How Lloyd’s of London is pairing tradition with tech

Lloyd’s of London likes its traditions. The 330-year old insurance market recently decided it needs an injection of start-up spirit. The FT’s insurance correspondent Oliver Ralph visits Lloyd’s Lab to see how the business is being brought up to date

Lloyd’s of london likes its traditions the three hundred and thirty year old insurance market or people quite cover for everything from satellites to submersibles are stuck with tried and tested ways for doing business face-to-face negotiation is a good example brokers and insurers meet in the famous underwriting room to discuss how best to cover their clients

Risks and deals are often still concluded on paper there are also a whole host of more ceremonial traditions from the book where ships that sink are recorded with a quill pen to the luton bell which is rung on very ceremonial occasions and the strikingly uniformed waiters who are visitors around the building by and large it works well about thirty four billion

Pounds worth of insurance is bought at lourdes every year last year it paid out eighteen billion pounds in claims but even lloyd’s has to move with the times so they set up lloyd’s lab what ten startups have ten weeks to get to know how lloyd’s works and what it means we know with new technology we have to keep thinking about innovation and the lab is a way to

Bring technology from outside into london and think about how we can innovate in the future the companies in the lab have plenty of ideas whether it’s using ai to help small businesses buy insurance blockchain to pay claims more efficiently or drones and mobile phones to help respond to natural catastrophes but getting insurance companies and startups together

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Isn’t easy a lot of people say they speak different languages while insurers talk about claims ratios and brokerage costs the startups are interested in funding around some product development we have all of our jargon in the insurance industry and the technology jargon as well but we’ve been really pleased with the attitude of the market to this and we’re really

Actually seeing a kind of kind of meeting of minds rather than it rather than a clashing of cultures both sides seem to think it’s worth a shot even a tiny slice of lloyds annual premiums is a big prize for an entrepreneur with a good idea tradition is important to lloyd’s if but there’s more opportunity that they can take advantage of that’s true among any

Industry that’s faced with those disruptors if you will but i think you’ll find that most of the cohorts here are not looking to disrupt it we’re here just to make it more efficient so that the companies that we are trying to provide insurance for risk management’s for can grow at a rate and make the overall pie bigger for everybody for the insurers technology

Offers the opportunity to get an advantage however small over rivals there’s plenty of competition for business in lloyds and prices for some types of insurance have been falling for years almost the material of the trading environment people are conscious that that innovation and technology is already having an impact and will have an impact on our industry and

Actually regardless of whether it was a good time in the market or a bad time we need to adapt we need to modernize and we need to change it’s a very traditional industry in a lot of ways is it culturally difficult to encourage people in insurance to look at new technology it’s it’s trying to explain to people simultaneously that there are some challenges out


There that we have to respond to but also showing them the opportunities culturally it varies across the industry there are some people who are very receptive to it other people who maybe need warming up to a little bit more the people organised in the lab have had to work hard to bring the two sides together convincing them to change the way they do things in

Some respect it’s been a challenge always in the market i had to accelerate the way that they work in order work the startups are sometimes slowed down in order to be able to work with the incumbents and that’s the process of these labs that actually does end up finding that meeting that both parties can play out if the lab is to succeed who will need to convince

The doubters that the startups can offer something worthwhile people have tried to modernize lloyd’s in the past with limited success but with the challenges to the market growing the people behind the lab think that this time they really need to make it work

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How Lloyd's of London is pairing tradition with tech By Financial Times

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