Palomar Specialty launched an initial public offering on April 17, with the California-based specialty catastrophe insurer starting to sell on the Nasdaq Global Select Market at $15 per share.

Shares closed on Palomar’s first day of trading at $18.99, up $3.99 or 26.6 percent on a trading volume of more than 3.3 million shares. The price had spiked to a high of $19.96.

Palomar’s parent company – Palomar Holdings – offered more than 5.6 million shares of its common stock, plus an additional 843,750 more that underwriters have the option to purchase. Palomar is trading under the ticker symbol “PLMR,” and the offering will close on April 22, subject to customary closing conditions.

Palomar had initially filed for a $50 million IPO, according to its S-1 regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in March. In the filing, the company noted it focuses on markets it believes other insurers underserve, such as earthquake, wind and flood insurance. Palomar uses data analytics and a technology platform to offer customers flexible products “with customized and granular pricing on admitted basis.” Palomar sells its coverage through retail agents, program administrators, wholesale brokers and in partnership with other insurance companies, among other marketing channels.

Palomar, first launched in 2014, “organically” increased its gross written premiums from $16.6 million in 2014 to $154.9 million in 2015, according to the S-1 filing. For 2018, the company reported a nearly 21 percent return on equity and a 71.6 combined ratio, it said.

In February 2019, A.M. Best affirmed the “A-” (Excellent) (Outlook Stable) rating for both Palomar Specialty Insurance Company and Palomar Holdings Inc., the company noted.

Recent expansions for the company include Palomar Specialty’s 2017 launch of Flood Guard, a private flood coverage program in California that uses an advanced and granular proprietary rating system. Also in 2017, Palomar Specialty partnered with AAA Club Alliance to offer residential earthquake insurance, beginning in Oklahoma.

The company does business in states including California, Oregon, Washington, Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Kentucky, Kansas, Indiana, Tennessee and Alaska.

Source: Palomar Holdings/Palomar Specialty Insurance Co.