The London market
2.1 War risk insurance is highly specialist and the dangers of insuring the consequences of what other people do to ships contain so many imponderable factors, which are less easy to quantify than insurance against marine risks, that the number of underwriters who are willing to undertake such insurance is limited. Moreover the number of underwriters who are willing to “lead” a risk which others will follow is very small indeed. The well-recognised “leaders” are to be found in the London insurance market among the syndicates at Lloyd’s, and the insurance companies who are members of the Institute of London Underwriters who are willing to give war risk insurance to merchant ships. In case it should be thought from this bare description that the capacity of the London market to give war risk insurance is limited, or that there is a monopoly among a small number of underwriters in the London market to provide it, two points should be made.
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