1904 First motor policy issued

When Lloyd's was first asked to insure a motorcar, no guidelines existed; our underwriters were the first to offer car insurance, and were more used to dealing with ships. This may be why the insurance documents, produced by marine underwriters, described the car as a 'ship navigating on land'.

1910 The Non-Marine Underwriters Association was formed. Early risks recorded by them included riots and civil commotion in Mexico and fires in Chicago.



1911 Flying: a distinct possibility


The first-ever aviation insurance policy was written by Lloyd's in 1911. The company stopped writing policies a year later after bad weather caused a series of crashes, but in 1919, far-sighted underwriter Cuthbert Heath started the British Aviation Insurance Association.

In 1921, the venture was closed ‘in view of the fact that there seems to be no immediate future in aviation insurance and that there is no business to be had’.

However Heath did insure Charles Lindbergh and his single-seat, single-engine monoplane Spirit of St Louis for $18,000 on its non-stop flight from the USA to Europe.

Having flown solo from New York to Paris, Lindbergh became an international hero. The dangers of the journey were summed up in his own words. ‘When I enter the cockpit, it’s like going into the death chamber. When I step out at Paris, it will be like getting a pardon from the Governor.’ As he flew, 40,000 boxing fans prayed for him at New York City’s Yankee stadium.

The Association was revived in 1930.  



1965 - Out of this world

The first space satellite insurance is placed, covering physical damage to the Intelsat 1 on pre-launch, and from 1974-1982 the market will underwrite others for up to $100m each. In 1984, Lloyd’s launches a successful salvage mission to reclaim two rogue satellites, sending a shuttle and five astronauts into orbit.