ArgoGlobal Embraces Digital Trading Platforms

Whitespace Enables Argo Underwriters to Write Business From Anywhere

Argo underwriters continue to write U.S. commercial property business during COVID-19 restrictions with Whitespace – a Lloyd’s approved e-placement trading platform.

Since 1686, the Lloyd’s insurance market has written business through handshakes, conversations, trusted connections and lots of paperwork.

Now in the 21st century, cloud-based trading platforms are creating a new way of working, and for some time, ArgoGlobal has been implementing new systems to enable staff to work more flexibly. On March 13, 2020, ArgoGlobal’s property team successfully bound their first risk on Whitespace – a new Lloyd’s-approved e-placement trading platform that enables underwriters to write risk from anywhere and across multiple devices.

The timing could not have been better. Just two weeks later, the City of London – along with the rest of the U.K. – went into lockdown in response to COVID-19.

“We signed up to use Whitespace at the beginning of March, so we are very pleased,” says Marcus Turner, head of property D&F for ArgoGlobal. “The trading platform gives us a secure way to quote and bind risks and has great functionality in comparing slips, which makes it a lot easier for underwriters working at home with limited resources. We can quote and negotiate slip terms and conditions electronically without the need for face-to-face interactions.”

Streamlining U.S. commercial property risk through a digital trading platform

ArgoGlobal’s Property team are focusing on writing large U.S. commercial property risks and using Whitespace throughout the whole underwriting process. Property Underwriter James Allchorne can see many advantages over the traditional way of working.

“It has significantly simplified the quote stage and binding process of underwriting by removing a lot of manual processes and providing a workflow for each account that you are working on, enabling you to constantly track the progress,” Allchorne says. “It allows me to spend more time looking at and underwriting existing and new business rather than doing basic administrative tasks.”

The insurance sector must evolve to survive

For the wider Argo Group, digital trading platforms are an essential move forward. The insurance industry must keep up with other business sectors to keep costs down and be an attractive investment proposition while also providing service to customers faster and more effectively.

We all need to use technology to further our business and manage our expense ratios better so London continues to flourish and grow as a marketplace,” Turner says. “COVID-19 has proved to all of us that we need to be able to work remotely, not just at Lloyd’s or our offices.”

Plans to expand the trading platform across the wider group are in place and Argo currently has over £70 million GWP of business with brokers who are now using Whitespace.

Property Underwriter James Allchorne (left) and Marcus Turner (right), head of property D&F at ArgoGlobal.