Lloyd's begins iPad pilot in underwriting room
Martin South, CEO of Marsh UK
Mon 06 Sep 2010
Lloyd’s, the world’s leading specialist insurance market, has joined with brokerage companies Marsh, Cooper Gay and RK Harrison Group to pilot iPad use in its underwriting room.
Brokers in the Lloyd's market are taking part in a unique trial which sees the iPad being used as an alternative to the more traditional underwriting slips.
The gadget, more commonly used for browsing the web and social networking, will be tested by around 30 brokers employed by the three participating brokerage companies over the next three months in a bid to reduce the huge bundles of paper that make up most of the intricate insurance contracts handled at Lloyd’s.
Marsh, Cooper Gay and RK Harrison will each participate in the iPad pilot which, if successful, will be extended from the end of the year.
Martin South, CEO of Marsh UK, said: “We are committed to ending the inefficient practices that remain in the London insurance market. We commend Lloyd’s for undertaking this pilot; it has our full support.”
It is hoped the iPad will improve efficiency among the hundreds of Lloyd's underwriters and brokers who work to insure some of the most complex and specialised risks in the world.
As well as helping them to work more quickly, the iPad will also greatly reduce the amount of paper used within the marketplace.
Paul Bridgwater, CEO of RK Harrison Group, said that he was "delighted to engage early in this forward thinking initiative". "Lloyd’s is a key market and we are dedicated to utilising new technologies which can enhance the interaction with underwriters,” he said.
Toby Esser, Group CEO, Cooper Gay Swett & Crawford, said: "Improving efficiency in order to maintain its leading position within the international insurance arena is an increasingly important challenge for Lloyd’s. Cooper Gay therefore firmly supports this exciting iPad pilot, as we believe utilising portable technology will be a vital element in driving the future success of Lloyd’s as a competitive place to do business.”
The iPads will effectively be used as an ‘electronic slip case’, enabling brokers to take documents in to the market electronically, review documents with underwriters and annotate them where required.
Sue Langley, Lloyd’s Director, Market Operations, said it was a next step in applying technology in the market: “This is a small, simple pilot - literally an iPad ‘out of the box’. By simply replacing the paper with something easier to carry, but which allows amendments and links to other services, we continue to support the underwriting and face-to-face negotiation that makes Lloyd’s unique.”
Launched in the UK in May 2010, the lightweight iPad has a touchscreen display and a storage capacity of up to 64GB. So far, more than 3.3 million of the devices have been sold globally.