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What You Need to Know When Filing Surplus Lines in California

What You Need to Know When Filing Surplus Lines in California

One tricky thing about surplus lines is that each state regulates them differently. And keeping up with changing tax rates and regulations is half the challenge of surplus lines. If you’re planning to file in California, here are a few things you need to know.

All Syndicates Must Be Reported in California Filings

Syndicates involved in policy writing must be reported. Only syndicates which appear on the most recent NAIC Quarterly Listing Alien Insurers are eligible to transact surplus line insurance in California. This list is maintained by the International Insurers Department of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

The Syndicate List is a required document when submitting the policy. It is usually one of the endorsements included in the Forms and Endorsements section of the policy. When reporting a syndicate in your filing, you will need their Lloyd’s Syndicate Member Number.

Consortiums Must Be Reported As a Breakdown of Syndicates

In California, consortiums are not allowed to be reported as such because the consortium numbers are not recognized syndicate numbers. Consortiums are groups of specific syndicates. Instead, you will need to provide the specific breakdown of syndicates included in your consortium.

Stamping Fees and Surplus Lines Taxes Calculations Are Based on Varying Criteria

Stamping fee payments and surplus lines tax payments are calculated based on varying criteria for due dates. Stamping Fees are due based on the month the policy was filed with the Surplus Lines Association.

If you have more than $20,000 in taxes the prior year, you must make monthly payments on taxes due. This is based on the invoice date for the policy. It is possible to have taxes owed on a policy that hasn’t been submitted to the SLA yet. To learn more about how these are calculated, click here.

Use a California Tax Calculator

Balancing changing tax rates and compliance regulations for California can be challenging. To make your work easier, try using a California tax calculator. Using this automation tool can simplify your filing process and help keep you compliant.


Filing requirements in California are different from the filing requirements in other states. With this list as your guide, now you’re aware of some important things to look out for. You’re ready to get to work and make filing California surplus lines easier.

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InsCipher is an insurtech company providing software and services that are revolutionizing inefficient insurance processes. Save your agency time and money by automating surplus lines compliance, filing, and reporting. Want to learn more? Request a free demo today!

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