The surplus lines market, a group of highly specialized insurers exists to provide coverage that is not available through licensed insurers in the standard insurance market. Each state has surplus lines regulations and each surplus lines company is overseen for solvency by its home state. A number of states maintain lists of eligible surplus lines companies and some keep a list of those that are not eligible to do business in that state. In addition, depending on the state, the surplus lines agent or broker, who must be licensed, is responsible for checking the eligibility of the company.
For the many thousands of businesses that rely on some level of surplus line protection to keep their doors open, surplus lines is an important segment of the market.