Industry Urged to Better Communicate Benefits of Cover

Lloyd’s CEO, John Neal, said the industry has to better communicate the policies they offer and their benefits to clients as the growing row over pandemic coverage intensified.

Mr Neal (pic) was responding to a question from during the virtual press briefing on the market’s 2019 results

He had revealed that Lloyd’s has undertaken a study and identified 14 different policy classes that are expected to respond to claims from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Asked whether their research had highlighted gaps in coverage between what was offered and clients’ expectations, Mr Neal said the issue was one of clarity and communication rather than cover.

“There has been some discussion around business interruption but if the cover was in place then the policy will respond. If the cover wasn’t bought then it won’t,” he explained. “If it has not been explained to the client properly then that would be disappointing.”

Mr Neal added: “This industry is very good at sitting down and coming up with new solutions.”

He explained that following the serious outbreak of Ebola some years ago Munich Re and Marsh has created a pandemic protection programme. Yet the programme had attracted no interest despite the cover being on offer.

“I think we need to make more effort in explaining the types of cover we provide and the benefits they can deliver.”

He added Lloyd’s has been in touch with the UK Government to highlight the work being done by the industry with governments across the world in response to the pandemic and the work it had done in previous crises.

“We have offered our help where we can,” said Mr Neal who added that the government had responded to say they appreciated the offer and it was likely that Lloyd’s would act as a co-ordinator in bringing together insurance capabilities in areas such handling the large volumes of claims which are expected to be generated by the governments plans to support the UK workforce and businesses.

Lloyds said it will provide its first initial estimates of the cost of COVID-19 to the market in early May saying that as tempting as it was to come up with a figure they did not want to fall into the trap of providing a total that would prove to be wide of the mark in the months to come.

Mr Neal said the impact of the pandemic would be profound.

“The world and our ways of working will be changed forever,” he said.

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