Lloyd's of London
Lloyd’s (of London) occupies something of a unique position – it is not an insurance company in itself, but rather a market place in which a large number of insurance underwriters work.
The market comprises a total of 93 syndicates – groups of individual underwriting members who provide the capital support that underpins the risks the syndicate underwrites. Lloyd’s provides the market place in which those syndicates operate.
It is a format that has changed barely at all since the set up and concept of Lloyd’s in the more than 300 years of history since trading in insurance first began in a London coffee shop of the same name.
The commercial beginnings – in the 1730s – centred chiefly on the need for marine insurance and laid the foundations for a surge un demand for such services for shipping caught up first in the American War of Independence and soon after the French Revolution and its Napoleonic Wars.
The growing importance of maritime insurance prompted the birth of a newspaper dedicated to shipping news and information called Lloyd’s List – a newspaper which has persisted in continuous publication right up to the present day.
The early history of Lloyd’s did not always provide a shining example, however. When profits from maritime insurance began to show a temporary dip in the early 1760s some underwriters took to more “speculative” – if not downright bizarre – lines of business, examples of which included the risk of death by gin drinking and the perils of highway robbery.
The pendulum swung back of course to an altogether more professional and business-minded gathering of individual underwriters who formed a “new” Lloyd’s.
It was this new version of Lloyd’s which in 1773 was led by the man who came to be known as the father of the insurance house, John Julius Angerstein, who fostered in the organisation a copper bottomed reputation and worldwide standing for integrity and honest dealing.
This is the kind of integrity and standing most likely to be sought by the owners of buy to let property when insuring their let property.
Landlord insurance requires a special kind of cover – quite distinct from standard home building and contents insurance – which protects not just the physical aspects of the investment but also the risks and perils faced by the business itself.
Lloyd’s (of London) landlord insurance
As already mentioned, Lloyd’s is not an insurance company but a market place for individual members and underwriters organised into a collection of numbered syndicates.
In other words, there is no such product as Lloyd’s’ landlords insurance. Rather, individual underwriters – typically taking business through a network of brokers – take on the risks encountered by landlords. It becomes a mark or confidence and trust, therefore, when your buy to let insurance policy bears the legend that it is underwritten at Lloyd’s (of London).