(Reuters) – Lloyd & # 39; s of the London insurance market said on Friday that it is considering combining its physical underwriting floor in London City with some online elements.
Lloyd & # 39; s closed its "underwriting room" in the London Tower on March 19 in response to the coronavirus pandemic and has said it will not reopen until August, marking the first closure of physical commerce in it commercial insurance market's 330-year history.
The closure of the guarantee floor, usually filled with brokers and insurers, meant the market went online completely for the first time, possibly opening the way for its business to become digital on a more permanent basis.
Insurers and brokers say the market, which employs nearly 50,000 people, has gone smoothly with greater use of existing electronic systems and they have no rush to return to the office.
Jennifer Rigby, Head of Operations at Lloyd & # 39; s, said in a video posted on You Tube on May 28 that the market planned to experiment with combining the best features of the physical underwriting room "with a virtual room that is available to visit, no matter where in the world you are. "
"This has clearly been fast tracked."
The plan is being developed as part of the market's Future at Lloyd's program to switch to electronic exchanges, although Lloyd's has previously said it would always
Lloyd's already using virtual reality headsets to show brokers overseas how the market works, said a Lloyd spokesman.
A more detailed update on Lloyd's future will be issued in July, Lloyds said in a progress report on Friday.
"The insurance industry has shown that it is perfectly capable of supporting customers remotely with an almost normal service," said Jon Turner, CEO of broker Gallagher's special division.
"A packed trading floor feels like a distant memory."
More insurance and risk management news about the coronavirus crisis here.