With a history going back nearly 328 years, Lloyd’s of London is widely recognized as one of the oldest insurance brands in the world. Unfortunately, a number of U.S.- domiciled agents operate under the misconception that Lloyd’s is only a market for unique, specialty risks (more about that later). In reality, the insurer has been a major force in this country for well over a century. Almost 40% of Lloyd’s global annual premium comes from the U.S., with business consisting of primarily of surplus lines insurance and reinsurance. In 2014, that was $14.6 billion!
Over the past 100 plus years, our country has seen its share of catastrophes. Lloyd’s response to these disasters has both solidified its reputation in the insurance industry and helped shape the risk modeling and assessment practices in use today. Consider some of the following examples:
On April 18, 1906, an earthquake registering 8.25 on the Richter scale devastated San Francisco, CA. The phenomenon triggered uncontrollable fires lasting three days. Over 3,000 people perished; nearly half of the city’s population was homeless. Direct quake losses totaled $24 million and fires constituted $500 million, akin to over $10 billion in today’s dollars. British insurers paid out more than one-fifth of these total claims. One of the leading Lloyd’s underwriters famously instructed his San Francisco agent to “pay all of our policyholders in full, irrespective of the terms of their policies”.
In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. It was the costliest national disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Lloyd’s responded quickly to the catastrophe, sending thousands of loss adjusters to the region, paying billions of dollars in claims, and donating millions of dollars in relief funds.
Lloyd’s reputation as an innovative and forward-thinking insurer has resulted in its covering many unusual risks including:
1. Celebrity Body Parts.
Most of us have heard the story about the 1940’s pinup/ movie star Betty Grable having her legs insured. Lloyd’s has also provided coverage for Jimmy Durante’s nose, Bette Davis’ waistline, Dolly Parton’s breasts, and Bob Dylan’s vocal cords. More recently, the star of the Ugly Betty TV show (America Ferrera) had her teeth insured for $10 million.
2. Lottery Winners’ Insurance.
Ask most people what they’d do if they won big in a lottery and they’d respond with “quit my job”. Fortunately, employers have the option to purchase insurance from Lloyd’s to mitigate the loss of key personnel due to such a fortuitous event.
3. Politically Incorrect HO-2 Policy Form.
A Householder’s Comprehensive policy form written in 1914 covered damages from such named perils as aeroplanes, airships, riots, strikes…and suffragists.
4. Alien Abduction Insurance.
Concerned about the possibility of having an uncomfortably “close encounter” with an extra-terrestrial? Lloyd’s is willing to underwrite the exposure.
5. Werewolf/Vampire Attack Insurance.
The success of the Twilight series had one unfortunate consequence: people began to get concerned about turning into creatures of the night. Fortunately, there is an insurance policy for that.
Interested in placing business with Lloyd’s but don’t know where to start? Consider becoming a member of the CHART Exchange! CHART has been established to facilitate new business growth within the U.S./London marketplace. We provide an environment through which Risk Takers, existing Coverholders (firms with underwriting authorities delegated by Lloyd’s), and U.S.-based agencies can personally interact and freely exchange ideas about new coverage offerings, underserved market niches, and other opportunities.
Visit our website at www.chartexchange. com to learn more. Also, feel free to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have.