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More historic claims

Just a few of the many other moments where Lloyd’s has been able to bring help, support, and the chance to rebuild and start again

1920s - Fraud

A number of fraud cases. One involved an Antwerp dealer who sent diamonds to Colombo and Singapore, but when they arrived the seals had been replaced and the diamonds were missing. A claims adjuster sourced the wax in the seals. It was unavailable in Singapore or Colombo and was, in fact, the same as that used habitually by the Antwerp dealer: it was fraud.

The Aga Khan was held up at gunpoint outside his Riviera villa. Assailants stole £1.75m worth of jewels, all insured at Lloyd’s. A few days later, £100,000 of the jewels were found in a biscuit tin outside a Marseilles police station. At the time it was one of the largest thefts ever.

1924 - The arrival of the motor vehicle

The arrival of cars lead to the first smash and grab raid at Bond Street jeweller Harman’s, and the theft of an £8,000 emerald necklace.

1958 - Ship seizure

Indonesia seized 40 Dutch ships. A Lloyd’s delegation flew to Jakarta – and managed to negotiate the ships’ return.

1980 - Computer leasing insurance

The market lost $400m on a computer leasing insurance, where businesses insured against technological advances making the computers they were hiring out obsolete.

1984 - Air India crash

An Air India jet crashed, killing over 300 people. It was initially unclear whether the event was an accident or an act of terrorism, but the Lloyd‘s claims department was keen that people had the money they needed quickly, and so brokered an interim deal between the all-risk and war risk underwriters.

2010 - Deepwater Horizon

Following the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, which claimed 11 lives, the resulting oil spill is still considered to be the largest accidental marine spill in the history of the petroleum industry. As insurers, Lloyd’s paid out over $600m. As the industry braced for the US hurricane season, chief executive Richard Ward said, ‘The insurance industry is facing a potential perfect storm this year. But it’s a storm we can see coming, and we can prepare for. Insurers who keep their discipline and don’t chase risky short-term profit will stand the best chance of long-term survival.’