’Our united approach resulted in the launch of the syndicate,’ says head of property

Lloyd’s has given the green light for Wildfire Defense Syndicate 1996 to continue underwriting wildfire exposed commercial risks in California, a statement released yesterday (24 July 2023) said.

The syndicate began underwriting at the start of the month (1 July 2023) and provides excess and surplus (E&S) lines property insurance.

With the syndicate now being approved by Lloyd’s, it will also increase the capacity of Lloyd’s coverholder Wildfire Defense Insurance Services, which already places coverage for wildfire-exposed risks.

A statement said Aon’s Analytics team – in collaboration with the firm’s specialist brokers – created a ”comprehensive view of risk necessary for reinsurers and capital providers” to support the new syndicate.

”Our united approach resulted in the launch of Wildfire Defense Syndicate 1996, which allows WDS to assist its commercial customers to navigate volatility and build business resilience, while promoting sustainability in an everchanging market that is being driven by the uncertainties created by climate change,” Harry Jardine, head of property for the MGA segment at Aon’s reinsurance solutions, said.

’Innovative plan’

Syndicate 1996 was created under the Lloyd’s Syndicate in a box programme.

It will receive property protection services from Wildfire Defense Systems – its emergency response operations answered more than 1,200 wildfire incidents in 22 states.

The team is made up of fire scientists, data scientists, PhD mathematicians, project managers, engineers, intelligence personnel, incident commanders, wildfire officers and firefighting teams.

Meanwhile, the syndicate has also partnered with insurance firm Polo Managing Agency (PMA), which will act as its Lloyd’s managing agent.

Jenny Hummerston, director of underwriting at PMA, said: ”From the initial conversations with the Wildfire Defense team, it was clear they were bringing an innovative plan to market, focusing on loss prevention and thus allowing them to offer meaningful cover where capacity is limited.

”The professionalism with which Wildfire Defense Systems has approached the Lloyd’s approval process reflects the professionalism they have displayed in over 16 years of service to the wildfire defence operations.”