By Lena Masri and Simon Jessop
LONDON (Reuters) – Lloyd’s of London met a second-quarter target to complete at least half of its insurance under-writing deals electronically, as part of efforts to modernise operations and save costs.
The specialist Lloyd’s market insures everything from hurricane damage to soccer stars’ legs, but has been buffeted by two years of steep losses due to natural catastrophes.
In May, Lloyd’s, which relies heavily on face-to-face trading, said all participants would move to electronic exchanges next year, as the 330-year-old market responds to competition from cheaper rivals.
Data shows that while most business is still currently negotiated in person, a majority of the in-scope risk was confirmed, or ‘bound’, electronically. The goal is to ensure all business is submitted to the platform electronically as well.
In-scope risks represent the majority of the market and include property insurance and liability insurance. They exclude a small portion of specialist types of risk.
Lloyd’s, which has 99 syndicate members comprising British and international insurers, accepted an average of 60.2% of in-scope risks electronically, trade body the London Market Group said in a statement. All Lloyd’s members met the target, it said.
Insurance companies not in Lloyd’s accepted an average of 51% of in-scope under-writing risks electronically, their trade body, The International Underwriting Association of London (IUA) said.
“These numbers are encouraging and demonstrate a market-wide commitment to modernise the way we do business at Lloyd’s,” Lloyd’s Chief Executive John Neal said in a statement.
Feeling the pressure of rising competition, Lloyd’s last year introduced targets to speed up automation. Its syndicate members face charges if they fail to comply.
“The next step is to build the same success in submissions as we have in risks bound, and our goal is to hit a target of 10% for submissions in Q4 of this year,” said Bronek Masojada, chair of the board of Platform Placing Limited, the platform the insurers use to trade digitally.
(Editing by Mark Potter)