Lloyd’s Jargon: Do you really know what you’re talking about?


Everyone in the insurance industry around the globe knows that Lloyd’s is unique. It’s unique in that it’s the only insurance market in the world. Lloyd’s is also unique when it comes to things they insure like offshore oil drilling platforms and space shuttle missions.

One thing that is truly unique about Lloyd’s is their vocabulary. It is so complex, it has its own glossary. Here are five everyday words that have a definition all their own when visiting One Lime Street, London.

understanding lloyd's jargon


Each syndicate has a box in the underwriting room at Lloyd’s from which business may be placed with Lloyd’s brokers. Each box has a couple of opposite facing benches and desks where the underwriters employed by the managing agent of the syndicate sit, plus some chairs for visitors. Space in the underwriting room is at a premium. The boxes are crowded allowing little privacy for the underwriters.


The proportion of an insurance or reinsurance risk that is accepted by an underwriter or which an underwriter is willing to accept. When it refers to a line that is entered on a slip it is commonly expressed as a percentage of the limit of indemnity.


An individual member (investor) underwriting with unlimited liability. Since March 6, 2003 no person has been admitted as a new member to underwrite on an unlimited liability basis.


There are two types of underwriting slips: a placing slip and a signing slip.

  • A placing slip is a document created by a broker that contains a summary of the terms of proposed insurance or reinsurance contract which is then presented by the broker to selected underwriters for their consideration.

  • A signing slip is a document created by a Lloyd’s broker after a quotation has been accepted for processing premiums under the contract that is evidenced by the placing slip. It is a cleaned-up version of the final placing slip and shows underwriters’ stamps, signed lines and underwriting references, these details being inserted by each underwriter at the request of the broker.


A liveried member of Lloyd’s staff. They wear ruby red coats and black top hats. Their association with Lloyd’s goes back to their 17th-century coffeehouse origins. Originally, waiters were sent down to the docks to learn news of ship activity. Nowadays, they fulfil the role of concierge at One Lime Street.

Not being up-to-speed on Lloyd’s lingo is unimportant compared to the importance of knowing what you’re talking about when it comes to managing and growing your Lloyds’ book. Our new eBook “Lloyd’s Coverholders, are you guilty of these 5 Misdemeanours?” is a great reminder for all Lloyd’s coverholders to zero in on the important things. It outlines common misdemeanours coverholders are guilty of so you can make sure you don’t make the same mistakes.

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Topics: Lloyd's