Member Story: How Accelerant’s Speed and Partnership Helped Rokstone Scale in a Niche Specialty 


Rokstone is a London-based MGA that writes business globally. It first began as a retail agency in London in the 90s and has now been doing underwriting for about 15 years, expanding to the U.S. in 2018.

Eric Conklin oversees Rokstone Agriculture, which kicked off in July 2021 as their second U.S.-based team and joined Accelerant as a Member at the end of that same year. Rokstone Agriculture underwrites livestock insurance, targeting farm-related and commercial risks anywhere from poultry to working dogs, with most business being in cattle and swine.

Because the niche is small and coverage for animals is rare, Rokstone offers one-of-a-kind expertise in the field. Few underwriting teams understand the livestock world, and there’s little data available to assess pricing, so Rokstone can offer guidance in ensuring animals are at correct values.

There is wide variety between what animals are worth based on genetics, geographic location, species, and how they’re raised and marketed. Rokstone ensures that when a claim is filed, the companies get paid what they need to get paid. For example, the payout might be higher for an animal whose lifecycle can be tracked from farm to grocery store, in comparison to one from an untraceable source.

Rokstone’s agricultural branch relies on Accelerant as its primary capacity both for admitted and non-admitted business. Getting their admitted program off the ground was a particularly complicated and involved process, so Rokstone turned to Accelerant for their leadership in handling the filing. Eric lamented that due diligence can be daunting as an MGA—not to mention notably slow. With Accelerant, the process went smoothly and quickly.

But paperwork wasn’t the only way Accelerant helped Rokstone get their business off the ground.

“The biggest pain point as an MGA is not necessarily the ability to secure capital but to get capital that can get you in the game quickly. That’s where Accelerant really helped us. We had a contract in place to write business within three months of our first contact,” said Eric.

Eric recalled a time he spoke with Rokstone’s Member Manager Christy Howley, who said “It’s called Accelerant for a reason. We do things quickly—that’s how we live up to our name.”

Based on prior experiences, Eric realized that specialty businesses can easily get lost in large insurance companies, incapable of accessing the support they need. When Rokstone’s team first reached out to Accelerant, they sought Accelerant’s personalized attention and efficient approach, which ultimately enabled Rokstone to be more nimble in adapting to changes.

“Accelerant was always the quickest, even when we were selecting between capacity partners. While others took weeks or months to answer our questions, Accelerant was fast, truly fast,” Eric explained.

Since starting to work together, all of Eric’s expectations had been met: Accelerant was excellent at being adaptive. In its early stages, Eric’s team was receiving numerous referrals, and Accelerant had proposed an improved process for validating them and seeking value. Since then, they’ve experienced a smoother underwriting process.

Eric also appreciated the extent to which Accelerant listens. Working with live animals, urgency is of the essence.  Initially, Accelerant required a third-party adjuster handle the claims, but after revisiting the conversation of claims authority, Accelerant collaborated with Rokstone in establishing a new claims entity (Verus Claims Management) and a process that better suited Rokstone’s needs. Because Accelerant was open-minded to Rokstone’s requests, Rokstone was able to receive a more compliant setup utilizing Rokstone’s claims professionals that was better for both clients and its business.

Last year, Rokstone suffered from severe losses as a result of heavy winter storms in the Midwest. Together, Accelerant and Rokstone conducted an in-depth investigation to determine the right questions to ask in the future to prevent repeat losses. For instance, after Rokstone had visited client sites and held more nuanced discussions, the team was able to discover patterns in wind breaks that endanger animals. Moving forward, Rokstone now has new requirements before offering coverage in these high-risk states.

“We’re definitely experiencing a partnership, not just a contract,” said Eric. “Our Member Manager, for instance, always challenges us in a positive and productive way, and the Accelerant team consistently brings us good ideas and areas for improvement. Moreover, without Accelerant, we couldn’t write the scale that we do now.”