Archive for Marine Cargo insurance

Was The RMS Titanic Sinking An Insurance Fraud?

In 1998 American Robert Gardiner in his book ‘Titanic: The ship that never sank’, first postulated the theory that on the 14th of April 1912, a hundred years ago today, that RMS Titanic was scuttled for the Insurance money.

More importantly it wasn’t even the Titanic that sank, but her older decaying and seriously damaged sistership, RMS Olympic, in what would become one of the greatest insurance frauds of all time – if proved to be true!

Was the Titanic disaster the greatest Insurance fraud ever?

Mystery, Myth and Money Surround The Whole "Titanic" Sinking Tragedy

Insurance Blogger whilst initially thinking what a load of ……, decided to look deeper into the ‘conspiracy’ and in particular the question of marine insurance for the vessel.

In order for the possibility of an insurance fraud to have taken place answers must be given to the following questions:-

Did the Owners, Company or individuals stand to benefit from the total loss of a ship?

Could the Titanic have been swapped for the Olympic as Gardiner proclaims?

What evidence is there to prove that the ship lying two and a half miles down at the bottom of the Atlantic is indeed the Olympic ?

Incredible as it first seems, the more you look into the assertations, the more feasible the fraud becomes!

And there is some amazing evidence to suggest that persons or persons unknown conspired to defraud the insurers of £1 million of hull cover, unknown P & I liability losses and cost life insurance and personal accident companies nearly £3 million.

Titanic – The Case for Insurance Fraud

Before we discuss the evidence for fraud in the sinking of the Titanic it is important to set the economic scene for 1912.
In particular the fight for the most lucrative transport routes at the time, not dissimilar to the airline struggles of today with the exception that sea travel had a monopoly on trans-atlantic trade, there was no alternative.

The White Star Line was ultimately owned by International Mercantile Marine (IMM) and after years of struggling to win trade, they commisioned the Olympic class liners in 1907 to try to take the luxury end of the market.
For the previous fifteen years the lucrative passenger sea traffic to and from the US from the UK, France and Europe was dominated by the super-fast German mercantile fleets that held the Blue Riband for the fastest crossings.
The SS Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse and SS Deutschland (1900) owned respectively by the Norddeutscher Lloyd and the Hamburg America Line HAPAG, the two German top shipping companies.

In the UK, Cunard rose to the challenge with the launch of the RMS Mauretania and her ill-fated sister ship, the RMS Lusitania. The ships were very fast and the Mauretania went on to keep the coveted Blue Riband for more than twenty years, from 1907 to 1929.

The White Star Line, who had been losing money for years, struck back with the Olympic class and the upgraded Titanic was supposed to be the largest and fastest of the luxury ocean liners to rival the Maurtania for speed.

Construction of Olympic started in December 1908 and Titanic in March 1909.
The two ships were built side by side at Harland and Wolff’s Belfast Shipyard.
The construction of a third ship the RMS Gigantic began in 1911 after the commissioning of Olympic and Titanic’s launch.
Following the sinking of Titanic, Gigantic was renamed Britannic, and the two remaining vessels underwent many changes in their safety provisions. The Britannic was sunk by a mine in 1916.


What was Covered?

Willis Faber & Co. (today part of the Willis Group) are reported to have brokered the deal for underwriting the hull and cargo insurance for the Titanic. The original boat insurance slip was passed to Lloyds Mercantile Dept for underwriting, but is since reported lost to this day.

There is some dispute about the value of the Willis contract however all newspaper reports of claims paid out and enquiries staged immediately after the sinking report that the Hull was underwritten for loss and liability at Lloyds for $5,000,000.

In 1912 both the USA and the UK were on the Gold standard and the exchange rate was always very close to $4.87 to the £1 or 0.21. This meant that the policy for the hull was insured for around £1,050,000. Perhaps more importantly, the actual cost of building or replacing the vessel was £1,680,000 or $8m, meaning that the hull was significantly under-insured and the owners were bearing a third of the risk as captive. This was an unusually high amount of risk taking. At the time marine insurance would usually only provide for three quarters of the risks, as P & I Clubs (ship owners collective pools) always carried a quarter of the collision liability risk and provided accident cover for the crew, and still do to this day.
It is unknown what if any cover was paid out by White Star to a P & I Club for staff liability. What became evident after the event to many of the 800 plus families of the Crew that perished, who were nearly all from Southampton, was that they received paltry or little compensation for their losses and years of subsequent poverty.

In addition to the hull cover, the marine insurance policy issued by Lloyd’s to the White Star Line for the Titanic included total loss cover for cargo at $600,000 and personal effects at £400,000, which equates to £126,000 marine cargo and £84,000 for personal effects. Both these sums insured proved to be inadequate following the disaster.

What Was Lost?

In an act of incredulous speed all claims by the White Star Line for loss of the Titanic, were paid out within a week of the ship sinking and the Lutine Bell being rung at Lloyd’s on the 15th of April.

The company was reimbursed for the loss in a straightforward process that was completed long before any official enquiries heard evidence as to the cause of the sinking.

Claims for loss of life and personal effects were taking a little longer.
Imagine that today, when you have to wait weeks for compensation for just a minor car insurance claim!

The New York Times of one week after the disaster, reported the speed of the claims payouts and lists all the amounts claimed and the processes involved in the claim.

Titanic claims paid out in super fast time!

Click to read the original NY Times reports that all Titanic claims are paid out within a week!

The list of Claims losses paid out were:

Titanic Hull Insurance – Actual loss $8,000,000 – Paid out $5,000,000

Titanic Cargo Insurance – Actual Loss $420,000 – Paid out $400,000

Titanic Personal Effects – Actual Loss $1,000,000  – Paid out $600,000

Life Assurance Passengers -  Actual Loss >$4,000,00 – Paid out $2,125,000

Over 119 Life insurance companies paid out the largest of which was the Travelers Insurance company of Hartford, Connecticut.

Personal Accident Claims – Actual Loss >$2,000,000 – Paid out $1,564,000

Over 48 personal accident companies were involved in claims payouts.

The Olympic Switch

The case for an insurance fraud begins with the RMS Olympic. If a conspiracy to defraud existed it would have began sometime after September 1911 and before April 1912.

On September 20th 1911 while in the Solent returning to Southampton RMS Olympic was struck and severely damaged by a collision with cruiser HMS Hawke.

The Liner, despite being holed above and below the water-line in two places and damaged for 38 feet, made it the fifteen miles or so back to port under tug.

Eyewitness reports suggest that the route of the Hawke and the Olympic intersecting may not have been an accident at all. Interestingly, the Captain of the ship that day was none other than Edward J Smith, Captain of the ‘”Titanic” some seven months later.  The ship was temporarily patched up and returned to dock in Belfast alongside the nearly complete Titanic.

White Star quickly had the damage assessed by marine engineers, and put in a claim. However beause it was well below a policy excess of $750,000,  the claim was repudiated.  In December White Star brought the claim to court, this time claiming $750,000 for loss and damage to the ship including lost passenger effects, to make up the difference to the excess.

The court ruled that the collision was entirely the fault of the Olympic, the only saving grace being that they would not have to pay damages to the Royal Navy as the Olympic was under compulsory pilotage at the time. A further appeal was rejected in 1913.

Unable to collect money for her repairs, White Star was left with a severely damaged ship, quite possibly a lot more damaged than originally thought, which was losing money by the day, by being unable to collect fares and fulfill bookings.

Titanic and Olympic in Harland & Wolff Belfast

Titanic and Olympic undergoing sea trials in Belfast early 1912. But which one is which?

The basis of the case for conspiracy to defraud starts here.

Gardiner asserts that the damage to the Olympic was tantamount to a write-off. In particular the secondary damage to her starboard engines, drive-shafts and propellers which rendered her incapable of reaching speeds of more than ten knots as she limped back to Belfast for repair.

On closer inspection of the damage at Harland and Wolff it was realised that it would take six months to get her in the least bit seaworthy again. The repairs would have to be paid for by the White Star Line which was already committed to $16 million for the building of the Titanic and the half-built Britannic.

The costs of the repairs would in effect wipe out the White Star operating profit for that year, a third of the income of IMM, and the losses from having no ships at sea for six months would equate to another $500,000 plus.

The decision was taken by senior executives at both White Star Line and Harland and Wolff to swap the ships and bring into service, the very near to completion Titanic, as the Olympic.

If the decision had not been taken jobs would be lost and the shipyard and White Star would be threatened with closure.

Getting the Titanic a certificate of seaworthiness was at least six months away. Olympic already had one!

The Swap

Ship swap is reported to be the most common form of marine insurance fraud practiced in the 19th century although this is as yet unsubstantiated.

It would only take a handful of ready picked dockers and tug operators and a skeleton crew to be involved in any movement and re-berthing of the ships, particularly as they were constantly being put to sea for tests.

Both ships were mysteriously painted in the same black and white livery, the Olympic having previously been painted all white.

After the repairs in Belfast including changes to cabins, without doubt the only outwardly visible reported differences between the two ships appears to be the layout of the 1st class passenger B deck, which was enclosed on the Titanic according to the original plans. Photos of the ‘Titanic‘ leaving Southampton and Queenstown show a different layout!

Fitters, Electricians, carpenters etc in Belfast would not necessarily know which ship they were on a short term contract for, and even if they did, they were kitted out almost identically. Final fittings and named objects could have been loaded on-board in boxes to both ships at anytime. In the closed shop world of the protestant dockyards of Belfast and the fraternal offices above, a conspiracy involving less people than the Great Train Robbery is not so hard to envisage.

None of the crew or staff would have been aware of what ship they were on when they signed on in Southampton.  Just what the nameplate told them.

The “Olympic” put to sea and started earning off the North Atlantic run in early 1912. It was only two hundred miles from the “Titanic”  returning to the UK, when the “Titanic” sank!

There is some excellent photographic evidence which shows the damage repairs to the  Olympic following its collision with HMS Hawke and in later years where there is no sign whatsoever of repairs!

You can read more about the ship swap, see photographic evidence and watch a documentary at TitanicUniverse

You should also have a look at Mark Chirnside’s university dissertation which argues subjectively the case against a fraud.

Having looked at all the evidence Insurance Blog believes that a ship swap did take place, however not for the purposes of committing an insurance fraud but out of business economic necessity.

So how did what had been a business decision to hoodwink the Ministry of Transport turn into an insurance fraud?

Well the matter of an Iceberg for one thing!

Gardiner goes on to explain all sorts of incredulous reasoning about how White Star planned to scuttle the ship and had pre-arranged a collision in mid-Atlantic, however all this was unnecessary if the iceberg was just an accident.

This explains why the ship was under-insured, White Star never had any intention of scuttling the ship. The swap was purely to keep the company in business!

White Star did effectively gain out of the loss of the “Titanic”.  The loss cost them just £680,000.  A lot less than the $8 million required to fund a new vessel, which they did!

As an interesting footnote, Chairman of White Star J Bruce Ismay, the man William Randolph Hearst choose to bully and pillory as a coward, went on to hold prominent Director positions on the boards of the Liverpool and London Insurance Company, Globe Insurance Company, Royal Insurance Company and the Thames and Mersey Marine Insurance Company.

Marine Insurance Explained

Marine insurance is the oldest form of commercial insurance, indeed insurance under contract, and it is little wonder that it holds great fear with students studying for their ACII, due to the complete range of risks that it covers from physical property to transportation liability and the specialist marine cargo goods in transit covers.

Despite the unusual and monopolistic ways in which marine insurance is still delivered to the global market, the actual risks themselves are very well defined and easy to understand, mostly due to time honoured knowledge and the Marine Insurance Act of 1906 which set the standard for all modern underwriting.

Marine Insurance in London

London remains to this day the global capital for placing Marine Insurance risks

Insurance Blog asked Insurance Blogger to get down to the jetty and investigate the market for marine insurance…

 

Marine Insurance

Hulls, Liability and Marine  Cargo Insurance
Marine insurance was the very first type of insurance contract and has a fascinating and complex history dating back to the earliest coffee shops in London in the Seventeenth century.

Marine insurance is designed to cover watercraft of all shapes and sizes, from the smallest dinghy to the largest passenger liner, however the term as opposed to boat insurance, usually refers to the coverage for larger ocean-going vessels and ships.

The cover has no geographical limits and therefore can insure any vessel under any flag in any part of the world.

The marine market covers a wide variety of risk types including tugs, ferries, liners, cruise ships, dredgers, oil rigs, oil tankers, cargo vessels, drilling platforms, heavy lifting vessels, barges, fishing fleets, motor cruisers, salvage vessels and yachts to name just a few.

Marine insurance has three distinctive risk groups, cover for which can be bought separately or together if necessary and is available for small boats through to ocean-going vessels:

a) Hull and superstructure cover

b) Liability insurance

c) Marine cargo insurance

Hull and Vessel Property Cover

The hull and superstructure cover covers the physical vessel itself against a list of maritime perils and is subject to what is called the ‘Institute time clause’.

At the turn of the twentieth century the Institute of London Underwriters, a collective of Marine Insurance companies and the Lloyds market, agreed and introduced standardised time-tested insurance clauses, and these have been used globally for marine insurance ever since.

The clause is written in plain English and is attached to a policy that contains no information on the conditions of cover itself. It sets out details of the specific marine risk to be covered and the underwriters agreed proportion of that risk. The time clause usually applies to a twelve month period but can be bought for a single voyage.

The cover always extends to both physical damage to the vessel and collision liability.

The insured ship or boat is covered for loss or damage for a list of maritime perils called ‘perils at sea’, fire, explosion, violent theft, piracy, jettison, earthquake, tsunami and volcanic eruption.

Material damage to the ship is also covered for landing and docking equipment, aircraft, accidents in loading and unloading cargo, latent defects and negligence of the officers and crew.

Liability At Sea

However most policies to this day for larger vessels, only cover three-quarters of the risk for collision liability and damage to other vessels. The other quarter is often provided by specialist P & I clubs.

In 1885 marine insurers found themselves unable to cover some of the emerging liabilities of shipowners. Protection and Indemnity associations, known as P & I clubs which had been formed earlier to break the monopoly of the marine insurance market, started to take on these ‘excess of loss’ risks.

The scope of the P & I cover is wide, but in addition to the cover for collision liability provides protection for loss of life and personal injury claims, amongst other crew related benefits.

The associations do not charge a premium as such, but the shipowners pay an annual membership fee into a common pool.

Other marine liability insurance cover that is available are charterer’s liability cover, ship repairer’s liability cover and mortgagee’s liability cover. Liability insurance is often placed in the open market.

Marine Cargo Insurance

The third major marine risk is that of cargo insurance.

Like hull cover the polices are governed by Marine Institute and Trade Association clauses, the main ones which are known as the ‘A,B and C clauses’.

The ‘A’ clause is an ‘all risks’ policy in as much as it covers all damage and loss to the cargo at any stage in its journey.. The other clauses cover named perils only, but can often offer much wider cover for specific risks such as piracy at the Horn of Africa.

Cargo is transported either ‘Free on Board’, which means that the seller is responsible for insuring the cargo until it is safely landed on the ship, or Costs, Insurance and Freight (CIF), which puts the onus of responsibility for covering the safe passage of the cargo on the buyer.

Many people are interested in the safe passage of marine cargo and the level of insurance, which today also includes aircraft transportation.

Those interested include the manufacturer or seller of the goods being shipped, shipping agents, freight forwarders, hauliers, shipping companies, intermediary consignees, selling agents and customs officers at both ports of entry and departure.

Boat Insurance is a London based marine insurance brokerage and underwriter at Lloyds, which can provide all classes of marine insurance.

Originally published online for Insurance Blog by Insurance Blogger

A Brief History of Insurance: Part 8 Lloyds and World Insurance

A Brief History of Insurance:

Part Eight: The emergence of Lloyd’s as the worlds major insurance organisation:

In the previous article in this series we learnt about the humble beginnings of Lloyd’s as a relatively small coffee shop on Tower street. Whether it was an incredible piece of foresight or simple luck Lloyd developed a very specific clientèle of sailors, ship owners and merchants for boat insurance and marine cargo insurance risks.

Lloyds wasn’t the only coffee shop to do insurance business but it set the standards. In 1748 nearly one hundred houses including the famous coffef houses of Jonathan’s, Garraways and others were destroyed by a fire that ravaged Cornhill and in which scores of people perished and damage to the exent of £200,000 (nearly 200million in todays money) was caused. This event and another in the Cornhill when it was again destroyed by fire in 1765, left Lloyds in a prominent trading position.

It is evident however, that Lloyd cultivated this customer base by providing reliable and regular updates on the shipping news to those that visited his coffee house and soon Lloyd’s had established itself as a focal point within the very heart of the Shipping industry.

It was therefore inevitable that the coffee shop also quickly became a second home to a number of early insurers seeking to business with the Lloyd’s clientèle. Similarly it soon became accepted that if you were a merchant seeking insurance, then Lloyd’s was always a recommended first port of call. In fact within just three years Lloyd’s had grown to a level of importance and popularity that a new location was required and Lloyd moved his coffee shop to Lombard St – where it would remain for the next 83, years long after Lloyd himself had passed away.

As Britain established itself as a leading economic power through the exploitation of the slave trade, the shipping industry was at the heart of this economic boom. As slave trading was a high risk trade (1053 slave vessels are recorded as having been lost between 1689 and 1807) the insurers of Lloyd’s also found themselves in high demand.

Lloyd himself died in 1713 however his legacy remained strong.

Lloyds Fire at the Royal Exchange

In 1774 when the participating members of the insurance arrangement formed a committee and moved to the Royal Exchange in London, they became The Society of Lloyd’s. The Society’s objectives included the promotion of its members’ interests and the collection and dissemination of information amongst members helping them to further dominate the marine insurance industry which indeed they had created.

The first Lloyd’s act was passed in parliament in 1871 and it was this act that gave the Society a firm footing both  commercially and legally and it continued to remain at the heart of the insurance industry, growing in tandem with the industry to eventually become one of the most powerful and well respected organisations in the world today.

In fact in many ways very little of Lloyd’s of London then changed for almost a century and this is even true of their motor insurance risks department. The membership of the society, which was made up in the main of market participants, became the market specialists. Lloyd’s continued to grow, and it’s members continued to flourish, mostly due to the force of economics. Insurance moved from being desirable to essential across just a few centuries. If you were in shipping you needed marine insurance. If you needed marine insurance you got it from Lloyd’s. It was as simple as that.

marine insurance

However, eventually the bubble had to burst. Just under a hundred years after the first Lloyd’s Act had been passed, the membership of Lloyd’s was realised to be too small for the risks that it was underwriting. The Cromer report commissioned in 1968 advocated opening membership options to both non-market participants and crucially to non-British subjects for the first time.

The insurance industry had become a global industry and Lloyd’s had to adapt to survive. In the next article in this series we shall explore the rise of insurance in the US and how they too had to adapt to the globalisation of the industry within the twentieth century.

A Brief History of Insurance: Part 7 Lloyds and the London Market

A Brief History of Insurance:

Part seven: A small coffee shop called Lloyd’s

Welcome back to this series which aims to briefly plot the key times and places in the historical journey of insurance, from the earliest Chinese civilisations some seven thousand years ago right through to the modern day. As we discovered in the last article in this series, the seventeenth century was of major importance to the development of insurance.

The tragedy of the Great Fire of London saw the first insurance company The Fire Office appear and soon after a number of competing fire insurers had arrived including Sun Fire Office, which we now know today as RSA – one of the largest insurers in the word.

We also discovered that the era was one of great advancement in the field of mathematics, which led to the emergence of first true development of actuarial systems and relatively sophisticated risk management models.

Of course no history of insurance would be complete without reference to Lloyd’s of London and it was during this same period of innovation within insurance, that Mr. Edward Lloyd opened his first coffee shop in Tower Street, London.

Lloyd's 1743

It needs to be mentioned that the coffee shop of the seventeenth century was a far more important venue within a society than your local Starbucks or Costa Coffee is today. In fact at this time the coffee shop was a relatively new phenomenon in Europe.
Whilst they has been in existence in the Muslim world for much longer, they had only recently appeared within the West.

Originally thought to have been introduced to Europe via the Kingdom of Hungary, the first documented coffee house to open in Europe was in Venice in  1645.

The first English coffee house, The Grande Café, opened in 1650.
Less than a century later there  were 551 coffee houses in London alone.

A fundamental reason for the success and popularity of these coffee shops was that they were great social levellers. They welcomed men from all levels of society and as a result they became synonymous with equality, republicanism and the ideals of a free market.
As such it was almost inevitable that the coffee houses of the late seventeenth century were to become vital hubs in which to discuss politics, the current affairs of the day and of course business.

It was 1688 when Edward Lloyd first opened his own coffee house in Tower Street, London.
Capitalising on the current growth in popularity for coffee houses across the city, Lloyd was able to carve a strong niche  in the city by providing regular and reliable news from the shipping industry.
Soon Lloyd’s of London had a vibrant and faithful community of sailors, merchants and ship owners visiting the coffee house on a daily basis.

It was not long before  Lloyd’s of London had become synonymous with the shipping industry and establishing itself as the key meeting place to discuss business in the shipping world.

In the next article within this series we shall look at how boat insurance and the shipping industry became intrinsically linked and how Lloyd’s of London developed from a humble coffee shop to one of the major organisations in modern insurance.

Lloyd’s Slips have come a long way to the current Electronic trading

An Explanation of Lloyd’s Slips and how they are used to place Insurance Risks on the London Market

By Dave Healey

Exchanging Slips at Lloyd's 1743

Lloyd’s slips were originally pieces of paper containing all the details of a risk to be placed on the Lloyd’s of London insurance market, although today these are accepted electronically. Lloyd’s slips are documents in a standard format which are intended to assist not only the underwriter giving consideration to the risks presented to them but also the policy drafter and those responsible for checking and accounting for the premium. The slip has to be correctly compiled or it will be rejected.

The slip provides a precis of the risk, but an insurance broker passing the slip on a clients behalf needs to be well briefed with additional facts figures and to have available all relevant material such as survey reports, maps, plans, detailed claim records and any other documents or information which may have a bearing on the risk. The insurance broker when preparing the slip, is required to assemble a balanced and accurate representation of the risk and should anticipate as far as possible questions which are likely to arise and disclose this on the slip. If, however, a question is asked to which the broker does not know the answer, it is his duty to say so and refer back for further information. The need to disclose every material fact must always be borne in mind when completing a Lloyds slip.

Where it is necessary that a risk be spread among a number of syndicates, for a rate to be agreed that is likely to prove acceptable to other subscribing underwriters the lead underwriter, or ‘leader’, must have the confidence of other underwriters. To know which leader to approach first is an important part of the Lloyd’s insurance brokers expertise, though it does not follow that the first underwriter approached will necessarily lead the slip. If high amounts are required to be insured, and a large number of syndicates have to be involved, there is less opportunity for competition. For smaller risks the broker may find a keener rate or better terms by shopping around. The lead underwriter is not necessarily the one who can write the biggest line, though normally he will write a substantial line.

A good insurance broker needs to be a good negotiator. Tenacity is required but not to such a point as will prevent conclusion of the business. The aim is to bring the discussion to such a successful conclusion that both the underwriter and the broker together with his client are reasonably satisfied that the best possible arrangements have been made. There are times when a Lloyd’s broker needs to obtain almost unfairly competitive terms. A co-operative underwriter may provide these, so long as there is a bulk of business which has been concluded at sensible rates.

After obtaining a lead (which may be for only a small percentage), the broker needs to complete the placement. It may be that the risk can be placed using only Lloyd’s underwriters for which a slip will suffice, but sometimes the size of the exposure may necessitate the use of insurance companies in London or even overseas.

A binding authority or a ‘cover’ provides the cover holder with authority to accept risks within the limits and terms set out on the slip. The broking operation here is to negotiate the binding authority, the limits and the terms agreed. No reference is required to the underwriters once the arrangement has been set up though the binding authority will need to be renewed annually.

Line slips, on the other hand, do not give full authority to the cover holder. If a risk is to be placed under a line slip, it is normal that the two or three lead underwriters have to be seen, and they have to accept the risk and its terms and conditions. The remaining underwriters, however, abide by their agreement under the line slip for their stated proportion.

Once an underwriter has signed the slip as accepting the risk from a given date, then the insurance is effective from that date. As soon as the placement is completed, the client will be advised and the slip and its document will go through the policy issuing and accounting process.

The Lloyd’s broker who has placed the risk may sometimes be required to negotiate with the underwriter regarding a claim. However, except for the very smallest broking companies, it is more usual for a special claims broker to be appointed whose sole responsibility is to deal with these items. If loss adjusters or other assessing and negotiating parties are employed by the underwriter, then it may be the broker’s duty to negotiate with them as well. In the event of a claim the slip will be very carefully scrutinized.

In the recent past slips would have to be sent to the Lloyd’s underwriting room itself, but today this would be totally impractical for Lloyd’s to transact insurance business in this manner. Many car insurance syndicates at Lloyd’s have overcome this problem by allowing insurance broker firms to pass slips directly to them. Some of these motor syndicates have actually set up offices in towns around the country and the local motor insurance brokers deal direct with these offices, passing the slips to them to complete the deal. This method now enables Lloyd’s syndicates to easily compete with the large insurance companies on a national scale.