Skip to main content

Lloyd’s and Parsyl launch insurance initiative for distribution of COVID-19 vaccines

Public-private collaboration, including 14 global (re)insurers, addresses critical risks faced by COVID19 vaccines and other health commodities during distribution.


Lloyd’s and Parsyl, Inc. today announced the launch of the Global Health Risk Facility (GHRF) which will make available billions of dollars of insurance coverage, together with risk mitigation services to help protect and support the global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines as well as critical health commodities.

The launch of the GHRF includes support from the U.S International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) which has approved up to $26.7M for the Facility. The DFC loan will be used to capitalize the new public-private Syndicate 1796, and allow the GHRF to offer cost-effective insurance policies for shipments of vaccines and medical products to developing countries.

The GHRF is an alliance of insurance and technology partners* that together will provide comprehensive insurance and risk mitigation services for the storage and transit of life-saving medical supplies such as temperature sensitive vaccines and medicines, diagnostics, PPE and ancillary cold chain equipment. The facility is anchored by Syndicate 1796, which operates at Lloyd’s and will begin underwriting in January 2021. Syndicate 1796 is the first public-private partnership to address a global health emergency in Lloyd’s 330-year history.

Distributing cold chain vaccines and pharmaceuticals safely around the world is extraordinarily complex and they can easily spoil if not properly maintained, especially at the last mile of transit where infrastructure is weak. The GHRF will protect the quality of the goods and the financial investments made to supply and distribute them at a global level.

The proposed loan from DFC, America’s development bank, will enable Syndicate 1796 to write insurance policies for the distribution of health commodities to eligible low, lower-middle, and upper-middle income countries. The funds will go towards Funds at Lloyd's (FAL) to support underwriting and provide customers with the security of Lloyd’s A+ rating from Standard & Poor's, AA- from Fitch and A from A.M. Best. Parsyl and DFC are on track to finalize loan terms and documentation in the coming weeks.

A critical feature of the insurance platform will be the Risk Management Accelerator (RMA), which is separately funded by participating syndicates and donors and supported by the risk consulting services of AXA XL. The RMA will provide funding and services to enable eligible GHRF clients to access better data and risk mitigation solutions which will strengthen the vaccine supply chain. The RMA will fund a range of services, including conducting surveys of storage locations, supply chain risk evaluations and technology enabled data collection.

Ben Hubbard, CEO, Parsyl said: “By unleashing the power of data, we’re addressing a critical insurance gap when the world needs it most. Launching an undertaking with such broad scale and scope couldn’t have happened without the expertise and dedication of this incredible cross-industry group of public and private partners.  It’s now time to vaccinate the world and we’re so proud to be contributing to this monumental global effort.”

John Neal, CEO, Lloyd’s of London said: “As the world prepares to undergo the largest vaccination programme in human history, ensuring the safe and effective distribution of the vaccine is critically important in tackling this global health emergency. We are thrilled to be launching the Global Health Risk Facility at Lloyd’s – a fantastic example of the way in which our global insurance market has come together to deliver an innovative new solution and model for solving complex global risk challenges posed by the pandemic.”

Adam Boehler, CEO, DFC said: “This important project will help ensure that Covid-19 vaccines remain safe and effective during transportation. We believe this innovative insurance industry collaboration can set up a new model for addressing future global health challenges.”

Chris McGill, Head of Cargo at Ascot Group and Active Underwriter for Syndicate 1796 said: “We’ve been working with Parsyl to solve the challenges of insuring health commodities in emerging markets for nearly two years. The unique combination of a private/public collaboration, technology from Parsyl and risk management from market leaders makes up the DNA of the GHRF. Ultimately these elements have enabled the long-term provision of insurance for this vital supply chain.”

Sean McGovern, CEO, UK & Lloyd’s market at AXA XL said: “We’re very proud to be part of this extraordinary collaboration, harnessing AXA XL’s global risk consulting expertise to advise on the safe distribution of vaccines and AXA’s global footprint to provide emerging markets with local insurance cover.”

Kevin Rimmer, Head of Cargo at McGill and Partners said: “In the midst of a global pandemic, this bold initiative demonstrates the insurance industry’s agility to react and create a vaccine distribution solution at scale and speed. We are delighted to have architected the critical development of the Global Health Risk Facility (GHRF) which is openly available to all clients and brokers worldwide.”

Shaun Crawford, Global Industry Leader, EY said: “Transporting billions of live vaccines around the world at speed will be a hugely complex process, which requires collaboration across many industries and governments. This GHRF initiative demonstrates the importance of aligning market-leading innovation in the global life sciences industry with the deep-rooted insurance expertise of the UK specialty market and governments around the world to respond to this most pressing global health challenge. We are proud to play our part in supporting the world’s largest vaccination campaign.”

*The GHRF and Syndicate 1796 have been developed by Parsyl in close partnership with Ascot Underwriting as the managing agent, and in cooperation with AXA XL, McGill and Partners and Lloyd’s of London. EY has supported the initiative to establish the insurance entity at Lloyd’s and the design of the RMA.  Participating insurers include Ascot, AXA XL, Beazley, Chubb, Talbot, QBE, Tokio Marine Kiln and Aegis. Reinsurers to Syndicate 1796 include Convex, Canopius, Hamilton and RenaissanceRe, among others. McGill and Partners served as the broker on the (re)insurance placements. Norton Rose Fulbright served as the legal advisor in establishing Syndicate 1796 at Lloyd’s. All business for the GHRF will be originated through Parsyl Insurance, a Lloyd’s Coverholder.

  1. The GHRF is open to all brokers with eligible business. For more policy details visit
  2. More information on Lloyd's approval of Syndicate 1796
  3. More news and information available from

About Parsyl and Syndicate 1796

Parsyl is a supply chain data platform and cargo insurer for shippers of sensitive goods. Parsyl’s combined IoT and software solution helps shippers understand, mitigate and insure risks to goods as they move through the supply chain, both in transit and storage. Parsyl is an approved Coverholder with Lloyd’s of London.

Syndicate 1796 was developed by Parsyl and serves as the anchor of the Global Health Risk Facility, the world’s dedicated risk facility for Covid-19 related transit and storage risks. It is the first public-private syndicate created to address a global health emergency in the history of Lloyd’s. The Syndicate has been given the number ‘1796’ in honor of the year physician Edward Jenner carried out his first experiments in what would become the smallpox vaccine, the world’s first vaccine and the only disease the world has ever eradicated through vaccination.

About US International Development Finance Corporation

U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is America’s development bank. DFC partners with the private sector to finance solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world today. We invest across sectors including energy, healthcare, critical infrastructure, and technology. DFC also provides financing for small businesses and women entrepreneurs in order to create jobs in emerging markets. DFC investments adhere to high standards and respect the environment, human rights, and worker rights.

About Lloyd’s

Lloyd’s is the world’s specialist insurance and reinsurance market.

With expertise earned over centuries, Lloyd’s is the foundation of the insurance industry and the future of it. Led by expert underwriters and brokers in more than 200 territories, the Lloyd’s market develops the essential, complex and critical insurance needed to underwrite human progress.

Backed by diverse global capital and excellent financial ratings, Lloyd’s works with a global network of over 4000 insurance professionals to grow the insured world – building resilience for businesses and local communities and strengthening economic growth around the world.

About Ascot

Ascot Group is a Bermuda domiciled specialty insurance and reinsurance business founded in 2001 with four operating divisions: Ascot Underwriting, the Managing Agency for Syndicate 1414 at Lloyd’s; Ascot Bermuda, which writes excess insurance and reinsurance as well as managing the Group’s alternative capital vehicles; Ascot U.S., a specialty insurance provider to middle market customers through retail and wholesale brokers in the United States, and; Ethos Specialty, a New York headquartered Managing General Underwriter (MGU) which provides underwriting and insurance services to third parties.

Ascot Group is owned by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), the largest pension plan in Canada with over C$400 billion in invested assets and representing the retirement contributions of over 20 million Canadians. CPPIB is rated ‘AAA’ by S&P and Moody’s.

About AXA XL

AXA XL is the P&C and specialty risk division of AXA Group, known for solving even the most complex risks. For mid-sized companies to the world’s largest multinationals, we offer traditional and innovative insurance solutions and services in over 200 countries and territories.
The AXA Group is a worldwide leader in insurance and asset management, with 160,000 employees serving 108 million clients in 57 countries. In 2019, IFRS revenues amounted to Euro 103.5 billion and underlying earnings to Euro 6.5 billion. AXA had Euro 974 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2019.

About McGill and Partners

McGill and Partners is a boutique specialist (re)insurance broker focused on clients with complex and/or challenging needs. Launched in 2019, the firm has significant backing from funds affiliated with Warburg Pincus, a leading global private equity firm. McGill and Partners is a British based firm headquartered in London with an international presence in New York and Miami.

About EY

EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

EY refers to the global organisation and may refer to one or more of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organisation, please visit

Enquiries to:

Kaitlin Haar | +1 408 515 1158 |

+44 (0) 20 7327 5111 |
+44 (0)20 7327 5391 |

+44 (0) 20 7327 6125 |

+44 (0) 20 7327 5721 |

+65 6971 1097 |