Non-admitted carriers (often referred to as “Excess and Surplus Lines” insurers) are subject to some review by the California Department of Insurance, but not held to the same level of scrutiny as carriers domiciled in California (called “admitted” carriers).
Non-admitted carriers have the flexibility of using their own manuscript forms and rates without prior approval by the Department of Insurance. Admitted carriers must have their rates and forms approved prior to writing.
Non-admitted carriers must be placed on the List of Approved Surplus Line Insurers (LASLI) maintained by the California Department of Insurance, but also non-admitted carriers do not have insolvency protection that policyholders who use admitted carriers are able to benefit from. Keep in mind that the California Insurance Guarantee Association (CIGA) limits protection to California-admitted policyholders to only $500,000.
For a more extensive overview of this topic, see our helpful Article here.