Locke Lord is pleased to announce the launch of its newest blog series, the LL Surplus Lines Series!

The LL Surplus Lines Series is designed to help the insurance industry keep up with the newest developments in the area of surplus lines, but this is only the beginning. Unlike many traditional news sources, the LL Surplus Lines Series will also focus on areas of insurance regulatory compliance from the perspective of experienced attorneys who have come across nearly every wrinkle the surplus lines insurance market presents to insurance carriers, producers and consumers alike.

Why does the surplus lines industry need a blog series specifically dedicated to it? After all, the surplus lines marketplace has spanned generations, whereas other newer outlets (such as Locke Lord’s new, dedicated space on this blog related to InsurTech) often focus on emerging technological and business opportunities. But to view the surplus lines space as an old, stagnant fossil is to ignore its evolution and impact on all facets of the insurance industry. According to the 2018 mid-year report by the Surplus Lines Stamping Office of Texas, the premiums recorded by the 15 surplus lines service offices in the U.S. increased by 9.4% from 2017 to 2018 (with an additional $1.4 billion in revenue generated), and a premium increase of an astounding 67% over the past seven years. In short, the surplus lines industry’s growth is exploding, driven in large part due to the emergence of “InsurTech” and various new means of distribution, dynamic pricing, and innovative insurance products that are often efficiently delivered by surplus lines carriers that can quickly respond to the changing climate and demand for novel insurance coverage.

And yet, despite its long, storied history, surplus lines remains remarkably misunderstood. The confusion that has permeated the industry is derived from a complex set of realities, from the misconception that surplus lines insurance is not regulated (or not as tightly regulated as traditional, admitted products) to the inadequacy of state laws to indicate where surplus lines fits into their grand plans. In short, we consistently see our surplus lines clients come to us asking whether a law will apply to their surplus lines operations and how to operate in the face of evolving business practices and technological innovations. When we are not reporting on new developments, we will share our experiences with these ambiguities.

We are excited to present the LL Surplus Lines Series as a way to truly dive into the “next level” of surplus lines and present you with the newest developments while attempting to untangle the webs of the past. Please watch for our next entry coming soon!

*Locke Lord is proud to publish the Locke Lord Surplus Lines Manual on an annual basis, located here.