Lloyd's is to release a draft run-off code of practice.

The move is in response to the growing number of run-offs, which account for a large proportion of the market's losses each year, and the increased cost of regulating the situation.

In its financial report for the year to 31 December 2001, the market said it had upped its run-off reserves to almost £2bn, from £678m in the year to December 2000.

One run-off expert said: "The market has been waiting for the run-off code for some time. We have been informed that it is common sense, so prudent people will probably be doing the right things anyway."

The code of practice is likely to cover reporting requirements, as well as other factors including: the management of run-off; the strategy for closing syndicates; steps being taken to mitigate risk and reduce exposure; the resources that each managing agent allocates to run-off management; and all aspects of the cost of run-off.

It is thought that the current basis of charging companies and managing agents responsible for run-off will also come under review.