Lloyd’s 320 Year Trading History
Lloyd’s started life in 1688 at Edward Lloyd’s coffee house in Tower Street and has grown from its marine insurance base to become the world’s leading market for specialist property and casualty insurance, covering some of the world’s largest, most complicated and unique risks.
To this day, Lloyd’s remains a dynamic, innovative market where individuals meet face-to-face. Like any market, it enables those with something to sell – underwriters providing insurance coverage – to make contact with those who want to buy – brokers, working on behalf of their clients who are seeking insurance. They gain their strength from the diversity of managing agents who choose to operate here, backed by capital from diverse sources around the world.
They continue to introduce ways to make Lloyd’s an easier place to do business, increasing efficiency and standards of service. Lloyd’s is continuing to expand steadily, evolving its processes and strategy to provide an optimum trading platform for all participants.
Today, they are the world’s leading specialist insurance market, often the first to insure new, unusual or complex risks. They bring together an outstanding concentration of specialist expertise and talent, backed by excellent financial ratings which cover the whole market.
|How Lloyd's Works
Corporation of Lloyd's
Business Flow > < Capital Provision
Clients have risks that need to be insured or reinsured. They will discuss their needs with a broker.
Brokers: facilitate the risk transfer process between clients and underwriters. Depending on the complexity or size of the risk, there usually is more than one broker in the distribution chain. Service companies: some risks are placed directly with managing agent-owned service.
Syndicates have specialist underwriters who price, underwrite and handle any claims in relation to the risk. PLIS underwrites and manages on behalf of certain underwriters. Large, or specialist risks, are often written on a subscription basis.
Managing agents provide management and other services to syndicates. They employ underwriting and support staff and provide the business infrastructure.
Capital providers, called members, are the risk carriers. They support one, or a number of syndicates.
The Lloyd’s Market
Lloyd’s is the world’s best known – but probably least understood – insurance brand. Lloyd’s is not an insurance company but a society of members, both corporate and individual, who invest in syndicates where professional underwriters accept risk on their behalf. Capital is provided by investment institutions, specialist investors, international insurance companies and individuals.
Lloyd’s is the leading specialist insurance market, home to 51 managing agents and 80 syndicates, which offer an unrivalled concentration of specialist underwriting expertise and talent.
Lloyd’s brokers bring business to the market. The risks placed with underwriters originate from clients and other brokers and intermediaries all over the world. Together the syndicates underwriting at Lloyd’s form one of the world’s largest commercial insurers and a leading reinsurer.
The market structure encourages innovation, speed and better value, making it attractive to policyholders and participants alike. Immediate access to decision-makers means that answers on whether a risk can be placed are made quickly, enabling the broker to provide fast, good value solutions.
Members of Lloyd's
Members of Lloyd's, or “capital providers” as they are often known, accept insurance business through syndicates on a separate basis for their own profit and loss (in other words, members of Lloyd's are not jointly responsible for each other's losses). The membership of Lloyd's is currently made up of companies, individuals and Scottish Limited Partnerships. Individual members, or 'Names' as they are often known, tend to support a number of syndicates, whereas some corporate members only underwrite through a single syndicate.
Lloyd's members conduct their insurance business in syndicates, each of which is run by a managing agent.
The syndicates operating within the market cover many specialty areas including:
- Professional indemnity
Syndicates tailor solutions to respond to the specific risks of the client base. Syndicates compete for business, thus offering choice, flexibility and continuing innovation.
Syndicates cover either all or a portion of the risk and are staffed by underwriters, the insurance professionals on whose expertise and judgment the market depends.
*including SPS and RITC syndicates. Source: Lloyd's Members' Services Unit, January 2008
** source: Lloyd's Broker Services, January 2008
Last updated on 15 Apr 2008
Regulation of Lloyd's
Lloyd's is regulated by the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA), under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.
The FSA also regulates Lloyd's managing agents, members' agents and Lloyd's brokers.
The FSA and Lloyd's have common objectives in ensuring that Lloyd's market is appropriately regulated and, to minimize duplication, the FSA has agreed arrangements with Lloyd's for the co-operation on supervision and enforcement.
Last updated on 01 May 2008
Chain of Security and Central Fund Strength
There are three links in total:
All premiums received are held in trust for the protection of policyholders. These assets are available to meet claims and other underwriting liabilities of insurers at Lloyd’s.
All members are required to hold additional capital at Lloyd’s as further security for their underwriting. These assets are also held on a several basis and each member’s resources are only able to meet their share of claims.
Lloyd’s has established a Central Fund which is available, at the discretion of the Council of Lloyd’s, to meet any portion of any member’s liabilities that the member is unable to meet in full. These assets are held on a mutual basis. This and other central assets of the Society constitute the third link in Lloyd’s chain of security.
Syndicate level assets
Member's funds at Lloyd's
Lloyd's central assets
Total Funds & Assets of Lloyd's Corporation
Funds Held in the U.S.A.
US Trust Funds
Lloyd’s is required to maintain regulatory deposits in the US to support its surplus lines and reinsurance business as well as its licensed business emanating from Illinois and Kentucky. Lloyd’s maintains these funds in trust while simultaneously paying claims and expenses out of its working premiums trust funds.
- Credit for Reinsurance and Surplus Lines Trust Funds $12.518 billion
- Joint Asset Trust Funds $219 million
- Illinois Trust Fund $659 million
- Kentucky Trust Fund $204 million
Sources of capital
The capital which backs the syndicates comes from corporate and individual members (known as 'Names'). Corporate capital was introduced in 1994 and now makes up 93.1%* of the market capacity.
In 2007, 1017 corporate members provided £15,007m* of capital and 1,124 individual members provided £1,094m* of capital to the Lloyd's market.
The market has the capacity to accept insurance premiums of £16.1bn* for the 2007 year of account.
* Source for all figures: Lloyd's Market Services January 2007.
Last updated on 19 Oct 2007