Perhaps you have seen this notice written in all caps. No, your broker is not yelling at you. Rather the California Department of Insurance requires that consumers read the attached notice and sign it, when they are buying insurance from a Surplus Lines Insurer.
Many people assume that the alien insurer is more risky to buy insurance from. But what you really want to pay attention to is the financial stability and strength of the company. You can look that information up on AM Best or Standard and Poors websites.
The major difference between an Admitted California and a Nonadmitted California insurer is that the Admitted Insurer has to file its rates with the State of California. If it wants to change its rates, it needs to put in a request with California's Department of Insurance and get approval. The Nonadmitted Insurer does not have to take this step with the California Department of Insurance. If you buy from the Surplus Lines Market, you will have to pay a Surplus Lines Tax and Stamping fee.
If you have any questions on this topic, please reach out to us.
1. The insurance policy that you are applying to purchase is being issued by an insurer that is not licensed by the State of California. These companies are called "nonadmitted" or "surplus line" Insurers.
2. The insurer is not subject to the financial solvency regulation and enforcement that apply to California licensed insurers.
3. The insurer does not participate in any insurance guarantee funds created by California law. Therefore, these funds will not pay your claims or protect your assets if the insurer becomes insolvent and is unable to make payments as promised.
4. The insurer should be licensed either as a foreign insurer in another state in the United States or as a non-United States (alien) insurer. You should ask questions of your insurance agent, broker, or "surplus line" broker or contact the California Department on Insurance at the following toll-free number: 1-800-927-4357 or internet web site www.insurance.ca.gov. Ask whether or not the insurer is licensed as a foreign or non-United States (alien) insurer. You may also contact the NAIC's internet web site www.naic.org.
5. Foreign insurers should be licensed by a state in the United States and you may contact that State's Department of Insurance to obtain more information about that insurer.
6. For non-United States (alien) insurers, the insurer should be licensed by a country outside of the United States and should be on the NAIC's International Insurers Department (IID) listing of approved nonadmitted non-United States insurers. Ask your agent, broker, or "surplus line" broker to obtain more information about that insurer.
7. California maintains a list of approved surplus line insurers. Ask your agent or broker if the insurer in on that list, or view that list at the internet web site of the California Department of Insurance: www.insurance.ca.gov.
8. If you, as the applicant, required that the insurance policy you have purchased be bound immediately, either because existing coverage was going to lapse within two business days or because you were required to have coverage within two business days, and you did not receive this disclosure form and a request for your signature until after coverage became effective, you have the right to cancel this policy within five days of receiving this disclosure. If you cancel coverage, the premium will be prorated and any broker's fee charged for this insurance will be returned to you.