Selective Insurance Group and Alterra Capital Holdings have signed renewal rights and related agreements to write commercial lines contract binding authority excess and surplus (E&S) policies through their subsidiaries.

Selective said the contract binding authority E&S business will be lead by Joseph Morris, a former president and CEO of James River Insurance.

The agreement will expand Selective’s product offerings to agents and customers, and is expected to close on 1 August 2011.

Selective Insurance chairman, president and CEO Gregory Murphy said Morris will lead the organization and the experienced team that will join the firm from Alterra.

Morris has headed the Philadelphia Contributionship and was president and CEO of Penn-America Group with 30 years of insurance industry experience, much of that time in E&S.

According to the Selective, it will write the business on Alterra paper during a transition period while it establishes a new organization licensed to write E&S business in all 50 states.

The regulatory approvals, including for the new organization name, are expected to be completed before the end of the year.