Lloyd's of London, generally known simply as Lloyd's, is an insurance
market located in London, United Kingdom. Unlike most of its
competitors in the industry, it is not an insurance company. Rather,
Lloyd's is a corporate body governed by the Lloyd's Act 1871 and
subsequent Acts of Parliament and operates as a partially-mutualised
marketplace within which multiple financial backers, grouped in
syndicates, come together to pool and spread risk. These underwriters,
or "members", are a collection of both corporations and private
individuals, the latter being traditionally known as "Names".
The business underwritten at Lloyd's is predominantly general
insurance and reinsurance, although a small number of syndicates write
term life assurance. The market has its roots in marine insurance and
was founded by Edward Lloyd at his coffee house on Tower Street in
around 1686. Today, it has a dedicated building on Lime Street in the
London financial district, which was opened in 1986. Its motto
Latin for "confidence", and it is closely associated with
Latin phrase uberrima fides, or "utmost good faith".
In 2017 there were 85 syndicates managed by 56 managing agencies that
collectively wrote £33.6 billion of gross premiums (up from £29.9bn
in 2016) on business placed by 287 approved brokers. Fifty per cent of
premiums emanated from North America, 29 per cent from Europe and the
remainder from the rest of the world. Direct insurance represented 68
per cent of the policies written, mainly covering property and
liability ("casualty"), while the remaining 32 per cent was
reinsurance. The market reported a pre-tax loss of £2bn and a
combined ratio result of 114 per cent for 2017 (up from 97.7 per cent
in 2016, which represented a £2.1bn profit).
1.1 Formation and first Lloyd's Act
San Francisco earthquake
1.3 Changes in the UK financial markets
1.4 Second Lloyd's Act
1.5 1995 restructure and causes
1.5.1 Claims and bankruptcies in the eighties and nineties
Reinsurance to close
1.5.3 Dilution of liabilities and the consequences
2.1 Council of Lloyd's
2.2 Businesses at Lloyd's
2.2.2 Managing agents
2.2.3 Members' agents
2.2.4 Lloyd's coverholder
2.2.5 Lloyd's brokers
2.2.6 Integrated Lloyd's vehicles
2.3 Financial security
3 Financial performance
4 Timeline of significant events at Lloyd's
5 Types of policies
6 US gun controversy
8 See also
10 Further reading
11 External links
Formation and first Lloyd's Act
The Subscription Room in the early 19th century
The market began in Lloyd's Coffee House, opened by Edward Lloyd in
1686 on Tower Street in the City of London. This establishment was
a popular place for sailors, merchants, and ship-owners, and Lloyd
catered to them with reliable shipping news. The coffee house soon
became recognised as an ideal place for obtaining marine insurance.
The shop was also frequented by mariners involved in the slave trade.
Historian Eric Williams notes: "Lloyd's, like other insurance
companies, insured slaves and slave ships, and was vitally interested
in legal decisions as to what constituted 'natural death' and 'perils
of the sea'." Lloyd's obtained a monopoly on maritime insurance
related to the slave trade and maintained it until the early 19th
Just after Christmas 1691, the small club of marine insurance
underwriters relocated to Lombard Street; a blue plaque on the site
commemorates this. This arrangement carried on until 1774, long after
Lloyd's death in 1713, when the participating members of the insurance
arrangement formed a committee and moved to the Royal Exchange in
Cornhill as The Society of Lloyd's.
The Royal Exchange was destroyed by fire in 1838. The building was
rebuilt by 1844, but many of Lloyd's early records were lost. In 1871,
the Lloyd's Act was passed in Parliament which gave the business a
sound legal footing. The Lloyd's Act 1911 set out the Society's
objectives, which include the promotion of its members' interests and
the collection and dissemination of information.
San Francisco earthquake
On 18 April 1906, a major earthquake and resulting fires destroyed
more than 80 per cent of the Californian city of San Francisco. This
event was to have a profound influence on building practices, risk
modelling, and the insurance industry.
1906 San Francisco earthquake
1906 San Francisco earthquake caused substantial losses for
Lloyd's losses from the earthquake and fires were substantial, even
though at the time the placement of insurance business overseas was
viewed with some wariness. One of Lloyd's leading underwriters,
Cuthbert Heath, famously instructed his agent in
San Francisco to "pay
all of our policyholders in full, irrespective of the terms of their
policies". The prompt and full payment of all claims arising out of
the disaster helped to cement Lloyd's reputation for reliable claims
payment and as an important trading partner for US brokers and
policyholders. It was estimated that around 90 per cent of the damage
to the city was caused by the resultant fires. Since 1906, fire
following earthquake has generally been an insured peril under most
Changes in the UK financial markets
It was realised that the membership of the Society, which had been
largely made up of market participants, was too small in relation to
the market's capitalisation and the risks that it was underwriting.
Lloyd's response was to commission a secret internal inquiry, which
produced the Cromer report in 1968. This report advocated the widening
of membership to non-market participants, including non-British
subjects and women, and to reduction of the onerous capitalisation
requirements (thus creating a minor investor known as a "mini-Name").
The report also drew attention to the danger of conflicts of interest.
The liability of the individual Names was unlimited.
During the 1970s, a number of issues arose which were to have
significant influence on the course of the Society. The first was the
tax structure in the UK: for a time, capital gains were taxed at up to
40 per cent (nil on gilts); earned income was taxed in the top bracket
at 83 per cent, and investment income in the top bracket at 98 per
cent. Lloyd's income counted as earned income, even for Names who did
not work at Lloyd's, and this heavily influenced the direction of
underwriting: in short, it was desirable for syndicates to make a
(small) underwriting loss but a (larger) investment gain. The
investment gain was typically achieved by "bond washing" or "gilt
stripping": selling the gilt or other bond cum dividend and buying it
back ex dividend, thus forfeiting the interest income in exchange for
a tax-free capital gain.
Syndicate funds were also moved offshore
(which later created problems through fraud and self-dealing).
Because Lloyd's was a tax shelter as well as an insurance market, the
second issue affecting Lloyd's was an increase in its external
membership: by the end of the 1970s, the number of passive investors
dwarfed the number of underwriters working in the market. Third,
during the decade a number of scandals had come to light, including
the collapse of the Sass syndicate, which had highlighted both the
lack of regulation and the lack of legal powers of the Committee of
Lloyd's (as it was then) to manage the Society.
Arising simultaneously with these developments were wider issues:
first, in the United States, an ever-widening interpretation by the
courts of insurance coverage in relation to workers' compensation for
asbestosis-related losses, which created a huge hole in Lloyd's claims
reserves, which was initially not recognised and then not
acknowledged. Second, by the end of the decade, almost all of the
market agreements, such as the Joint Hull Agreement, which were
effectively cartels mandating minimum terms, had been abandoned under
pressure of competition. Third, new specialised policies had arisen
which had the effect of concentrating risk: these included "run-off"
policies, under which the liability of previous underwriting years
would be transferred to the current year, and "time and distance"
policies, whereby reserves would be used to buy a guarantee of future
Second Lloyd's Act
In 1980, Sir Henry Fisher was commissioned by the Council of Lloyd's
to produce the foundation for a new Lloyd's Act. The recommendations
of his report addressed the "democratic deficit" and the lack of
The Lloyd's Act 1982 further redefined the structure of the business,
and was designed to give external Names (investors in underwriting
syndicates), introduced in response to the Cromer report, a say in the
running of the business through a new governing Council. The main
purpose of the 1982 Act was to separate the ownership of the managing
agents of the underwriting syndicates from the ownership of the
broking firms (which acted as intermediaries, not as underwriters)
with the objective of removing conflicts of interest.
Immediately after the passing of the 1982 Act, evidence came to light
and internal disciplinary proceedings were commenced against a number
of individual underwriters who had allegedly siphoned sums from their
businesses to their own accounts. These individuals included a deputy
chairman of Lloyd's and of its leading underwriters.
In 1986, the British government commissioned Sir Patrick Neill to
report on the standard of investor protection available at Lloyd's.
His report was produced in 1987 and made a large number of
recommendations, but was never implemented in full.
1995 restructure and causes
Claims and bankruptcies in the eighties and nineties
In the late 1980s and early to mid-1990s, Lloyd's went through perhaps
the most traumatic period in its history. Unexpectedly large legal
awards in US courts for punitive damages led to large claims,
especially on APH (asbestos, pollution and health hazard) policies,
some dating as far back as the 1940s. Many of these policies were
designed to cover all liabilities that were typically excluded from
broad-form (wide cover) liability policies.
The classic example of "long-tail" insurance risks is
asbestosis/mesothelioma claims under employers' liability or workers'
compensation policies. An employee at an industrial plant may have
been exposed to asbestos in the 1960s, fallen ill twenty years later,
and claimed compensation from his former employer in the 1990s. The
employer would report a claim to the insurance company that wrote the
policy in the 1960s. However, because the insurer did not fully
understand the nature of the future risk back in the 1960s, it and its
reinsurers would not have properly reserved for it. In the case of
Lloyd's, this resulted in the bankruptcy of thousands of individual
investors who indemnified general liability insurance written from the
1940s to the mid-1970s for companies with exposure to asbestosis
In the 1980s, Lloyd's was also accused of fraud by several American
states and external Names.
Among the more high-profile accusations, it was alleged that Lloyd's
withheld its knowledge of asbestosis and pollution claims until it
could recruit more investors to take on these liabilities, which were
unknown to investors prior to investment. Meanwhile, enforcement
officials in eleven US states charged Lloyd's and some of its
associates with various offences such as fraud and selling
Reinsurance to close
It may not be immediately clear how current members of current Lloyd's
syndicates, which accept business a year at a time, could be liable to
pay historical losses. This came about as a result of the Lloyd's
accounting practice known as "reinsurance to close" (RITC).
Membership of a Lloyd's syndicate was not like owning shares in a
company. An individual "joined" for one calendar year only, known as
the Lloyd's annual venture. At the end of the year, the syndicate as
an ongoing trading entity was effectively disbanded.
However, usually the syndicate re-formed for the next calendar year
with more or less the same membership and the same identifying number.
In this way, a syndicate could have a continuous existence going back
(in some cases) 50 years or more, but each year was accounted for
separately. There would have been 50 separate incarnations of this
example syndicate, each one a separate trading entity that underwrote
insurance for one calendar year only.
Since claims can take time to be reported and then paid, the profit or
loss for each syndicate took time to realise. The practice at Lloyd's
was to wait three years (that is, 36 months from the beginning of the
year in which the business was written) before "closing" the year for
accounting purposes and declaring a result.
For example, a 1984 syndicate would ordinarily declare its results
following the end of December 1986. The syndicate's members would be
paid any underwriting (and investment) profit during the 1987 calendar
year, in proportion to their participation in the syndicate;
conversely, they would have to reimburse the syndicate during 1987 for
their share of any loss.
To calculate the profit or loss, reserves were set aside for future
claims payments, for claims that had already been notified but not yet
paid, as well as estimated amounts for claims that had been incurred
but not reported (IBNR). This estimation is difficult and can be
inaccurate; in particular, liability (long-tail) policies tend to
produce claims long after the policies are written.
The reserve for future claims liabilities was set aside in an unusual
way. The syndicate bought a reinsurance policy to pay any future
claims; the premium was equal to the amount of the reserve. In other
words, rather than putting the reserve into a bank to earn interest,
the syndicate transferred its (strictly, its members') liability to
pay future claims to a reinsurer. This was RITC – a transaction that
allowed the syndicate to be closed, and a profit or loss declared.
The reinsurer was always another Lloyd's syndicate(s), often the
succeeding year of the same syndicate. The members of syndicate 'A' in
1985 reinsured the future claims liabilities for members of syndicate
'A' in 1984. The membership might be the same, or it might have
In this manner, liability for past losses could be transferred year
after year until it reached the current syndicate. A member joining a
syndicate with a long history of such transactions could – and often
did – pick up liability for losses on policies written decades
previously. As long as the reserves had been accurately estimated, and
the appropriate RITC premium paid every year, then all would have been
well, but in many cases this had not been possible. No one could have
predicted the surge in APH losses. Therefore, the amounts of money
transferred from earlier years by successive RITC premiums to cover
these losses were insufficient, and the current members had to pay the
(Similarly, within a stock company, an initial reserve for future
claims liabilities is set aside immediately, in year 1. Any
deterioration in that initial reserve in subsequent years will result
in a reduced profit in the later years, and a consequently reduced
dividend and/or share price for shareholders in those later years,
whether or not those shareholders in the later year are the same as
the shareholders in year 1. Arguably, Lloyd's practice of using
reserves in year 3 to establish the RITC premiums should have resulted
in a more equitable handling of long-tail losses such as APH than
would the stock company approach. Nevertheless, the difficulties in
correctly estimating losses such as APH overwhelmed even Lloyd's
As a result, a great many individual members of syndicates
underwriting long-tail liability insurance at Lloyd's faced
significant financial loss or ruin by the mid-1990s.
Dilution of liabilities and the consequences
It was alleged that in the early 1980s some Lloyd's officials began a
recruitment programme to enrol new Names to help capitalise Lloyd's
prior to the expected onslaught of APH claims. This allegation became
known as "recruit to dilute": in other words, recruit more Names to
dilute losses. When the huge extent of asbestosis losses came to light
in the early 1990s, for the first time in Lloyd's history large
numbers of members refused or were unable to pay the claims, many
alleging that they were the victims of fraud, misrepresentation, and
negligence. The opaque system of accounting at Lloyd's made it
difficult, if not impossible, for many Names to understand the extent
of the liability that they personally and their syndicates subscribed
The market was forced to restructure. An ambitious plan entitled
Reconstruction and Renewal was produced in 1995, with proposals for
separating the ongoing Lloyd's from its past losses. Liability for all
pre-1993 business was to be compulsorily transferred (by RITC) into a
special vehicle named
Equitas (which would require the approval of the
UK's Department of Trade & Industry (DTI)) at a cost of around
$21bn. Many Names faced large bills, but the plan also provided for a
settlement of their disputes, a tax on recent profits, and the
write-off of nearly $5bn of debts, skewed towards those with the most
severe losses. The plan was debated at length, modified, and
eventually strongly supported by the Association of Lloyd's Members
(ALM) and most leaders of Names' action groups. Money was raised in
many ways, including the sale and leaseback of the Lloyd's building,
and a tax on future business. Individual offers were accepted by 95
per cent of Lloyd's names. The past liabilities of all Names were
Equitas in September 1996.
The "recruit to dilute" fraud allegations were heard in court in 2000
in the case Sir William Jaffray & Ors v. The Society of Lloyd's
and the appeal was heard in 2002. On each occasion the allegation that
there had been a policy of "recruit to dilute" was rejected; however,
at first instance the judge described the Names as "the innocent
victims [...] of staggering incompetence" and at appeal the court
found that representations that Lloyd's had a rigorous auditing system
were false ([item 376 of the judgment:] [...] the answer to the
question [...] whether there was in existence a rigorous system of
auditing which involved the making of a reasonable estimate of
outstanding liabilities, including unknown and unnoted losses, is no.
Moreover, the answer would be no even if the word 'rigorous' were
removed) and strongly hinted that one of Lloyd's main witnesses,
Murray Lawrence, a previous chairman, had lied in his testimony ([item
405 of the judgment:] We have serious reservations about the veracity
of Mr. Lawrence's evidence [...].).
Lloyd's then instituted some major structural changes: corporate
members with limited liability were permitted to join and underwrite
insurance; no new "unlimited liability" Names can join (although a few
hundred existing ones remained); financial requirements for
underwriting were changed, to prevent excess underwriting that was not
backed by liquid assets; and market oversight significantly increased.
Lloyd's rebounded and started to thrive again after the World Trade
Center attack, but it has faced increased competition from newly
created companies in
Bermuda and other markets.
Lloyd's is not an insurance company; it is a market of members. As the
oldest continuously active insurance marketplace in the world, Lloyd's
has retained some unusual structures and practices that differ from
all other insurance providers today. Originally created as a
non-incorporated association of subscribing members, it was
incorporated by the Lloyd's Act 1871 and is currently governed under
the Lloyd's Acts of 1871 through to 1982.
Lloyd's itself does not underwrite insurance business, leaving that to
its members. Instead, the Society operates effectively as a market
regulator, setting rules under which members operate and offering
centralised administrative services to those members.
Council of Lloyd's
The Council meets in the Committee Room, on the 11th floor of the
The Lloyd's Act 1982 defines the management structure and rules under
which Lloyd's operates. Under the Act, the Council of Lloyd's is
responsible for the management and supervision of the market. It is
regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial
The Council normally has six working, six external and six nominated
members. The appointment of nominated members, including that of
the chief executive officer, is confirmed by the Governor of the Bank
of England. The working and external members are elected by Lloyd's
members. The chairman and deputy chairmen are elected annually by the
Council from among the working members of the Council. All members are
approved by the regulating bodies.
The Council can discharge some of its functions directly by making
decisions and issuing resolutions, requirements, rules and bylaws. The
Council delegates most of its daily oversight roles, particularly
relating to ensuring the market operates successfully, to the
The Franchise Board lays down guidelines for all syndicates and
operates a business planning and monitoring process to safeguard high
standards of underwriting and risk management, thereby improving
sustainable profitability and enhancing the financial strength of the
Businesses at Lloyd's
Interior escalators linking the underwriting floors of the Lloyd's
There are two classes of people and firms active at Lloyd's. The first
are members, or providers of capital. The second are agents, brokers,
and other professionals who support the members, underwrite the risks
and represent outside customers (for example, individuals and
companies seeking insurance, or insurance companies seeking
For most of Lloyd's history, rich individuals known as Names backed
policies written at Lloyd's with all of their personal wealth and took
on unlimited liability. Since 1994, Lloyd's has allowed corporate
members into the market, with limited liability. The asbestosis losses
in the early 1990s devastated the finances of many Names: upwards of
1,500 out of 34,000 Names (4.4 per cent) were declared bankrupt. This
scared away other potential Names. In 2011 individual Names provide
only 11 per cent of capacity at Lloyd's, with UK-listed and other
corporate members providing 30 per cent and the remainder via the
international insurance industry. No new Names with unlimited
liability are admitted, and the importance of individual Names will
continue to decline as they slowly withdraw, convert (generally into
limited liability partnerships), or die. In 2014, Names with unlimited
liability provided just 2 per cent of the overall capacity in Lloyd's.
Managing agents sponsor and manage syndicates. They canvas members for
commitments of capacity, create the syndicate, hire underwriters, and
oversee all of the syndicate's activities. Managing agents may run
more than one syndicate, as borne out in the fact that in 2017 the 85
syndicates were operated by just 56 managing agents.
Members' agents co-ordinate the members' underwriting and act as a
buffer between Lloyd's, the managing agents and the members. They were
introduced in the mid-1970s and grew in number until many went bust;
many of the businesses merged, and there are now only four left
(Argenta, Hampden, Alpha and LMAS, which has no active Names). It is
mandatory that unlimited Names write through a members' agent, and
many limited liability members also choose to do so.
Coverholders are an important source of business for Lloyd's. Their
numbers have grown steadily in recent years, and in 2015 there were
4,008, producing an increasingly meaningful share of the market's
overall income. The balance of Lloyd's business is distributed around
the world through a network of brokers.
Coverholders allow Lloyd's syndicates to operate in a region or
country as if they were a local insurer. This is achieved by Lloyd's
syndicates delegating their underwriting authority to coverholders. A
coverholder can have full or limited authority to underwrite on behalf
of a Lloyd's syndicate. It will usually issue the insurance
documentation and will often handle claims. The document setting out
the terms of the coverholder's delegated authority is known as a
Outsiders, whether individuals or other insurance companies, cannot
transact business directly with Lloyd's syndicates. They must hire
Lloyd's brokers, who are the only customer-facing companies at
Lloyd's. They are therefore often referred to as intermediaries.
Lloyd's brokers shop customers' risks around the syndicates, trying to
obtain the most competitive terms.
Integrated Lloyd's vehicles
When corporations became admitted as Lloyd's members, they often
disliked the traditional structure.
Insurance companies did not want
to rely on the underwriting skills of syndicates they did not control,
so they started their own. An integrated Lloyd's vehicle (ILV) is a
group of companies that combines a corporate member, a managing agent,
and a syndicate under common ownership. Some ILVs allow minority
contributions from other members, but most now try to operate on an
Lloyd's capital structure, often referred to as the "chain of
security", provides financial security to policyholders and capital
efficiency to members. The
Corporation is responsible for setting both
member and central capital levels to achieve a level of capitalisation
that is robust and allows members the potential to earn superior
There are three "links" in the chain: the funds in the first and
second links are held in trust, primarily for the benefit of
policyholders whose contracts are underwritten by the relevant member.
Members underwrite for their own account and are not liable for other
The third link is the Lloyd's Central Fund, which contains mutual
assets held by the
Corporation which are available, subject to Council
approval, as required, to meet any member's insurance liabilities.
In 2017 the first link (syndicate level assets) amounted to £51.1bn,
the second link (members' "funds at Lloyd's") £24.6bn, and the
Central Fund contained just over £2bn.
In its most recent annual report, for 2017, Lloyd's reported an
underwriting loss of £3.42bn, offset by a £1.42bn non-technical
profit to produce an overall pre-tax loss of £2bn, compared to an
overall £2.11bn pre-tax profit in the prior year. The result was
driven by an increase in major claims to £4.54bn, primarily arising
out of hurricanes in the US and Caribbean and wildfires in California.
Gross premiums written totalled £33.59bn, which was a 12.5 per cent
increase from £29.86bn in 2016, without taking exchange rate
fluctuations into account.
Each syndicate is responsible for determining how much money to hold
in reserve for its known and unknown claim liabilities, and each may
choose to release some of its reserves for prior-year claims if it
deems it appropriate. Overall reserve releases can improve the current
year's combined ratio result, whereas overall reserve increases can
add to the combined ratio.
In 2016, before the release of £1.15bn of prior-year reserves, all
eight of Lloyd's main business segments produced loss-making "accident
year" combined ratios (property for example recorded 106.6 per cent,
casualty 102.9 per cent and reinsurance 102.3 per cent). Only three of
the eight classes (energy, aviation and reinsurance) were able to
release enough reserves to produce a "calendar year" profit. In 2017
£706m of prior-year reserve releases improved the market result from
116.9 per cent to 114 per cent.
The 2017 result was Lloyd's first loss for six years. This was after
the 13th consecutive year of prior-year reserve releases improving the
result, by 2.9 per cent. With the impacts of the Atlantic hurricanes
and California wildfires as well as other major catastrophes, property
insurance produced a 131.5 per cent accident year combined ratio and
the reinsurance segment 121.7 per cent. The best accident year result
was in aviation, at 100.6 per cent.
The following table details some key financial metrics for the Lloyd's
market, as reported in each year's annual report:
Gross premiums written
Timeline of significant events at Lloyd's
1686 Edward Lloyd establishes Lloyd's Coffee House, on Tower Street
Lloyd's Coffee House relocates to Lombard Street
1774 Society of Lloyd's founded, at the Royal Exchange
1799 Sinking of HMS Lutine
1871 Lloyd's Act
San Francisco earthquake
1909 Sinking of the RMS Republic
1911 Lloyd's Act
1912 Sinking of the RMS Titanic
1914 Sinking of the RMS Empress of Ireland
1925 Market relocated to its first owned building, at 12 Leadenhall
1955 Supported the Montgomery Bus Boycott
1956 Sinking of the SS Andrea Doria
1958 Market relocated to new building, at 51 Lime Street
1965 Hurricane Betsy
1968 Cromer report published
1977 F. H. Sasse syndicate scandal
Amoco Cadiz disaster
1978 Computer leasing losses
1979 Betelgeuse incident
1979 Three Mile Island accident
1982 Lloyd's Act
1986 Market relocated to the current Lloyd's building, at 1 Lime
Insurers, including the underwriters at Lloyd's, lost $1.4bn in the
Piper Alpha disaster
Piper Alpha disaster
1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill
1989 Lloyd's Community Programme founded, with first chairman Michael
Asbestosis affair and resultant
London market excess (LMX)
reinsurance spiral of losses
1991 Typhoon Mireille
1992 Hurricane Andrew
1993 Bishopsgate bombing
1993 Bishopsgate bombing and subsequent establishment of Pool Re
1994 Northridge earthquake, California
Equitas set up to harbour pre-1993 exposures
2001 World Trade Center attack
2004 Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne
2005 Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma
Berkshire Hathaway assumed
2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill
2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
Inga Beale appointed first female chief executive officer of
2015 Explosions at the port of Tianjin
2017 Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria
Types of policies
Lloyd's syndicates write a diverse range of policies, both direct
insurance and reinsurance, covering casualty, property, marine,
energy, motor, aviation and many other types of risk. Lloyd's also
has a unique niche in unusual, specialist business such as kidnap and
ransom, fine art, specie, aviation war, satellites, personal accident,
bloodstock and other insurances.
The general public knows of Lloyd's for some unusual or notable
policies that were written there. For example, Lloyd's has been the
marketplace which allowed the following to be insured:
silent film comedian Ben Turpin's eyes against uncrossing
Marlene Dietrich's, Betty Grable's, Brooke Shields's, and Tina
cricketer Merv Hughes's trademark walrus mustache while playing for
Australia between 1985 and 1994
Jimmy Durante's nose
the hands of the 1932 World Yo-Yo Champion Harvey Lowe
Keith Richards' fingers
food critic and gourmet Egon Ronay's taste buds for £250,000
Whitney Houston's, Toni Braxton's, Celine Dion's, Bob Dylan's and
Bruce Springsteen's vocal cords
Michael Flatley's legs for $47 million (the policy was only in
effect when he was touring, and forbade him from dancing except on
America Ferrera's smile for $10 million
Ken Dodd's teeth for $7.4 million
Steve Fossett's life for $50 million
the bodies of several professional wrestlers, including Bret Hart, Ric
Flair, Curt Hennig, Rick Rude, Brian Adams, and Joe Laurinaitis,
better known as Road Warrior Animal. However, as of 2017, Dave Meltzer
reported that they no longer insure wrestlers.
Diana Lee's hair
Troy Polamalu's hair for $1 million
participating automobiles in the carpools involved in the Montgomery
a grain of rice with a portrait of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh
engraved on it for $20,000
a confident comedy theatre group against the risk of a member of their
audience dying of laughter
the development of the new World Trade Center with workers'
compensation, general liability, excess liability and speciality
US gun controversy
United States gun control advocates have accused Lloyd's of providing
“murder insurance” because it underwrites several types of
National Rifle Association-endorsed firearms policies, including for
gun shows and personal liability insurance that covers criminal and
civil defence suits. The NRA-endorsed personal liability policies are
unusual, as insurance policies rarely cover costs from criminal
prosecution. Gun control supporters argue that these policies could
increase gun violence as they have the potential to reduce the
negative consequences of firing a gun, similar to
“stand-your-ground” laws. 
According to the owner of Appalachian Promotions, which organises gun
shows in several US states, Lloyd’s is "the NRA’s choice” for
gun shows and “there’s usually nowhere else to get it for gun
shows.” Critics have accused Lloyd’s of enabling the “gun show
loophole” and “aiding and abetting the black market in
New York state regulators are investigating the marketing of these
“self-defense" insurance policies.
The Lutine bell, housed in the rostrum in the main
The present Lloyd's building, at 1 Lime Street, was designed by
Richard Rogers and was completed in 1986. It stands on the
site of the old Roman Forum. The 1925 building's facade survives,
appearing strangely stranded with the modern building visible through
the gates on the northern side on Leadenhall Street. In 2011 it became
a listed building.
In the main
Underwriting Room of Lloyd's stands the Lutine bell, which
was struck when the fate of a ship "overdue" at its destination port
became known. If the ship was safe, the bell would be rung twice; if
it had sunk, the bell would be rung once. (This had the practical
purpose of immediately stopping the sale or purchase of "overdue"
reinsurance on that vessel.) Nowadays it is only rung for ceremonial
purposes, such as the visit of a distinguished guest, or for the
Remembrance Day service and anniversaries of major world
The early history of Lloyd's was fictionalised in the 1936 film
Lloyd's of London.
A fictional portrayal of Lloyd's
Underwriting Room was featured in the
1965 motion picture You Must Be Joking! The Lutine bell figured
prominently in the film's plot.
Lloyd's building was used in the beginning of the film Mamma Mia!
to represent a New York office building from where Pierce Brosnan's
character left for the Greek island. Lloyd's is also the main plotline
in English author Penny Vincenzi's novel An Absolute Scandal (2007),
which centres around the scandals during the 1980s and 1990.
Brokers and underwriters are still normally held to, and apparently
prefer, a more formal style of attire than many nearby City of London
banks and financial institutions.
BS 1088 – Marine materials standard
Jonathan's Coffee-House – original home of the
London Stock Exchange
Lloyd's Law Reports
Lloyd's Open Form
Lloyd's unlimited rating
^ "Introduction to Lloyd's: background". Hmrc.gov.uk. 11 January 2008.
Retrieved 20 March 2011.
^ Marcus, G. J. Heart of Oak: A Survey of British Sea Power in the
Georgian Era. Oxford University Press. p. 192.
^ a b Williams, Eric (1944). Capitalism and Slavery. Chapel Hill:
University of North Carolina Press. pp. 104–05. Retrieved 25
^ "Lloyd's Act 1911" (PDF). Retrieved 26 February 2011.
San Francisco earthquake", lloyds.com.
^ "Lloyd's Act 1982" (PDF). Retrieved 26 February 2011.
^ "Regulation of Lloyd's – About Lloyd's – Lloyd's". Lloyds.com.
31 December 2005. Retrieved 20 March 2011. [permanent dead link]
^ "Council of Lloyd's – About Lloyd's – Lloyd's". Lloyds.com. 31
December 2005. Retrieved 20 March 2011. [permanent dead link]
^ "Franchise Board – About Lloyd's – Lloyd's". Lloyds.com. 31
December 2005. Retrieved 20 March 2011. [permanent dead link]
^ a b "Lloyd's Annual Results 2011" (PDF). Lloyd's of London. 31
December 2011. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
^ "Tell me more about coverholders – Coverholder – Lloyd's".
Lloyds.com. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
^ Kollewe, Julia (2018-03-21). "Lloyd's of
London slides to £2bn loss
after major hurricanes". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
^ "Spreading the risks".
^ "Truth About Lloyds". Truth About Lloyds. 5 August 1998. Retrieved
22 March 2012.
^ Hodgson, Godfrey (1984). "1". Lloyd's of London. New York: Elisabeth
Sifton Books – Viking Penguin, Inc. p. 35.
^ Hodgson 1984, pp. 38–39.
^ Hodgson 1984, pp. 14–21.
^ "Lloyd's Community Programme celebrates its 20th year". Retrieved 10
^ "Truth About Lloyds". Truth About Lloyds. Retrieved 22 March
Inga Beale Becomes Lloyd's First Female CEO". BSkyB. 16 December
Insurance (16 December 2013). "Lloyd's of
London appoints Inga Beale
as first female chief executive in 325 years". The Daily
^ Maria Tadeo (16 December 2013). "Lloyd's of
London appoints first
ever female chief executive
Inga Beale – Business News –
Business". The Independent.
^ "Lloyd's appoints
Inga Beale as CEO –
Corporation News –
Lloyd's". Lloyds.com. 16 December 2013. Archived from the original on
18 December 2013.
^ "What Lloyd's insures – About Lloyd's – Lloyd's". Lloyds.com. 31
December 2005. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
^ a b c d "Business Lloyd's: insuring the famous and the bizarre".
BBC News. 29 October 1999. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
^ a b c d e "HowStuffWorks '9 Odd Things Insured by Lloyds of
London'". People.howstuffworks.com. 14 September 2007. Retrieved 20
^ "WOR: WrestleMania 2018, Raw, Tokyo Dome, Ronda Rousey, more!".
WON/F4W - WWE news, Pro Wrestling News, WWE Results, UFC News, UFC
results. 2017-01-02. Retrieved 2017-01-02.
Troy Polamalu has hair insured ESPN.com,
Associated Press report. 30
^ "Case studies – About Lloyd's – Lloyd's". Lloyds.com. 31
December 2005. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
^ De Bourmont, Martin (13 December 2017). "Why is Lloyd's of London
Insuring American Guns?". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 30 March
^ De Bourmont, MARTIN (13 December 2017). "Why is Lloyd's of London
Insuring American Guns?". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 30 March
^ "Lloyd's sells gun 'murder insurance' to NRA members". The Times. 15
December 2017. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
^ Glancey, Jonathan (19 December 2011). "How we learned to love the
Lloyds building". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 19 December
^ Dunkley, Jamie (7 July 2015). "City Spy".
London Evening Standard.
Cuthbert Heath: Maker of the Modern Lloyd's of
London by Antony Brown.
Illustrated with black-and-white photographic plates, which include
the Twin Towers in New York, with a colour frontispiece of 'The Room'
at Lloyd's (Originally supplied in cardboard box). From a copy of
Cuthbert Heath Published by David and Charles UK in 1980 with
Hazard Unlimited:The Story of Lloyd's of
London by Antony Brown.
Raphael, Adam, Ultimate Risk: the inside story of the Lloyd's
catastrophe (London, Four Walls Eight Windows, 1994,
On The Brink:How a Crisis Transformed Lloyd's of
London by Andrew
Duguid, Palgrave Macmillan, August 2014, ISBN 9781137299291.
Lloyd's official web site
Lloyd's Agency Department
Special report on Lloyd's in The Economist (18 September 2004)
Time magazine report on Lloyd's (February 21t., 2000)
Independent analysis of Lloyd's
Association of Lloyd's Members
USA Today Q&A with CEO Richard Ward, September 2008
Yahoo! – Lloyd's Company Profile
Lloyd's of London's webcam
Lloyd's litigation database
Commentary on Lloyd's
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Coordinates: 51°30′47.28″N 0°04′56.42″W /
51.5131333°N 0.0823389°W / 51.5131333