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Excess and surplus lines premiums in the U.S. totaled $28.1 billion in 2017, up 6.4% from 2016, according to figures from the Surplus Lines Stamping Office of Texas.
All 15 surplus lines service offices in the U.S. saw increases in E&S lines insurance premium, the Austin-based Texas stamping office said Wednesday in a statement.
The increase of $1.69 billion from 2016 was due to two main drivers, the statement said: The addition of a newly created North Carolina Service Office, and greater demand for E&S policies, which saw a 10% increase in policy filings over 2016.
Minnesota had the largest increase in premium growth at 26.6%, the statement said. Other states with double-digit premium growth included Utah with 19.2%, North Carolina with 17.1%, Oregon with 16.8%, Arizona with 16.4%, and Nevada with 12.4%.
The southern U.S. reported the largest total premium for 2017 at $11.8 billion, which includes the new North Carolina office with $733 million in premium contributing to the total southern premium growth of 6.8%.
Several states saw record-breaking premium totals, including California with $6.55 billion, Florida with $5.25 billion, New York with $4.0 billion and Texas, which reported the highest premium total in its 30-year history, with $5.46 billion.
Growth in the staffing of mega-factories, which has created a surge for housing, resulting in a residential construction boom; and the legalization of recreational marijuana and its related operations have also helped drive the increase in surplus lines premium, according to Lynn Twaddle, executive director of the Reno-based Nevada Surplus Lines Association.
Another contributing factor to the increase seen in Utah was the dissolution of the Nonadmitted Insurance Multistate Association, or NIMA, according to Sylvia Bruno, executive manager of the Salt Lake City-based Surplus Line Association of Utah.
The Board of Directors of the Non-Admitted Insurance Multi-State Association Inc. has voted to dissolve the organization.