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In the 17th century, London's importance as a trade centre led to an increasing demand for ship and cargo insurance. Edward Lloyd's coffee shop became recognised as the place for obtaining marine insurance and this is where the Lloyd’s that we know today began.

From those beginnings in a coffee shop in 1688, Lloyd’s has been a pioneer in insurance and has grown over 330 years to become the world’s leading market for specialist insurance. On the following pages you can learn about Lloyd's unique and colourful past, from its early days in Edward Lloyd’s coffee shop, to the historical events that changed the face of Lloyd's forever.

Pocket guide to Lloyd's

Read about the Lloyd’s market, history and building in the Pocket Guide: our market, our past, our home.

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. For over 330 years, people, businesses and communities have relied on the Lloyd’s market to protect what matters most and we are proud to continue that service today.