Like Banking, most people are already familiar with insurance. But in the City, insurance means much more than motors and meerkats! If something worth millions (or billions!) is at risk then London’s unique Lloyd’s of London insurance market has it covered.
With hundreds of underwriters in the market, each with specialist knowledge and experience, it takes an expert to negotiate and get the best deal.
This is where an Insurance Broker comes in, they have to understand their client’s risk inside and out before they negotiate with Underwriters to get the best insurance solutions. In the Lloyd’s Market, this negotiation still takes place in person, face-to-face. It’s an exciting place to work with its own unique culture.
Think about something that will cost you money if it goes wrong, and ask yourself what is the likelihood that the worst will happen? How much money would it cost you?
These are the questions that an underwriter asks, with the answers deciding how much they would charge to cover a risk. Next ask yourself the same questions, but for an airliner, a nuclear power station or a football player’s legs. Now you’re thinking like a Lloyd’s Underwriter!
Imagine a major flood damages thousands of homes – each house could have insurance liabilities worth millions. A nightmare scenario for a home insurer, but you’ve probably guessed the solution already: Reinsurance is insurance for insurers, helping them reduce their exposure to risk.
Risk is big business, and reinsurers are particularly concerned with risk on a large scale. Think hurricanes, climate change, emerging technologies... It’s a fascinating area to work in.
The distinctive Lloyd’s Building, with its unusual “inside out” design, contains Lloyd’s of London – the world’s biggest specialist insurance market. Starting in a coffee shop over 300 years ago, now more than £25 billion of premiums are written there every year and it provides services in more than 200 countries.
Just opposite Lloyd’s of London is 30 St Mary Axe, known informally as “The Gherkin” – actually named after the floorplan of an early design.
Swiss Re, one of the world’s biggest reinsurance firms, is the primary occupier. The Gherkin will be joined by a host of unusual skyscrapers in the years ahead; look out for “The Cheesegrater”, “The Walkie-Talkie” and “The Scapel”. They all surround Lloyd’s and are primarily driven by London’s growing insurance sector.