Lloyds of London
Lloyd's began in Edward Lloyd's coffee house in Tower Street in the City of London. Although the exact date of its establishment is unknown, evidence exists that Lloyd's coffee house was well-known in London business circles by 1688. Edward Lloyd provided reliable shipping news and a variety of services to enable his clientele of ships' captains, merchants and wealthy men to carry on their business of insuring ships and their cargoes with each taking a share of risk. By signing their names one beneath the other on a policy, together with the amount they agreed to cover, they became known as 'underwriters.'
By the end of the 18th century the underwriters had elected a committee and moved to their own premises in the Royal Exchange. This exclusive club of Lloyd’s underwriters has developed over three centuries as the world's leading insurance market providing specialist insurance services to businesses in over 200 countries and territories. Lloyd's is home to 44 managing agents and 62 syndicates, which offer an unrivalled concentration of specialist underwriting expertise and talent.
Lloyd’s present building at One Lime Street was officially opened by HM Queen Elizabeth in November 1986. This facility is one of the most spectacular modern buildings in the heart of London’s financial district with its construction being predominately steel and glass. The bell from the ship HMS Lutine was salvaged and is located in the underwriting room. Formerly used to announce news of overdue ships, it is now only rung on ceremonial occasions.
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