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PSLA History

In May of 1982, the Pennsylvania Surplus Lines Association (PSLA) was formed by a small group of surplus lines licensees. The surplus lines market provides insurance coverage for nonstandard or unique risks that do not fit the underwriting guidelines of insurers licensed to transact business in the market for standard or traditional insurance coverages. It was felt that, notwithstanding the fact that surplus lines placements represent a small portion of the overall market, this segment of the market is quite important and needed some meaningful representation.

Our formation set the stage to accomplish the following:

By 1986, PSLA had developed a meaningful membership interest and in cooperation with the PID, was well underway with the development of a new, more up to date Surplus Lines Law. In addition, as a further service to our members, eligible surplus lines insurance carriers and the PID, PSLA began taking over the duties as sponsoring surplus lines licensee for the qualification and requalification process as required for a carrier’s ability to be placed and remain on the Department’s Eligible List of Surplus Lines Carriers.

By the end of 1992, our new, updated Surplus Lines Law was passed by the Pennsylvania Legislature and went into effect in April of 1993. Although there were a number of improvements within this new law, the main feature that involved PSLA was the option for the PID to allow for the creation of an advisory organization (also known as a stamping office).

By April of 1996, plans and contractual details were agreed to for PSLA to create a separate division to function as a stamping office to perform a variety of duties for and on the behalf of the PID. Actual stamping office operations began with production year 1997. Pennsylvania became the thirteenth state to adopt the stamping office concept to assist the PID in properly monitoring the surplus lines activity in this Commonwealth.

Today there are 15 stamping offices in operation that represent nearly 70% of the surplus lines production placed in the United States. As with all stamping offices, participation by all duly licensed Pennsylvania surplus lines licensees is mandatory by law. This participation is at no cost to the surplus lines licensee as the stamping fee is paid by the insured.

At the same time, PSLA offers formal membership in our association on a voluntary basis. The only requirement for full membership is to hold a valid surplus lines license and the payment of a nominal membership fee. Associate memberships are also available for unlicensed, but interested parties in the surplus lines market here in Pennsylvania.

As a surplus lines licensee, please consider your agency becoming a full member.