Please note our office will be closing at 3:00 on Fridays through Friday, August 30th

News & Views: London Calling

Newsletter – Monday, June 17, 2024

June 17th, 2024

Last month, Jeremy, Ryan, and I traveled to London to meet with our Lloyd’s brokers and many of the underwriters at the syndicates that support our various delegated binding authority contracts. If you’re unfamiliar with how the London market works, I’ll give you a quick primer (skip ahead to the next paragraph if you already know this): Tuscano is considered a Lloyds coverholder because we have delegated binding authorities. That means we have the authority to write risks (within certain parameters) on behalf of certain Lloyds syndicates. A Lloyd’s syndicate is formed by one or more members joining together to provide capital and accept insurance risks. 

Like U.S. domestic insurance companies, each syndicate sets its own appetite for risk, develops a business plan, arranges its reinsurance protection, and manages its exposures and claims. Lloyd’s brokers act as a go-between, matching coverholders with syndicates that have an appetite for the types of risks that the coverholder has expertise in writing. This is an oversimplification and not a complete picture of everything the Lloyds marketplace offers, but it’s typical of how most insurance wholesalers access the London marketplace.

I mention this London trip because our July Continuing Education classes are centered around hard-to-place risks, and Lloyds of London has insured many unique things over the years. Some examples include Betty Grable’s legs, Keith Richards’ hands, Bruce Springsteen’s voice, Gene Simmons’ tongue, Tom Jones’ chest hair, and Dolly Parton’s…chest. Make sure you register for our July CE to learn more about the hard-to-place risks that Tuscano can help write for your clients. There probably won’t be anything as interesting as what I mention above, but I promise that they are risks that you’re more likely to see!

If you’re a history buff, Lloyd’s is a very neat place to visit. Lloyd's was founded by Edward Lloyd at his coffeehouse on London's Tower Street in 1688. The coffee shop was frequented by sailors, shipowners, and merchants, and Lloyd provided them with reliable shipping news. Eventually, these individuals began pooling their resources to provide relief when one of the members suffered a loss of their ships and/or cargo. It was the beginning of the concepts of risk pooling and risk transfer that are fundamental to insurance today. 

The picture below shows me and the guys standing next to the Lutine bell. The bell was from the HMS Lutine, a ship that was sunk during a storm in 1799. Lloyd’s insured the HMS Lutine and received the bell as salvage from that wreck. The bell has hung in each of the last four buildings that housed Lloyd’s, and it used to be struck when news of an overdue ship arrived – once for the loss of a ship (bad news), and twice for her return (good news). That practice ended in 1989 due to the development of a crack in the bell. 

Lloyd’s has a tradition of inscribing every marine loss (with a quill pen and ink, in fancy calligraphy) in a big, leather-bound book that sits on a lectern on the underwriting floor at Lloyds of London. They call this the Casualty Book. This tradition goes back over 300 years, and you can actually flip through the current edition and see the most recent entries. If you’re ever in London and have the opportunity to tour Lloyd’s, I highly recommend it. It’s fascinating, even if you’re not an insurance nerd!

I always end this newsletter by soliciting feedback on how we’re treating you, but did you know that each of our email signatures includes a link to a short survey where you can provide feedback on your experience dealing with Tuscano? We’ve also added a button in the Toolbox section of tuscano.com to allow you to provide feedback. 

We value all feedback, and we use it to get better, so please share what’s on your mind. While you’re in the Tuscano Toolbox be sure to check out all the free resources and helpful tools that are made available to you. You can register for a webinar, service policies, access our raters, and much more.

Please note that our office will be closed on Thursday, July 4th, and Friday, July 5th, in observance of Independence Day. Please celebrate safely, my friends!

As always, I’d love to hear how we’re treating you. Please call or drop me a line to let me know!


Robin

robin@tuscano.com

(C) 724-454-3516

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