Lloyd’s of London has decided to shut its underwriting floors for a day on Friday 13 March to test its coronavirus (Covid-19) contingency plan.

This would be the first time in the insurer’s 330-year history that the underwriting floors will be shut.

The company said that it will utilise the opportunity to test its alternative trading protocols.

The decision to shut the underwriting floors comes after WHO officially classified the coronavirus epidemic as a pandemic.

The insurance giant will close four underwriting floors on of its 12-storey Lime Street building in London.

The underwriting floors, which house 50,000 employees, act as the hub for the world’s largest insurance market where brokers and insurers agree on deals face-to-face.

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Lloyd’s in a press statement said: “Lloyd’s business continuity team has assessed the Lloyd’s market’s readiness to continue trading if the Underwriting Room needs to be closed at any point. Lloyd’s now proposes to stress test this.

“Lloyd’s has set up a dedicated contact point to provide our policyholders with assistance and to help them find the right person to confirm cover or process a claim.”

The company added that it will also utilise the time to deep clean the floors and all the public places in its building.

Recently, British insurance giant LV= paused the sale of new travel insurance due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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