Market First as Syndicate Launches COVID Vaccine Cover

The first public-private syndicate in the Lloyd’s market’s 330-year history has been launched to protect the shipment of COVID-19 vaccines across the world.

Syndicate 1796 will form the bedrock for the new Global Health Risk Facility (GHRF) at Lloyd’s, which aims to provide comprehensive insurance and risk mitigation services to support the manufacturing and distribution of COVID-19 vaccine development efforts.

It is the latest in the market’s “syndicate in a box” launches ad will begin underwriting on 1 October with the specific aim of insuring the storage and transportation of a COVID-19 vaccine once developed to emerging economies. This important initiative forms part of Lloyd’s response to the far-reaching impacts of the pandemic, following the publication of its recent report and open source frameworks.

Insurance technology company and Lloyd’s Lab alumni, Parsyl, has developed the syndicate in partnership with Ascot as managing agent, and in cooperation with AXAL XL, McGill and Partners and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

“Within the GHRF, Syndicate 1796 will be backed by development finance capital, allowing it to share risks with leading cargo syndicates, making better, fairly priced cargo coverage available,” said Lloyd’s. “The GHRF will offer ‘All Risk’ cargo coverage for transit and storage risks on all global health products related to COVID-19 and any other infectious disease control and prevention programs. The creation of a public-private syndicate to address a global health emergency is the first in Lloyd’s 330-year history.”

Led by Ascot, the GHRF will take a portfolio approach, focusing primarily on global distribution of products to low income countries supported by global public health agencies, such as Gavi, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, PEPFAR and UNICEF.

The GHRF will also offer coverage via direct insurance or reinsurance, for in-country distribution risks to ensure vaccines and other commodities are protected as they are stored in central warehouses and travel through health systems. Eligible insureds will include private manufacturers, procurement agents, logistics companies, Ministries of Health and other public agencies supporting the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and other lifesaving products to low income countries.

John Neal, (pic) CEO, Lloyd’s of London said:There is broad consensus that life can only return to normality after a vaccine is developed, distributed and administered around the world. Lloyd’s has an important role to play in insuring the many risks associated with this global medical response and we are delighted to approve a new innovative syndicate that will provide effective cover for local vaccine distribution supply chains. This unique partnership is a real demonstration of the value and ingenuity the Lloyd’s market can bring to help address a global health emergency, as we share risk to support the brave efforts of those racing to develop and distribute a COVID-19 vaccine.”

Andrew Brooks, CEO, Ascot Group, added the initiative was a case in point of the way in which the industry could support the efforts to fight the pandemic.

“The GHRF is an excellent example of how the insurance industry is addressing previously uninsured risks. Ascot and the wider insurance market has the underwriting expertise, but to put together a facility such as this requires syndication, infrastructure and market collaboration which Lloyd’s is uniquely placed to deliver. Such a facility is enabled by high quality new entrants such as Parsyl who have the ideas, technology and data to deliver this positive humanitarian solution.”

Steve McGill, CEO, McGill and Partners added: We are proud to support this critical initiative and be part of the largest movement of medical vaccines in history. At McGill and Partners, we are delighted to have worked on this audacious venture that combines innovative insurance and data and technology driven solutions to help dramatically improve supply chains and ultimately save lives.”

 “The Covid-19 crisis has escalated the need to improve the already challenging global distribution of vaccines,” said Sean McGovern, CEO, AXA XL UK. “By sharing data and through innovative risk mitigation, this facility will play a crucial role in ensuring that vaccines travel safely through the global supply chain to all corners of the world. This is another example of the insurance industry working in a public private partnership to address critical public health issues. AXA XL, in line with AXA Group’s commitment to contribute to the equitable distribution of vaccines, is proud to be a part this initiative.”

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