Surplus lines premium in Texas increased to $5.46 billion in 2017, up from $5.12 billion in 2016, according to data collected by the Surplus Lines Stamping Office of Texas (SLTX).
The numbers represent a 6.5 percent growth over 2016, and a 10-year increase of 66.2 percent since 2008, when premium totals reached $3.28 billion.
Last year, recorded premium was highest in the summer months, with the most premium documented in June 2017 at $592 million. The lowest total recorded for the year was in February 2017 at $332 million.
SLTX also reported that as of Jan. 1, 2018, Starr Surplus Lines Insurance Co. became the first domestic surplus lines insurer (DSLI) in the state after the Texas Department of Insurance approved it to redomesticate to Texas and authorized it to write coverage there.
House Bill 2492, which permits DSLIs in Texas, went into effect Jan. 1, 2018. The bill was passed by the state legislature in May 2017 as part of the 85th legislative session.
The law allows surplus lines insurers to apply for a DSLI certificate, which upon receipt, allows the insurer to be domiciled in the state of Texas and write surplus lines policies in the state. Previously a surplus lines insurer had to be domiciled outside of the state in order to write coverage in Texas.
With the passage of the law, Texas joins 11 other states (Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin) that also have this type of law in place.
SLTX announced it will begin supporting Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments in late January. Invoices may be paid via ACH by users who have an SLTX online filing system account. Users are not required to file surplus lines policies electronically, but must have user credentials.
The payment option will be available to users who have an account through the SLTX online filing system. There is no action required for those with an active account. Users who do not yet have an account may register for the system online or by contacting tech support at SLTX.