Surplus lines premiums dropped more than 9 percent in the first half of 2009 among states with stamping offices, according to a new report by the Surplus Lines Stamping Office of Texas.
The report showed that premiums dropped from $11.3 billion in 2008 to $10.3 billion in 2009, with California reporting the largest drop, going from $3.1 billion in 2008 to $2.25 in 2009. As a result Florida, which only saw a 9.1% decline to $2.35 billion, took over as the largest premium volume state.
In additional to California's 27.7% decline, other states reporting double digit declines were Arizona (-17.7%), Idaho (-24.9%), Illinois (-13.5%), Nevada (-27.2%), Oregon (-29.2%), and Pennsylvania (-10.1%).
On the positive side, property increases helped Texas reported a 12.2% increase. Other states with positive numbers were: Montana (44.2%), Mississippi (9.1%), and Utah (2.7%). Montana's increase reflects the closing of the stamping office as of July 1 2,009 when the state took over collection responsibilities.
New York reported a small decline of 1.6%, dropping from $1,811 billion from $1,841 billion and Washington reported a decline of 2.5%. Minnesota's stamping office opened Jan. 1, 2009 and reported $114 million in premium.
While there was a large decline in premiums, the number of policies processed dropped only 2.9% in the first half of the year.