Lloyd’s Expects to Reopen Underwriting Room in April or May

By | February 19, 2021

Lloyd’s expects to reopen its underwriting room on Lime Street in London after Easter from April 12, or after the early May UK holiday on May 4.

The decision will depend on the UK government’s update on the roadmap out of lockdown, which is expected next week, said Lloyd’s, noting that the easing of restrictions is likely to be very gradual.

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“Lloyd’s is working through plans for how and when we can reopen both the underwriting room and the [Corporation of Lloyd’s] offices in a safe manner,” said Lloyd’s in a statement.

“Looking after safety our corporation and market is paramount, and with social distancing measures set to continue, it is highly likely that we will reinstate our class-of-business rota to ensure we maintain social distancing and do not exceed 45% capacity on the underwriting floors,” the statement continued.

In September, the underwriting room began operating on a staggered basis — for example, with direct property underwriters on one day, and specialty lines on another.

“Once we have seen the road map from the government, we will refine our approach accordingly and provide an update,” said Lloyd’s. “We hope we can welcome everyone back to the underwriting room soon.”

As a result of the UK government’s pandemic lockdown, Lloyd’s closed its underwriting room in March for first time since World War II. On Sept. 1, Lloyd’s reopened for face-to-face underwriting but reduced the capacity of the underwriting room to 45% to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Between Nov. 5 and Dec. 2, Lloyd’s asked all UK-based employees to work from home, with the exception of a few essential roles. During the crucial period in the run-up to the Jan. 1 renewals, access to the underwriting room was available only on Wednesdays.

During the second national lockdown, mandated by the government on Jan. 6, 2021, Lloyd’s closed the underwriting room for a second time.

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