Lloyd’s announces plan to reopen London underwriting room

Lloyd’s of London has announced plans to “safely” reopen its underwriting room in London.

The group said there are “detailed plans” in place to enable the reopening of its London headquarters and “iconic” underwriting room by 1 September, whilst adhering to government guidelines ensuring social distancing.

It added that the health and safety of all market participants and minimising the spread of the Covid-19 virus remain the principal priorities. Therefore, the Lloyd’s building and underwriting room will reopen with several important safety measures in place. These include:

  • Reducing the capacity of the underwriting room to 45%, in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
  • The installation of clear screens on underwriting boxes to enable confidential conversations to safely continue. Opening hours are being reviewed with the market, and these will be confirmed in due course.
  • Deep cleaning the entire underwriting room and shared spaces prior to occupation using a fogging technique every 30 days (this helps protect surfaces from contamination). High touch points will be cleaned regularly through the course of the day.
  • Operating two entrances and two exits to the building, as well as queuing and one-way systems installed in a variety of locations. Escalators will be operational for normal use; and lifts will be restricted to two passengers at a time.
  • The provision of temperature-check thermal cameras for voluntary use.
  • A click and collect take-away catering service available for all market participants.

In addition, Lloyd’s said it is working with the market to determine a class of business rota system to help manage capacity in the underwriting room, as well as support market participant’s “return to the office” planning.

The group said in a statement: “In parallel with these changes to the way that the physical market operates, we have taken the opportunity to accelerate our plans to improve our digital connectivity both within the Lloyd’s building but also online with a virtual room.

“This online environment will combine the best features of 1 Lime Street with digital technology to create efficient, smart and collaborative ways of doing business, as part of our Future at Lloyd’s ambitions.”

The statement continued: “We are currently testing a number of digital platforms that will enable brokers and underwriters to connect and collaborate online and remain on track to launch a virtual room on 1 September.”

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