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E&S insurance lines to outperform P&C industry in 2017, Fitch report says

Excess and surplus underwriters are likely to outperformstandard-market underwriters in 2017, according to Fitch Ratings' latest U.S.Excess and Surplus Lines Market Review report.

E&S underwriters outperformed the P&C industry's combinedratio by an average of 8 percentage points from 2011 to 2015. E&S marketdirect premiums written grew 4% in 2015, representing the fifth consecutiveyear of positive growth. However, initial data for the first half of 2016 showsa slight decline in direct premiums written from the previous year, the reportsaid.

The E&S market did not underperform the P&C industryin any line over the past five years and remained dominated by largestandard-market insurers. The top two, Lloyd's of London and ,account for about 35% of total premiums.

Insurers with the most favorable and least volatileunderwriting results for the 2011 to 2015 period include , QBE North America andTravelers Cos. Inc.,according to the report. Insurers with the worst and most volatile results areAIG, Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd.and State National Insurance Co.Inc.