Amid the coronavirus outbreak across the UK, Lloyd's has closed its underwriting room to avoid all non-essential contacts

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Coronavirus outbreak forces Lloyd's to close its underwriting room in London. (Credit: phogel from germany/Wikipedia.org)

Lloyd’s of London has closed its underwriting room owing to the prevailing coronavirus outbreak across the UK, which has already recorded over 3,000 coronavirus cases and more than 140 deaths.

The underwriting room in London has been closed by the specialist insurance market since 19 March evening as part of the social distancing measures being taken up throughout the country to slow down the spread of the infection.

However, Lloyd’s stated that it continues to stay open for business and is ready to support its customers across the world.

A notice on Lloyd’s website reads: “The Lloyd’s Underwriting Room in London will be closed with effect from 16:00GMT 19 March in line with UK Government advice to avoid all non-essential contact.

“Following our successful resilience test on 13 March, we are confident that our emergency trading protocols will enable the market to continue trading during the closure and we will review this decision on a weekly basis.”

Lloyd’s said that it will take stock of the situation on a weekly basis and that its building at One Lime Street will continue to be open for tenants, however, that could change in the future.

Some of the steps taken by Lloyd’s amid the coronavirus outbreak

On 13 March, the insurance marketplace closed the underwriting room and invoked its emergency trading protocol. The 24-hour exercise was undertaken by it to gain valuable insights on the real-life effectiveness of the protocol amid the outbreak of coronavirus.

Lloyd’s also used the 24-hour window to sanitise the underwriting room and all public areas within its building.

For policyholders, Lloyd’s said that it had set up a dedicated contact point to give them assistance and to help them reach the right person to process a claim.