Canadian Underwriter

Lloyd’s marks 325 years of insurance business

August 16, 2013   by Canadian Underwriter

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Lloyd’s of London is celebrating 325 years of business this year, publishing a variety of online material to celebrate its legacy.

Lloyd's marks 325 years of insurance business

“In the 17th century, London’s importance as a trade centre led to an increasing demand for ship and cargo insurance,” the Lloyd’s website notes. “Edward Lloyd’s coffee house became recognized as the place for obtaining marine insurance and this is where the Lloyd’s that we know today began.”

In February 1688, an article appeared in the London Gazette offering a reward for a stolen horse and encouraging anyone with information about it to contact Lloyd at his coffee house, in an “early sign of insurance, or at least reward,” according to the market’s website.

“At this time, there were more than 80 coffee houses within the City walls; each a centre for entrepreneurs and merchants with a specialist interest to offer,” it says. “Despite the original equine reference, what Lloyd’s coffee house specialised in was information about shipping.”

Included in the materials is a look at some of the most complex catastrophes and claims that Lloyd’s has seen over its long history, including the loss of the HMS Lutine, the San Francisco earthquake in 1906, the Titanic’s sinking and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It also lists 2011 as a particularly disastrous year for natural catastrophes.