Friday, July 17, 2009

Washington Changes Surplus Lines Code

The state of Washington has made changes to the states surplus lines codes, effective July 1, 2009. EHB 1568—Producer Licensing, which was signed into law by the governor, addresses surplus lines brokers in the context of on-going producer licensing reforms that have been approved in recent years. The bill makes the following changes:

  • The measure prohibits certain practices for surplus line brokers.
  • It applies a number of statutes to surplus line brokers, and makes a number of language and grammatical changes the provisions relating to surplus lines brokers.
  • Minimum bonding amounts in the name of the state or a named insured for liability are modified.
  • A surplus line broker must have bonds in the amount of $2,500, or 5 percent of premiums in the previous year—whichever is greater. This amount is capped at a maximum of $100,000.
  • Additional methods to satisfy the bonding requirements are created.
  • Provisions regarding the renewal of a license and the impact of late renewal or of renewing a lapsed license are added.
  • A number of sections that currently apply to producers are also specifically applied to surplus line brokers.

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