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 2019 the Lloyd’s market represented 22.5 percent of the total surplus lines market share and wrote $12.5 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.