Anyone who has ever visited Lloyd’s ultra-modern headquarters building on London’s Lime Street is struck by an odd anomaly. Despite the fact that every underwriter’s desk duly sports the obligatory computer screen, clerks, brokers and underwriters are still deluged with mountainous paper files.
It’s no wonder than that Lloyd’s management has dedicated itself to bringing the venerable market into the 21st century. This is necessary to “maintain a competitive edge in traditional markets and to encourage growth in new markets,” it said in a new bulletin. “Lloyd’s, and the rest of the London market, have to change to improve our business processes. Changing a market place is not an easy job, even when everyone agrees that change has to happen,” it continued.
The need for reforming the way Lloyd’s processes policies and claims carries two important implications:
1. Market wide reform initiatives must be driven and coordinated centrally by a body with the authority, funding and the power to mandate (where necessary). Lloyd’s is increasingly fulfilling this role.
2. The delivery of market wide reform is only possible with full support from the market place.
The bulletin described Lloyd’s Business Process Reform (BPR) unit, which was formed in October 2003 to work alongside the London Market Principles (LMP), as giving it a mandate “to drive existing market wide initiatives to ensure coordination and recognition of dependencies.”
It set out the BPR’s aims as follows:
— Ensuring contract clarity – Clarity of contract, leading to certainty of coverage, fewer disputes, less time wasted, a reduction in legal bills and improvements in downstream processing.
— Improving process efficiency – To enable efficient capturing, storing and reuse of data, reduced error rates, and the speeding up of premium payment.
— Improving services to the client – To adopt processes that speed up the agreement of the contracts, the issuance of documentation and the subsequent agreement of claims.
— A commitment to internationally accepted standards – To facilitate adherence to (or creation of) international accepted standards for accounting, message/business flows, and technology.
To learn more about the BPR projects and initiatives, to obtain possible contacts at Lloyd’s or to consult the Reform Newsletter, go to the Lloyd’s Website at: www.lloyds.com.
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