Regular commuters into London must have been counting their blessings over the last six months, as they watched Sadiq Khan and other green activists effectively roadblack half of London with cycle lanes, closed roads and plant pots. It’s created immense traffic jams, plus a huge exhaust fumes problem via standing traffic and of course put off millions of commuters from ever returning to the office. With public transport likely to be a great breeding ground for Covid19 over winter, who can blame commuters for dodging three hours of potentially deadly misery? Here’s an update from the PLUS Group.
The London chapter of PLUS (the Professional Liability Underwriting Society) met last week for a webinar to talk through the evolution of the market, in a session entitled “London, You’re on Mute! The New Normal”
In a sign of both the importance of the topic, and the growing usage of virtual events, a record 160 members of PLUS in both London and North America gathered to debate the topic alongside panel members:
- Julian James, CEO, Sompo International
- James Masterton, CEO, Ardonagh Specialty
- Kim Noble, Senior Vice President, Thompson Flanagan
- Chris Warrior, Head of Commercial Management Liability UK, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance
- Brenna Westinghouse, Focus Group Leader and Underwriter, Professions PI, Beazley
The panel was moderated by Max Carter, CEO of New Dawn Risk.
Following the debate, the audience was asked for their views on how the market is currently working, and the results were positive. Of 160 members polled:
- Only 14% of respondents wanted to return to work full-time in their office.
- 16% of respondents said they would want to work mainly at home permanently, while 70% would want to spend half their time in the office.
- 38% said that they were more productive since Covid-19, 44% said that their productivity had remained the same, and 18% said it had fallen
Max Carter, CEO of New Dawn Risk and Moderator of today’s PLUS webinar commented “This debate brought broad consensus that the way we work has permanently changed. For an industry that has not historically been known for thriving with technology, the market was able to adapt quickly and continue trading without missing a beat during 2020, and this has helped acceptance.”
“Relationships have been the hallmark of the success of the London Market in the past. If we are to have continued success in the future, we have to find ways not just of maintaining existing relationships in this new working environment, but of forging new ones.”
“The situation that we are currently facing is unprecedented; there is no established playbook or roadmap for navigating our way through it. That’s why events like this week’s PLUS debate are so important. We might not have all the answers, but reaching consensus on the questions we should be asking is an important step in the right direction.”