown & Brown (B&B) in 2005. Drew says that gives the company several advantages, including the ability to work with like-minded individuals and access to robust carrier partner relationships. They use NetRate to handle their commercial lines rating requirements.
“We’re ambassadors of NetRate within B&B,” said Drew. “We continue to recommend NetRate to other MGAs at B&B. We’re part of National Programs, which is now 25% of B&B revenue.”
A newly refreshed website promotes the American Specialty brand, “What Special Feels Like,” to highlight their goal to provide service beyond expectation. This concept is so ingrained in their DNA, that they demand special from their vendor partners – including MGA Systems.
“We need to continue to raise the bar, evolve as a service organization, and move quickly as the market changes. We like the speed with which changes can be made with the NetRate application,” said Drew. He added that thanks to NetRate, “carriers see us as a speed boat rather than a cruise ship. If a system is static and slow, it won’t work for an MGA in today’s world. We tried other rating software but chose NetRate because it is the fastest to process and efficiency is critical. That is what special feels like.”
The focus on service and moving quickly as the market changes is clearly reflected on their website. With the COVID-19 pandemic severely affecting large crowd gatherings, American Specialty has included checklists, questions to consider and numerous resources for the sports, leisure and entertainment clients to review as they start to reopen their venues. Not only does the website have items to focus on before reopening, with websites to monitor for up-to-date information, American Specialty has created industry specific guidelines for modifications to consider while reopening.
In addition to being flexible and adjusting to the marketplace, having a rater that is easy to use is a key benefit, according to Drew. “NetRate is user friendly and intuitive – easy for a new teammate to use.” Also, the NetRate application supports American Specialty’s filed rating plans, adding to their efficiency. “We’re in a no mistakes business, so eliminating the need to re-key data streamlines the process and helps avoid errors.”
“We have used NetRate for many years and think of your team as an extension of ours. You continue to move with us. We appreciate your approach to work, and that your team is visible. We’re glad see you at conferences – you’re always on our list as a vendor we want to meet up with at events.”
We couldn’t agree more – meeting up with clients gives meaning to our work at MGA Systems and we are proud to support the commercial insurance industry at events – especially after a long year of no in-person meetings. To see which conferences we’ll be attending next, check out the What’s New section of our website. Contact us at (877) 790‑1114 to learn how MGA Systems can help you make your business more efficient and cost effective.