Learning Resources

Glossary of terms and Acronyms

Please find our Introduction to Insurance and the London Market Glossary of terms and Acronyms. You can view the glossary online below or download our document by clicking download.

All delegates attending our Introduction to the London Market Live Webinars will also receive a copy of this document to help them before, during and after the webinar.



The Association of British Insurers is the voice of the UK’s world-leading insurance and long-term savings industry.

Active Underwriter

An Active Underwriter is in charge of all classes of business written by a Syndicate.


Accounting and Settlement. A generic term covering the processing of technical accounts (closings) and financial accounts (settlements) between broker and insurer (or between broker and XIS where the insurer elects to use XIS to perform this and other functions on its behalf).



The British Insurance Brokers’ Association is the UK’s leading general insurance intermediary organisation representing the interests of insurance brokers, intermediaries and their customers.

Binding authority

A Binding Authority is an agreement whereby an Insurer delegates underwriting authority to another party known as the Coverholder. The Coverholder is usually an Insurance Broker or Underwriting Agent and will act in all respects as the actual Insurer.


Each syndicate has a desk, referred to as a “box” in the underwriting room at Lloyd’s from which business is transacted with Lloyd’s brokers.


The primary rules made by the Council of Lloyd’s regarding the conduct of insurance business at Lloyd’s.



Underwriting capacity is the maximum amount of liability that an insurance company agrees to assume from its underwriting activities. Underwriting capacity represents an insurer’s ability to retain risk

Capital provider

As regards a Lloyd’s syndicate, its member(s). As regards a company, its shareholders.

Cash call

A request for funds made by a managing agent to members of a syndicate.

Casualty book

A book which stands in the centre of the underwriting room and which records details of vessels which are or are likely to become total losses. The entries are made a by Lloyd’s waiter using a quill pen. Each day the page is turned to show what happened on any given day 100 years ago.

Central accounting

A facility that is operated by the Corporation of Lloyd’s whereby sums due to and from individual Lloyd’s brokers and syndicates are processed centrally and their accounts debited and credited on a net basis regularly.

Central Fund

A fund to protect policyholders in case any underwriting member should be unable to meet their liabilities out of Syndicate Trust Funds, funds deposited at Lloyd’s, reserves, and personal assets outside of Lloyd’s. Every Lloyd’s member makes an annual contribution to this fund.


Claims Loss Advice and Settlement System. CLASS enables brokers to load claim data and supporting information so that insurers can agree, query and reject claims ‘on line’.




Electronic Claim File. An integrated service for claims handling and processing delivered through a combination of the Insurers Market Repository (IMR) and the Claims Loss Advice and Settlement System (CLASS).

Equitas Reinsurance Ltd

A reinsurance company that was formed by the Society of Lloyd’s for the purpose of accepting reinsurances to close of non-life syndicates for the 1992 and prior years of account in 1996. The company is not a subsidiary of the Society of Lloyd’s and operates independently of it.



The Financial Conduct Authority is the conduct regulator for 59,000 financial services firms and financial markets in the UK and the prudential supervisor for 49,000 firms, setting specific standards for 19,000 firms. Financial markets need to be honest, fair and effective so that consumers get a fair deal and the FCA aim to make markets work well – for individuals, for business, large and small, and for the economy as a whole.

Following underwriter

An underwriter of a syndicate or an insurance company that agrees to accept a proportion of a given risk on terms set by another underwriter called the leading underwriter.


FSCS exists to protect customers of financial services firms that have failed. This means it can pay compensation if a financial services firm is unable, or likely to be unable, to pay claims against it. FSCS is funded by levies on firms authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).

Funds at Lloyd’s

Assets (not being syndicate assets) provided by or on behalf of a member to meet the liabilities arising from the member’s insurance business at Lloyd’s which are held in a Lloyd’s trust fund and managed by the Society as trustee.


General Representative

A person appointed by Lloyd’s to represent Lloyd’s and Lloyd’s underwriters in a particular country or territory. A General Representative may be a natural person or a company. An agreement between Lloyd’s and the General Representative sets out the General Representative’s duties and responsibilities.

General underwriters’ agreement

An agreement between insurers and reinsurers on a subscription risk specifying the terms on which the leading underwriter shall act as the agent of the following underwriters as regards the agreement of amendments to coverage terms.


The General Underwriting Agreement is an agreement between the subscribing underwriters on a particular contract relating to the level of delegated authority in respect of post placement alterations.




Institute of London Underwriters. The Institute was set up in 1884 as the trade association for the company market specialising in marine, aviation and transportation insurance business. In 1986 the companies who made up the membership of the Institute joined together under one roof to form a marketplace where insurance brokers could broke their business with insurance companies in the same way as they did at Lloyd’s. The IUA (the International Underwriting Association of London) was set up on 1 January 1999 and all the ILU’s then members ceased their membership of the Institute and became members of the IUA (see IUA).


Insurers’ Market Repository. Infrastructure owned and funded by London market insurers, both Lloyd’s and companies, which provides a common repository for documentation to support accounting and settlement and claims processes.

Individual member

A member of the Society who is an individual (as opposed to a corporate member).


Insurance & Reinsurance Legacy Association Limited is the UK market body for insurance and reinsurance legacy management professionals. IRLA is recognised as the voice of the legacy management sector by a wide range of government and market bodies including the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS); the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) as well as the Employers Liability Tracing Office (ELTO).


The International Underwriting Association of London is the focal representative and market organisation for non-Lloyd’s international and wholesale insurance and reinsurance companies operating in the London Market. The IUA promotes the design and implementation of all aspects of market modernisation, including process reforms and electronic interfaces across the market. This includes working on new processes for placing, claims and accounting and settlement using ACORD standards as the preferred format for data, in conjunction with leading organisation in the market.




Leading underwriter’s agreement

An agreement that allows for certain changes to the terms of an insurance or reinsurance contract to be agreed by the leading underwriter(s) without reference to the following underwriters.


London & International Insurance Brokers’ Association represents the interests of Lloyd’s insurance and reinsurance brokers operating in the London and international markets.


The proportion of an insurance or reinsurance risk that is accepted by an underwriter or which an underwriter is willing to accept.


The London Insurance and Reinsurance Market Association was the trade association acting for nonmarine insurance companies. At the end of 1998 LIRMA merged with the ILU.


Lloyd’s of London is not an insurance company. Rather, it is a marketplace where insurance buyers and sellers come together.

The word Lloyd’s has two meanings. One is the marketplace where brokers and underwriters meet to do business. Lloyd’s also means the Corporation of Lloyd’s, the company that oversees the insurance marketplace. The corporation ensures that the syndicates are financially sound and that the marketplace operates efficiently.

Lloyd’s Agent

In 1811, the Committee of Lloyd’s decided that a network of Agencies should be established to protect the interests of underwriters.

Today, Lloyd’s Agencies form the world’s most extensive surveying and adjusting network. They provide 24-hour year-round services to the global insurance industry and its customers. There are over 300 Lloyd’s agents, 160 of whom have authority to settle claims on behalf of Lloyd’s underwriters and insurance companies.

Lloyd’s broker

A client representative sanctioned by the Committee at Lloyd’s of London to contact underwriters at Lloyd’s and negotiate insurance with the underwriters on behalf of the representative’s clients.

Lloyd’s market

This term refers to the place where business is transacted between managing agents and Lloyd’s brokers, or to the syndicates that provide cover at Lloyd’s.

Lloyd’s Policy Signing Office Ltd (LPSO)

For nearly one-third of 327 years the Lloyd’s Market has existed, the Lloyd’s Policy Signing Office (LPSO) has been a provider of the business services and technology that keep the market administration flowing – premiums paid, claims settled and policies issued. Lloyd’s Policy Signing Office used to be part of the Corporation of Lloyd’s. Following its incorporation, it is now part of the Xchanging group of companies.


Lloyd’s Market Association. The association representing the interests of Managing Agents operating in the Lloyd’s insurance market.


Lloyd’s Policy Signing Office. A central service provided by the Corporation of Lloyd’s. Its main functions are to validate and number transactions, sign policies on behalf of underwriters, take down entries, process syndicate reinsurances, produce daily tabulations of transactions, produce periodic settlement statements, provide special schemes (as required), provide statistics, manuals, circulars, advice, etc


Leading Underwriter’s Agreement. An agreement that allows for certain changes to the terms of an insurance or reinsurance contract to be agreed by the leading underwriter(s) without reference to the following underwriters.


London Market Group. The LMG is a market-wide body, bringing together the specialist commercial (re)insurance broking and underwriting communities in London. It is supported by the International Underwriting Association of London (IUA), Lloyd’s of London, the Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) and the London & International Insurance Brokers’ Association (LIIBA). It speaks collectively for market practitioners on growth and modernisation issues, and its aim is to build on London’s position and reputation as the global centre of insurance excellence.


Managing Agent

An underwriting agent which has permission from Lloyd’s to manage a syndicate and carry on underwriting and other functions for a member.


Managing General Agent — a specialised type of insurance agent/broker that, unlike traditional agents/brokers, is vested with underwriting authority from an insurer. Accordingly, MGAs perform certain functions ordinarily handled only by insurers, such as binding coverage, underwriting and pricing, appointing retail agents within a particular area, and settling claims.



An individual member of Lloyd’s.



The amount of the sum insured (usually shown as a percentage) that is covered by a particular slip where more than one slip is used to arrange cover.



The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) is a part of the Bank of England and responsible for the prudential regulation and supervision of banks, building societies, credit unions, insurers and major investment firms. It sets standards and supervises financial institutions at the level of the individual firm. The PRA and FCA are two separate entities – although the PRA work closely with the FCA on certain issues/firms. The main difference is that FCA works with firms to ensure fair outcomes for consumers.



Run-off syndicate

Run-off syndicate A syndicate with one or more run-off years of account.


Several liability

Each member underwrites for their own account and is liable for their share of all claims and expenses that are incurred by the syndicate. With several liability, each party is liable only for its own specified obligations. If a party is unable to satisfy their obligation, the responsibility does not pass to other parties.

Signed line

This refers to the amount of a given risk that an underwriter has agreed to accept. It may be the same as the underwriter’s written line or, if there is signing down, a lower amount

Signing Down

Where a risk is oversubscribed ie written lines exceed 100% then, those lines will be proportionally reduced (‘signed down’) by the broker until they total 100%.


A document containing all the pertinent information regarding the risk and the insurance terms and conditions that the broker submits to the underwriter. The intention of the slip is to outline the terms of the insurance so both parties are clear on the contract, and their obligations and cover, before the formal policy is drawn up.

Society of Lloyd’s

The Society has responsibilities for regulating and directing the business of insurance at Lloyd’s under Lloyd’s Acts. The Society has the power to make byelaws in the areas set out in schedule 2 to Lloyd’s Act 1982; this includes the power to make byelaws regulating the operation of managing agents in relation to the Central Fund, membership, underwriting, insolvency and enforcement.


Signing Number & Date. A reference applied by XIS to each premium or claims transaction (unique to that transaction).


A group of members on whose account an active underwriter accepts insurance business. A syndicate is the basic business unit at Lloyd’s. Members share in profits and losses in proportion to the business written on their behalf.


Terms of business agreement TOBA

Each Lloyd’s broker that places business with a managing agent must enter into an agreement with the Managing Agent which outlines the general terms and conditions on which business will be conducted between them.

The Square Mile

The square mile is a colloquialism for the City of London. The insurance industry is focused around the eastern side of the City, around the Lloyd’s building.



Unique Claims Reference. A reference applied to a claim record being processed through.


Unique Market Reference. The primary reference created by Brokers and used by the Market to identify a contract.


An underwriter is an insurance professional who understands risks and how to prevent them. They have specialised knowledge in risk assessment and use this knowledge to determine whether they will insure something or someone, and at what cost.


Underwriters Signing Message. A standard message to support premium advices transmitted to Lloyd’s Syndicates.



Written line

The amount of a risk (usually expressed as a percentage of the sum insured) that an underwriter is willing to accept on behalf of the syndicate or company for which he underwrites. Where a risk is oversubscribed ie written lines exceed 100% then, those lines will be proportionally reduced (‘signed down’) by the broker until they total 100%.



An outsource provider of policy, premium and claims processing services to the Lloyd’s market and others. These services are delivered via its operating subsidiaries, Ins-Sure Services and Xchanging Claims Services.


Xchanging Claims Service provides claims processing services for the Lloyd’s Market.


Xchanging Ins-Sure services. Provider of central processing services and systems for the London Insurance Market.


Year of account

The year in which an insurance or reinsurance contract that is underwritten by a syndicate is allocated for accounting purposes and into which all premiums and claims arising in respect of that contract are payable.


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