Lloyd’s of London – can technology replace expertise?

June 12, 2024

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By Chris Scott, Head of Lloyd’s and London Market, Sedgwick

Around four years ago, Lloyd’s of London announced a step change in its operations, designed to transform the market. The Future at Lloyd’s strategy, which will be launched in two phases: Blueprint one and Blueprint two, is a comprehensive programme to modernise legacy systems, some of which are more than 30 years old. It will re-engineer the journey of placing risk for open market and delegated authority business to reduce friction, cost and complexity in the Lloyd’s marketplace.

Globally connected 

With more than 50 Lloyd’s managing agents, overseeing 87 active market-facing syndicates and SIABs (syndicate-in-a-box), plus eight SPAs (special purpose arrangements), 3,434 coverholders and 380 brokers, dealing with 200 lines of business, Lloyd’s of London can be seen as complex and convoluted. 

However, the introduction of advanced technology is set to simplify processes and make Lloyd’s more relevant in today’s globally connected world. The new, digital placing platform will create a core data universe, and together with other new systems — including those supporting delegated authority — it will streamline how all stakeholders interact. 

Blueprint one will be rolled out in October 2024, three months later than originally planned. All interested stakeholders decided the date should be pushed back as they are committed to ensuring a safe cutover to Blueprint two. The launch of phase two has also been delayed from October 2024 to April 2025. This second phase enables the creation and full digital placement of risk, together with the use of core data records. 

On a personal level

Almost everything to do with insurance stems from Lloyd’s, which is why it’s often referred to as ‘the world’s insurance marketplace’. Gross written premiums were listed at just under £47 billion in Lloyd’s latest annual report, and CEO John Neal has been quoted as saying that ‘the market has the potential to double in size by embracing the opportunities of scale offered by digitalisation’.

While Lloyd’s’ digital strategy aims to deliver ‘profound change’, the way the market fundamentally interacts will remain the same. Lloyd’s embraces a sense of doing and working together, where multiple parties collaborate to resolve some of the world’s largest and most challenging risks and insured events.

Physically walking around the iconic Lloyd’s building, visiting MGAs and syndicates, developing contacts and generating confidence in ownership and accountability are crucial to creating close relationships of trust. And operating in good faith remains at the heart of how this market works. So, while technology will play an essential part in modernising old administrative systems, day-to-day business will still be carried out face-to-face, and this is unlikely to change.

Directory of experts

The Lloyd’s Corporation has its own governance framework, which fulfils the regulatory obligation of the marketplace. Sedgwick has approved delegated claims administration status to work for Lloyd’s backed MGAs, coverholders and syndicates. To achieve that, we must demonstrate that we’re experts in every key aspect of our global claims management capability. We continually work with the Lloyds Corporation to maintain our approved status, which is renewed annually.

Running alongside Lloyd’s Blueprint phasing is Gemini, a database that lists major and complex loss adjusting experts at global, regional, country and line of business levels. This enables Lloyd’s syndicates to find the specific expertise they need, exactly where and when they need it. It’s also a data management and settlement platform. Presently, the system allows experts to collect their fees directly on historical claims, but in the future, the instructing principal will be able to appoint an expert and manage the claim directly through Gemini. Quick and efficient, it’s streamlining the administrative processes in this highly specialised and technically challenging area of the market. 

Expert-led

The technical claims response required by Lloyd’s market clients will always depend on the traditional skills and specific expertise of focused claims management companies and adjusters who understand how Lloyd’s works. Major loss requirements can call for specialists in areas such as fine art, marine, aviation, space, construction, cyber, technology, renewable energy, mining, power stations and other niche London Market books of business. This is where Sedgwick comes to the fore – the scale of our expert capability and specialism is our greatest strength.  

Worldwide programmes

With access to over 200 territories —including the Africas, a fast-growing market — you might be surprised at how many sizeable worldwide insurance programmes are covered by Lloyd’s. Throughout nearly 350 years of its history, Lloyd’s of London has underwritten some of the largest and most complex risks of all time. Of course, some resulted in significant losses, not least of which was the Titanic.

Over the last 50 years, Sedgwick has responded to hundreds of thousands of Lloyd’s related losses. Our various experts in claims management, general adjusting, surveying, forensic accounting, environmental and fire investigations, and major and complex loss have collaborated and worked together across the Americas, Australia, Europe, the UK and the rest of the world. There’s no doubt that the Lloyd’s marketplace continues to represent a significant source of work for Sedgwick’s business as a whole, particularly our global major and complex loss specialists. 

If, as predicted, digitisation drives the Lloyd’s of London market to double in size, this would represent ‘just 10% of the world flow for corporate and speciality insurance.’ That said, Lloyd’s will then richly deserve the new title of ‘the world’s most advanced insurance marketplace.’

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Tags: Europe, international, Technological advances, Technology, UK, United Kingdom