What Is an Associate In Surplus Lines Insurance (ASLI)?

Associate in Surplus Lines Insurance (ASLI) is a professional designation obtained by those working in the surplus line insurance industry. It is administered by The Institutes, an organization offering professional accreditation and ongoing education resources in the insurance industry.

Key Takeaways

  • Associate In Surplus Lines Insurance (ASLI) is a certification used by insurance professionals.
  • It is focused on the surplus line insurance market, which relates to risks that can only be covered by out-of-state insurers.
  • The ASLI curriculum includes both core and elective courses, in addition to a module on professional ethics. It typically takes between nine and 15 months to complete.

Understanding Associates In Surplus Lines Insurance (ASLIs)

To understand the role of ASLIs, it is helpful to first understand the role of surplus line insurance more generally. In the United States, individual state regulators will establish and oversee which insurance companies are licensed to operate within the state. To do so, those companies must abide by the state's insurance regulations and ensure that they maintain the necessary standards of financial strength. 

At times, the insurance companies that are licensed to operate within the state will not be able or willing to accept a particular insurance contract, usually because the risk involved in that contract is especially large or unusual. In those situations, the party seeking insurance may need to work with an insurance company based outside of their state. That type of insurance coverage, in which an out-of-state insurer covers a risk that no in-state insurers are willing or able to accept, is known as surplus line coverage.

ASLIs, therefore, are simply insurance professionals with special training in dealing with these kinds of relatively rare insurance transactions. To obtain the ASLI designation, candidates must take four courses administered by The Institutes, which typically require between nine and 15 months to complete. These courses begin by covering a core set of skills, before providing elective courses designed to make the material more relevant for specific career paths within the surplus line insurance industry. Lastly, it ends with a focus on professional ethics.

Real World Example of an ASLI

The core of the ASLI curriculum consists of an overview of the regulations affecting the insurance industry and the exact conditions under which surplus line insurance can be offered to potential clients. This includes instruction on the marketing of surplus line insurance products, in addition to the techniques used to evaluate the risk and required premiums levels for a particular contract. 

The core also contains detailed instruction on specific surplus line insurance products, such as management liability insurance, environmental damages insurance, and even insurance related to cybersecurity issues. Examples of electives available through the ASLI program include compliance and risk management, internal audit procedures, sales strategies, and financial statement analysis.