AM Best: Market Dislocation Drives Growth for U.S. Surplus Lines (AM BestTV)

OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In this episode of AMBestTV, David Blades and Robert Raber, both associate directors, AM Best, said some excess and surplus lines insurers experienced a 15-year high in premium gains during 2019. Click on to view the entire program.

Blades highlighted the level of U.S. surplus lines business volume in 2019.

“The U.S. surplus lines premium volume increased considerably,” said Blades. “In particular, U.S. surplus lines companies that write more than 50% of their total business on a surplus lines basis increased their direct premium written by almost 15%, the highest level of growth since 2006. The entire surplus lines market, including business that is written by the Lloyd’s market syndicates, grew by 11.2% in 2019.”

Raber said the COVID-19-fueled economic shifts that have impacted the surplus lines market.

“The flow of new businesses definitely changed in two different directions,” said Raber. “First, there was a temporary decline in new business coming into the U.S. surplus lines market beginning in late March and into early April, as the stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders were implemented across the country. At the same time, rates are continuing to rise. AM Best’s expectation is that conditions are going to persist in the short term for the continuing rising of rates, as it continues to be a hardening market.”

Looking at the balance of 2020 and into 2021, AM Best anticipates this sector will continue to show resiliency.

To access the related market segment report, titled, “Expanding Opportunities Bolster Surplus Lines Growth and Operating Results,” please visit

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AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specializing in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in New York, London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit

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Lee McDonald
Group Vice President, Publication and News Services
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