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SPECIAL REPORT

FIVE-STAR WHOLESALE BROKERS AND MGAs

Producers chime in on which wholesalers and MGAs stood out by providing top-notch service to their clients and partners CRAFTING INNOVATIVE solutions for complex risks is the bread and butter of the wholesale, specialty and surplus lines insurance industry. Companies in this space are experts in placing unique and hard-to-place risks; the best of the bunch have the ability to react quickly to – and even foresee – market changes to accommodate non-standard needs. According to the 2019 year-end report from the Surplus Lines Stamping Office of Texas (SLTX), the 15 US surplus lines stamping and service offices recorded collective premium of $37.45 billion in 2019, marking a significant 19.32% increase over the $31.39 billion reported

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for 2018. Additionally, total filings were up 9% from 2018, coming in at around 4.83 million. Those numbers represent more than 60% of the surplus lines premium written nationwide and therefore provide a solid basis for estimating nationwide growth for the year, according to Brady Kelley, executive director of the Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association (WSIA). In 2018, the SLTX year-end report noted premium growth of 11.3%; AM Best’s September 2019 Market Segment Report announced 11.2% growth nationwide. Using that as a guide, Kelley anticipates AM Best’s September 2020 report will reveal nationwide growth close to the 19%

reported in the SLTX report. “I think this is being driven by overall economic growth in the US,” Kelley says. “There’s growth in commercial and residential development, higher payrolls, new businesses emerging, and new product innovation, among many other positive economic developments. All of those things drive increased consumer demand for insurance.” As surplus lines premium intake grows amid positive market conditions, WSIA membership has also boomed. In September 2019, the association had its largest annual marketplace ever, hosting 5,049 attendees, a 13% increase from

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