Many think of insurance only within the terms of their personal health, auto, and homeowner’s insurance. Though, there is a deep and rich history that extends to commercial applications, and dates to a time when some of the world’s biggest risks were ships conducting international trade. Without the invention of insurance, the opportunity for many pioneering entrepreneurs to take risk was infeasible and it would still be today. Much of the history and future of insurance can be experienced inside a unique building that houses Lloyd’s of London (Lloyd’s), a pioneer of insurance.
As part of the MBA RMI global trip, students had an opportunity to visit Lloyd’s of London. Our incredible guide, Charles Carter, from Aon plc (another insurance titan), walked us through the organization’s early years of insuring merchant ships delivering goods around the world, all the way to its current role in the changing landscape of insurance commonly referred to as “insurtech.” Lloyd’s is full of tradition, including standards of dress that date back to its inception, and the historic Lutine bell, which sits in the center of the main floor and is rung each time a major loss occurs around the world. As we toured Lloyd’s, we experienced firsthand the incredible importance that insurance has on our lives as brokers and underwriters negotiate contract terms to insure, quite literally, the biggest risks being taken across the world. Risk taking, that without insurance, would be impossible.
After taking in all that Lloyd’s had to offer, we took a short walk across the street to visit Aon plc, the world’s second-largest insurance broker. There we learned about the innovation occurring in insurance markets and new products being designed that make it easier for risk takers to procure insurance coverage. As we listened to the presentation, we couldn’t help but appreciate the stark contrast between what insurance once was, and what it is becoming today. Consumed with tradition, yet constantly innovating to meet the insurance needs of the rapidly evolving world.
We wrapped up our Lloyd’s and Aon experience with a trip to a local watering hole, where we networked with industry professionals in a less-formal setting. Their insights and “war stories” drove home something that all RMI MBA’s already knew–insurance is an incredibly exciting and important space. It’s the foundation on which the modern world was built and goes far beyond paying those monthly auto and health premiums. I encourage you to take a look for yourself!