A.M. Best Co. has revised its market and surplus line market outlook to be stable from negative, citing the sector's economic ingenuity and its ability to establish clearly defined coverage exemptions.
The Oldwick, New Jersey-based rating agency said on its market segment outlook reports Thursday that although surplus insurance lines are not immune to the global downturn in economic activity, the pandemic has had a "subdued impact" on the sector.
"Economic ingenuity has minimized the decline in demand for tailored coverage for new, unique, high, capacity or distressed risks," the report said.
It is said that surplus lines insurers "have generated a consistent underwriting flow, experienced stability in claims activity and successfully managed the challenges of investment market conditions," which "has alleviated concerns about the cohesion of the market for surplus lines."
The ability of E&S insurers to establish clearly defined coverage exemptions "has provided a layer of isolation for markets for surplus lines, although the depth of this protection faces the same coverage creep threat as the overall insurance industry," says the report. interest rate relief provided by the surplus lines markets provides a price advantage, as the premium volume reported by surplus lines that stamp offices across the country shows, "it said.
It predicts capacity within the segment will remain stable" and may even expand in the short term. "[1