About Us

skylineThe Association of Washington-licensed surplus lines brokers was formed in joint cooperation of the Insurance Department and the licensed surplus lines brokers. The stamping office was established as part of this Association, whose brokers voluntarily agreed to submit policies and filings to ensure compliance with existing surplus lines laws of the state. At the time, there were problems with unscrupulous unlicensed brokers bootlegging business under various pretenses; there were also certain syndicates at Lloyd’s who were also circumventing rather lax laws of the time.

When the West Coast states adopted comprehensive surplus lines laws in the late 1930s, Lloyd’s agreed to recognize the surplus lines brokers’ associations and to accept risks only from duly- licensed brokers belonging to the association and who complied with the new comprehensive laws. In 1938, the Washington-licensed surplus lines brokers agreed to form an association, presented a proposed plan which was encouraged by the Washington insurance commissioner. This was similar to what California had done in 1937. In return, Lloyd’s agreed to deal solely with licensed surplus lines brokers belonging to the association.

At that time, Washington’s legislature met biennially, which delayed until early 1941 legislating necessary Code changes and thus, along with events in Europe, also delayed the SLA’s recognition by Lloyd’s. In the interim, Insurance Commissioner William Sullivan, who favored an SLA patterned after California’s, was re-elected. He sponsored HB 345, commonly known as the “Surplus Lines Brokers Bill”, which passed the legislature and was signed by the Governor in March, 1941. The SLA was formally launched on April 16, 1941.

The Surplus Line Association of Washington is a not-for-profit corporation whose purposes are to:

  • Promote a stable Non-Admitted insurance market in the State of Washington to offer viable options to the insurance buying public.
  • Encourage and facilitate compliance by its members with the laws of the State of Washington and of the United States of America relative to surplus line insurance coverage, and with the laws, rules and regulations of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner of the State of Washington.
  • Provide means for the examination of surplus line policies placed by members on Washington risks in accordance with Rules as established by the Association, and as may be amended from time to time, and provide assistance, as appropriate, to members in filing and compliance.
  • Supply educational support to the members of the Association including dissemination of information regarding laws, rules and regulations relevant to surplus lines insurance. Support insurance education relative to surplus lines insurance in the State of Washington through sponsorship of training classes and seminars, or grants of money or expertise to educational institutions.
  • Communicate with the Legislature and Office of the Insurance Commissioner in support of our members and the Non-Admitted Marketplace.

All of which ultimately benefits the insurance buying public.