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Texas surplus lines stamping fee rate going up in 2016

Posted On: Sep. 18, 2015 12:00 AM CST

The Texas Stamping Office is increasing its surplus lines policy fee rate to 0.15% from 0.06%, effective at the beginning of 2016.

The increase will apply to each new or renewal surplus lines policy with an effective date on or after Jan. 1, 2016, as well as to policy date extensions, the office said in a statement issued Friday.

The Texas insurance commissioner's official order increasing the rate to 0.15% of the gross premium amount of surplus lines policies was made Sept. 8, according to the statement.

Policies effective on or before Dec. 31, 2015, will run to expiration, cancellation or, in the case of multiyear policies, to the next annual anniversary data at the old rate of 0.06%, according to the statement. This includes any subsequent endorsements, audits, cancellations, reinstatements, installments, and monthly or quarterly reports.

“We purposefully have been operating in a deficit for the last few years” to “insure we didn't have any surplus or excess funds, but we've come to the point where from an operating and planning perspective, we could no longer operate in a deficit,” said Norma Essary, Austin-based executive director of the Texas Stamping Office.

Ms. Essary said the increase will support planning for a new technology reinvestment strategy, “because our entire computer system will fully depreciate in the next year-and-a-half to two years.”

Ms. Essary noted that the stamping fee had been reduced in July 2007 to .06% from 0.1% because of a net positive fund balance.