London Will see PLUS from COVID Impact

Professional Liability underwriters overwhelmingly believe that the London market will emerge in a better position at the end of the COVID pandemic.

Underwriters from across the UK and North American attended a webinar organised by the London chapter of PLUS (the Professional Liability Underwriting Society) to consider what impact the pandemic would have on the face to face nature of the market.

The webinar featured a debate in the issue in which leading figures gave their views on whether the move to remote working would signal the demise of the face to face nature of the market and the way it operates.

Following the debate, PLUS polled the audience for their views on the future of the London market, with the vast majority of those involved saying they believed the London market was coping surprisingly well with virtual broking and underwriting.

  • 60% expect London market to come back stronger after COVID
  • 88% expect the London market to change for the better as a result of the pandemic
  • 52% believe placing business will ultimately be cheaper for international clients
  • 28% believe that within a year placing business will be quicker for international clients

The panel debate highlighted the way in which the market had adapted quickly to virtual working, although panel members commented on some of the demands that virtual working places on those tasked with building new relationships, rather than relying on those in existence already. Other challenges included the difficulty for brokers of getting access to underwriters, and the increased strain of difficult risk-placement conversations when these cannot be held face-to-face. While all panel members felt that teams were beginning to miss the energy brought by human interaction, most agreed that flexible working would be the likely future for EC3.

Max Carter, CEO of New Dawn Risk, and the webinar’s moderator, said: “A key belief shared by the whole panel was the need for the London market to remain true to its core values in covering complex risks, based on a deep knowledge about where and how to get the most challenging individual risks resolved for clients.”

“Overall, we were delighted with the positivity which came from members attending the debate, and it is great to know that members have faith that the technology and relationships which underpin this market will allow us to continue to place and manage risks for our clients effectively.”

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