Things are looking good for property/casualty insurers writing specialty business. Specialty lines premium has about doubled as a share of overall commercial premium in the 21st century, judging by A.M. Best figures for surplus lines, where a large share of specialty business is written. The global specialty market is projected to grow nearly 6 percent per year through 2028.

Executive Summary

The specialty lines business may be small, but the margins can be impressive where carriers are successful at it. Being successful requires understanding certain peculiarities and honing a special discipline toward product development.

Yet no carrier can afford to jump into the business or expand an existing specialty option without thorough consideration of what it takes to succeed. Even with robust growth, specialty insurance remains a small fraction of total U.S. property/casualty premium—perhaps less than 10 percent, depending on how “specialty” insurance is defined.

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