More than any industry I've worked in, insurance is relationship-driven.
Lloyd's in particular thrives on the trust between brokers and underwriters and buyers of insurance feel comfortable that their assets are covered based on a handshake.
This is both good for the customer and bad for those trying to document the policies involved. It's no wonder insurance litigation is so prevalent around claims. In fact, I've just hired a terrific new Sales Director (Colin Fennelly). In past positions Colin sold outsourced services to insurance companies to reduce the defense costs associated with this litigation, getting paid out of any savings found. It's an amazing economic ecosystem.
London has achieved a higher degree of "Contract Certainty" through recent reforms (see here for more), and the challenge of online processing of commercial insurance is still formidable. For example, how do you trade handshakes online?
Advisen invested in Web Connectivity which is the market leader in ACORD messaging software which is a key reason why Lloyd's and London market brokers and underwriters are moving accounting and claims processing online. Web Connectivity's growing client list and increased online volumes are highly correlated.
While the Lloyd's and London markets congregate in the square mile of postcode EC3 and meet socially all the time, and Bermuda is a close reinsurance community, the rest of the global insurance industry frequents industry events to meet with customers and trading partners. I was floored at the number of events Advisen is tracking. See list here.
I'm planning to attend the ACORD Conference in Las Vegas in May and the AIRMIC conference in Edinburgh in June and Advisen has a big presence at the year's biggest event - the RIMS Conference in April.