AmWINS is the leading professional lines insurance wholesale broker in the U.S., with the ability to handle a wide range of account size and complexity.Contact Us
As a leading professional liability insurance broker of financial, professional, and management risks, our nationwide team of experts works directly with retail agents and brokers to effectively address and mitigate risks with strategies that provide coverage for both company and personal assets.
In addition to a complete range of solutions for high-risk professional liability clients, we offer the benefit of binding authority in a number of E&S markets, making it simple to write and place coverage. Annually, we handle more than 50,000 submissions and place nearly $700 million in premium.
As a leading professional lines broker, AmWINS is constantly looking to provide new product offerings for our clients. Our objective is to provide our brokers and retail clients with competitive proprietary products complementing the capacity delivered by our specialty carrier partners. With these products, retailers gain a distinct advantage in the marketplace.
Through AmWINS Access, our company’s nationwide binding and small business platform, you benefit from industry-leading technology which both simplifies and accelerates the process of handling small accounts. All of this leads to speed, efficiency, and the best possible terms for your insureds.
AmWINS brokers use the expertise of our London-based colleagues at THB Group to market on behalf of our U.S. retail clients, giving our retail partners the assurance that we are using the full resources within the AmWINS organization to solve their clients’ problems.
We provide our retail partners with the enhanced coverage benefits necessary to build lasting relationships with their clients. As part of our broad professional lines coverage solutions, we offer a suite of extended consultative services relating to:
Seeing the words “not licensed”, “insolvency” and “payment of claims may not be guaranteed” on an insurance policy can, understandably, cause concern with insureds, especially those with little to no experience with the excess and surplus (E&S) marketplace.
Let’s take a closer look at required disclosure wording used on surplus lines policies so when your insureds have questions, you can put them at ease.
1. “This insurance has been placed with an insurer that is not licensed as an admitted carrier by the State of Michigan.”
Wording on a policy that references an unlicensed carrier means that the policy was issued by a non-admitted insurance company. A non-admitted insurance company is not licensed in the state where the risk or insured is domiciled and does not file rates in that state. “Not licensed as an admitted carrier” does not mean unregulated. Each insurer must meet certain criteria to be an eligible non-admitted market, including regulations for solvency. It does mean that the carrier has the ability to set their own rates for the classes of business they write, leading to the flexibility in rate and form that is a key differentiator in the E&S marketplace.
2. “In case of insolvency, payment of claims may not be guaranteed.”
This means that the state fund will not compensate a qualified insured if the carrier goes bankrupt and cannot pay claims. While this seems intimidating on the surface, there is not a substantial difference in the risk to an insured. In fact, while the surplus lines market more than doubled between 1993 and 2013, their ratings and impairment experience has remained above average. According to A.M. Best’s 2014 “Best’s Special Report”:
It’s important to note that the guarantee funds ability/authority to pay claims in case of an admitted carrier insolvency is typically very limited. This negates much of the perceived value of admitted over non-admitted paper. In fact, guaranty funds vary by state and can impose limitations on the collection of funds. Some of these limitations include:
Understanding your broker’s protocols for placing business with non-admitted carriers is crucial. At AmWINS, our market security team reviews and approves all new markets; with few exceptions, our minimum standard is a carrier with an A- rating. However, in a case where a market is relatively new, growing quickly, or otherwise warranted, a carrier with less than an A- rating may be approved. In this situation, we ensure that our client is aware of the carriers rating prior to binding business. In the event that a carrier is downgraded, AmWINS proactively communicates with our clients and is willing to remarket the account mid-term if instructed.
This article was authored by Kendra Schaendorf, member of AmWINS’ national Professional Lines practice.