Governor signs Barkis’ bill clarifying insurance licensing requirements

Rep. Andrew Barkis, R-Olympia, saw his first bill as a lawmaker signed into law this week. Gov. Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1027 clarifying the licensing requirements for resident and nonresident surplus line brokers. Generally, only insurers authorized by the Office of Insurance Commissioner may transact insurance business in the state. The exception lies with surplus line brokers.

“You might be wondering what exactly is a surplus line broker?” said Barkis. “You're not alone. I asked myself the same question when the Office of Insurance Commissioner asked me to sponsor this legislation. Surplus line brokers hold an important place in the insurance business.”

A surplus line broker handles insurance policies outside the normal insurance perimeters. Surplus line policies often cover risks that do not fit normal underwriting patterns or fit standard insurance policies.

“This is a good bill for the OIC,” continued Barkis. “It clarifies current licensing provisions by giving surplus line brokers normal licensing requirements. It also brings reciprocity so we can accommodate those surplus line brokers working across state lines. It's important they are able to conduct insurance business in our state and provide policies for those unusual circumstances. It was my pleasure to work with the OIC in moving this legislation through to the finish line.”

Barkis' bill will go into effect on January 1, 2018.

The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn on April 23.


Washington State House Republican Communications