Lloyds & UK Sites

How The Lloyd’s Market Works

Lloyd’s is an insurance market rather than an insurance company. Risks are insured at Lloyd’s by Lloyd’s underwriters. Lloyd’s itself does not underwrite risks. It is a brokered market and focuses on high risk, specialist insurance for businesses.

Lloyd’s insurers only deal with authorized insurance brokers. In order to purchase insurance from a Lloyd’s insurer, you will therefore need to contact an appropriate broker – probably starting with a local broker.

Insuring at Lloyd’s
Lloyd’s cannot provide insurance coverage in every country in the world. In certain countries, there are restrictions on the type of insurance products Lloyd’s can provide and how business is placed with Lloyd’s underwriters. Again, you will need to contact a local broker / intermediary, who should be able to discuss your requirements and ensure that coverage is placed according to your needs, and in accordance with regulations.

US residents / citizens should contact a surplus lines broker.

Lloyds Key Facts 2009

Top of page

Key dates in Lloyd’s history

(chronology – from Lloyd’s site)

  • 1688 – First known reference to Edward Lloyd’s coffee house (London Gazette 18-21 February 1688)
  • 1691 – Edward Lloyd moves his business to Lombard Street.
  • 1713 – Edward Lloyd dies.
  • 1734 – Lloyd’s List established as regular weekly publication.
  • 1769 – A breakaway group of professional underwriters establish New Lloyd’s Coffee House in Popes Head Alley.
  • 1771 – 79 – Underwriters and brokers subscribe £100 towards new premises. Lloyd’s ceases to be a coffee house and becomes the property of the subscribers. First Committee of Lloyd’s elected, comprising nine subscribers.
  • 1774 – Underwriters move to Royal Exchange and lay foundations for modern Lloyd’s
  • 1796 – The Committee resolves that two ordinary general meetings should be held each year and an annual report and accounts should be presented
  • 1811 – A general meeting of subscribers adopts a trust deed, giving Lloyd’s a constitution. This regulates admission to Lloyd’s more strictly
  • 1824 – Parliament allows the existence of insurance companies other than Royal Exchange and London Assurance
  • 1838 – Royal Exchange, and many early Lloyd’s records, destroyed by fire on 10th January
  • 1844 – Lloyd’s market returns to rebuilt Royal Exchange
  • 1857 – First deposit for security made with Committee by an underwriting member
  • 1871 – Lloyd’s incorporated by private Act of Parliament
  • 1873 – Lloyd’s seal affixed to every Lloyd’s policy
  • mid 1870s – Development of business written by syndicate
  • 1880s – Cuthbert Heath, a prominent Lloyd’s underwriter, writes first Lloyd’s reinsurance policy on American risks for a British company doing business in the US
  • c1887 – First non-marine policies underwritten by Cuthbert Heath
  • 1903 – Committee accepts first non-marine deposit, establishing nonmarine market alongside marine business
  • 1904 – First Lloyd’s motor policy issued
  • 1906 – San Francisco earthquake claims met by Lloyd’s underwriters, establishing Lloyd’s reputation in the US
  • 1906-7 – Cuthbert Heath devises excess loss reinsurance following San Francisco claims
  • 1908 – Annual audit and premiums trust fund introduced. Made compulsory by law under Assurance Companies Acts 1909-1946
  • 1909 – First Lloyd’s motor policy issued
  • 1911 – First Lloyd’s aviation policy issued
  • 1925 – Creation of Central Guarantee Fund
  • 1928 – HM King George V and HM Queen Mary open new Lloyd’s building in Leadenhall Street
  • 1939 – Lloyd’s American Trust Fund established for US dollar premiums
  • 1958 – Lloyd’s transfers to new Lime Street building. Officially opened by HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother on 14th November 1957
  • 1968 – Committee admits non-UK or Commonwealth members
  • 1969 – Committee admits women members
  • 1978 – General meeting of members agrees establishment of working party to examine self-regulation at Lloyd’s
  • 1979 – Sir Henry Fisher appointed chairman of working party. HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother opens Lloyd’s Chatham building
  • 1980 – Draft Lloyd’s Bill based on Fisher proposals approved at EGM
  • 1982 – Bill Receives Royal Assent to become Lloyd’s Act 1982. Election of first Council of Lloyd’s
  • 1983 – First meeting of Council of Lloyd’s appoints first Chief Executive
  • 1986 – New Lloyd’s building at One Lime Street, designed by Richard Rogers is officially opened by HM The Queen.
  • 1988 – Lloyd’s celebrates Tercentenary
  • 1988-1992 – Lloyd’s suffers series of unprecedented catastrophic losses amounting to £7.9 billion
  • 1993 – David Rowland appointed first full-time remunerated Chairman of Lloyd’s
  • 1994 – First corporate members commence underwriting with £1,595 million capacity
  • 1995 – Lloyd’s announces reconstruction and renewal programme including settlement offer to members
  • 1996 – Chairman rings Lutine Bell three times to mark implementation of reconstruction and renewal plan
  • 1997 – Conclusion of ‘Reconstruction and Renewal’ Lloyd’s Settlement proposals are accepted by 95 per cent of Members
  • 1998 – 21 January Government announces independent regulation of Lloyd’s by the Financial Services Authority, effective from Midnight on 30 November 2001
  • 1999 – Lloyd’s security enhanced by the reinsurance of the Central Fund
  • 2000 – General Insurance Standards Council (GISC) assumes regulatory responsibility for Lloyd’s Brokers
  • 2002 – Lloyd’s Members approve the proposals of the Chairman’s Strategy Group. These outline major changes that will transform Lloyd’s into a modern, dynamic marketplace attractive to capital providers and policyholders
  • 2003 – Introduction of a Franchise Board and appointment of the first ever Franchise Performance Director – two crucial developments in the Lloyd’s modernisation programme

Top of page

Lloyds Sites

Top of page

Other U.K. Resources

Contact us for assistance