A Firm Foundation: How Insurance Supports the Economy

Surplus lines by state

The surplus lines market, a group of highly specialized insurers exists to provide coverage that is not available through licensed insurers in the standard insurance market. Each state has surplus lines regulations and each surplus lines company is overseen for solvency by its home state. A number of states maintain lists of eligible surplus lines companies and some keep a list of those that are not eligible to do business in that state. In addition, depending on the state, the surplus lines agent or broker, who must be licensed, is responsible for checking the eligibility of the company.

For the many thousands of businesses that rely on some level of surplus line protection to keep their doors open, surplus lines is an important segment of the market.

Lloyd’s of London is a significant writer of surplus lines insurance, both for corporations and individuals. Lloyd’s members conduct their insurance business in syndicates, each of which is run by a managing agent. This type of structure differs from a traditional insurance company. According to AM Best, in 2020 the Lloyd’s market represented 19.4 percent of the total surplus lines market share and wrote $12.8 billion in surplus lines premiums, as shown in the chart below. Because of its unique structure, AM Best does not include Lloyd’s in the ranking. The largest surplus lines for Lloyd’s are commercial property, general liability, cyber and professional indemnity.

Top 25 U.S. Surplus Lines Groups By Direct Premiums Written, 2021


Rank Group Direct premiums written  Percent of total U.S. surplus lines market
  Lloyd's Market (1) $13,871,953 16.8%
1 Berkshire Hathaway Ins. Group 4,212,256 5.0
2 American International Group 4,177,807 5.0
3 Markel Corporation Group 3,530,213 4.2
4 Fairfax Financial (USA) Group 2,997,286 3.6
5 W. R. Berkley Insurance Group 2,820,382 3.4
6 Nationwide Group 2,611,335 3.1
7 Chubb INA Group 2,442,535 2.9
8 Liberty Mutual Insurance Companies 2,208,819 2.6
9 XL Reinsurance America Group 1,906,397 2.3
10 Alleghany Insurance Holdings Group 1,660,032 2.0
11 Sompo Holdings U.S. Group 1,624,567 1.9
12 Starr International Group 1,440,373 1.7
13 QBE North America Insurance Group 1,284,541 1.5
14 Tokio Marine U.S. PC Group 1,258,541 1.5
15 AXIS U.S. Operations 1,243,936 1.5
16 Zurich Insurance U.S. PC Group 1,195,708 1.4
17 Everest Re U.S. Group 1,063,466 1.3
18 Argo Group 1,061,974 1.3
19 CNA Insurance Companies 1,029,061 1.2
20 Great American P&C Insurance Group 984,303 1.2
21 Arch Insurance Group 963,358 1.2
22 Hartford Insurance Group 947,578 1.1
23 Travelers Group  906,111 1.1
24 Munich-American Companies 875,991 1.0
25 James River Group 870,944 1.0
  Total, top 25 $45,317,514 54.8%
  Total, top 25 and Lloyd's $59,189,467 71.6%
  Total U.S. surplus lines market $82,652,576 100.0%

(1) Because Lloyd's Market company structure differs from traditional insurance companies, AM Best does not include it in the ranking in this chart.

Source: ©A.M.Best – used with permission.

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