LMA: ‘At the box or in the office’ agreement reached

The Lloyd’s Market Association has announced a cross-market consensus on underwriters’ ‘at the box or in the office’ availability. Underwriters will generally be physically present for in-person trading with brokers on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays – either in Lloyd’s Underwriting Room or in their offices.

Andrew Brooks, chairman of the LMA and CEO of Ascot Underwriting, said: “This commitment underlines the importance of face-to-face trading in Lloyd’s. The ability to trade in person, to discuss specific risks personally in detail, is part of the singular value chain that Lloyd’s provides. Brokers, underwriters, and insureds all stand to benefit from ensuring this type of trading, unique to Lloyd’s, continues well into the future.

“This availability agreement allows everyone to trade as they wish: at the box, in the office, or remotely, without accidently losing the advantages of trading in the Room. Personally, I'm looking forward to meeting our broker partners and underwriting colleagues at Lloyd’s or in their offices in the months to come.”

Patrick Davison, underwriting director of the LMA, added: “We saw approximately 1,200 brokers and underwriters enter the Lloyd’s Underwriting Room on each of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during the first week in February – numbers similar to November 2021, when the market first returned to more normal levels of attendance.

“The commitment from LMA members to return to trade in person in the Room is made in support of the efficient negotiation and placement of complex risks as part of a hybrid working approach. In a dynamic marketplace made up of multiple carriers and brokers, different working practices are to be expected, but Managing Agents have shown clear support for a structured and transparent approach which incorporates working in the Room, in the office, and at home.”

Accompanying the agreement are these details of underwriters’ availability in certain classes of business:

Contingency: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
International Liability: Tuesday, Thursday
Joint Cargo: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
Joint Hull: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
Joint Liability: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
Joint Rig: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
Joint War: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
Medical Malpractice: Wednesday
Personal Accident: Wednesday, Thursday
Political Risk & Credit: Tuesday (am), Wednesday, Thursday (am)
Terrorism & Political Violence: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
Worldwide Property: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

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