Excess and Surplus (E&S) insurance carriers can be secure, but it ultimately depends on the specific carrier you are considering and their financial stability, reputation, and regulatory compliance. Here are some factors to consider when evaluating the security of an E&S carrier:
1. Financial Strength: It's essential to assess the financial strength of an E&S carrier before purchasing insurance from them. Look for carriers that have strong financial ratings from reputable rating agencies such as A.M. Best, Standard & Poor's, or Moody's. These ratings provide insights into an insurer's ability to meet its financial obligations and indicate its long-term stability.
2. Regulatory Compliance: E&S carriers are subject to regulatory oversight in the jurisdictions where they operate. Ensure that the carrier is properly licensed and compliant with the relevant insurance regulations. You can check with the state insurance department or regulatory authority to verify the carrier's standing and any complaints lodged against them.
3. Reputation and Track Record: Research the reputation and track record of the E&S carrier in the insurance industry. Look for reviews, testimonials, and feedback from policyholders or insurance professionals who have dealt with the carrier. A carrier with a solid reputation and positive feedback is more likely to be reliable and secure.
4. Reinsurance Relationships: E&S carriers often manage their risk exposure by obtaining reinsurance from larger, more established insurance companies. Reinsurance provides an additional layer of financial protection for the carrier and its policyholders. Consider whether the E&S carrier has reputable reinsurance partners, as this can enhance their overall financial stability.
5. Claims Payment History: Evaluate the carrier's claims payment history and their ability to handle and settle claims efficiently. Prompt and fair claims settlement is crucial when it comes to insurance, so look for carriers with a good track record in this regard.
6. Broker Recommendations: Insurance brokers who specialize in the E&S market can provide valuable insights and recommendations. They work closely with various carriers and have a deep understanding of their financial strength, stability, and overall security. Consulting with a knowledgeable broker can help you make an informed decision.
It's important to conduct thorough due diligence before selecting any insurance carrier, including E&S carriers. By considering these factors and working with reputable professionals, you can increase the likelihood of choosing a secure and reliable E&S insurance carrier.