London Insurers Examine How COVID-19 Hit Market

By Lucia Osborne-Crowley
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Law360, London (September 4, 2020, 3:09 PM BST) -- A body representing insurers in London has said it will survey businesses that take out insurance in the City market as it seeks to understand how the COVID-19 crisis has affected the sector.

The London Market Group said on Thursday that the research, undertaken with Boston Consulting Group, will ask businesses that rely on the London insurance market how their management of risk has been disrupted during the pandemic and how their strategies have changed.

"The transformation of businesses was already under way, and the speed of that change has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, testing and challenging the reliability and relevance of insurance and its value chain," Sheila Cameron, a sponsor of the research and the chief executive of the Lloyd's Market Association, said.

"The essence of this study is to listen to the customers who place business in London, hear their views and engage with them to collectively make sense of these disruptions and stimulate reliable innovation from all parties," Cameron added. The association represents members of the Lloyd's market.

The LMG said the new study will involve in-depth consultations with buyers to help it understand trends in the insurance market.

"Understanding the most relevant risk patterns and client needs will help the London market to develop relevant solutions to a shifting risk landscape," the LMG said.

The Market Group found in May that there had been a surge in insurers and brokers using its online trading platform after traditional face-to-face dealings were suspended in response to the coronavirus crisis.

The market-wide body also found in May that London is still the world's biggest insurance market, although its slice of the global reinsurance pie has shrunk over the last decade. LMG Chairman Matthew Moore said at the time that this was a challenge for the London market, although the report did not include any effects of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Fitch Ratings downgraded the outlook for London's specialty market, most of which is traded through Lloyd's, from stable to negative in March as it expected the remote working rules to hit the market hard.

--Additional reporting by Martin Croucher. Editing by Ed Harris.

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