Northeast Insurer Kingstone to Exit Commercial Liability Lines

July 25, 2019

Kingstone Companies Inc., a Northeast regional property and casualty insurance holding company, has announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Kingstone Insurance Company (KICO), has decided to no longer underwrite commercial liability risks. These include business owners, artisans (CraftPak), special multi-peril and commercial umbrella policies.

KICO is a New York-domiciled carrier writing business through retail and wholesale agents and brokers.

“Following our Q1 reserve strengthening for Commercial Lines, we placed a moratorium on new business, seeking to cap our exposure to these types of risks,” said CEO Barry Goldstein in a company press release. “While they accounted for about 12% our total earned premiums, the associated reserves were 40% of the company’s total.”

Goldstein stated in the release that after a two-month review, he concluded it would be in the company’s and shareholders’ best interest to exit these lines of business and do so as soon as possible. The company informed the New York State Department of Financial Services on July 22 of its decision, and it will continue to underwrite its physical damage only product.

These commercial liability lines are the most volatile and carry the longest claim development “tail” of any of Kingstone’s offerings, according to the release. They accounted for most of the adverse loss development the company experienced in Q1, Goldstein added.

“We are actively exploring various alternative reinsurance arrangements to either wall off or eliminate the associated liabilities from our balance sheet,” he said, adding that while all inforce policies for these lines will be non-renewed at the end of their current annual terms, it is estimated that a complete exit will take at least 15 months.

KICO offers primarily personal lines insurance products in New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Kingstone is also licensed, but not yet active, in New Hampshire and Maine.

Source: Kingstone Companies Inc.

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