Automated Document Delivery

Our market has struggled for years to put paid to paper. Now, by leveraging technology, we can finally leave those huge slip cases in the office.

Walter Hargreaves: efficiency pioneer

A century ago, Lloyd’s handled documents inefficiently in the extreme. Completed polices and other documents were placed in wire baskets affixed to the edge of each underwriting box for collection by scurrying junior brokers known as ‘policy boys’. They took them to the next box for signing or endorsement, or back to the broker, or wherever else they needed to go next. Walter E. Hargreaves was the great Lloyd’s innovator who changed all that.

In 1913, Hargreaves, a broker at C.T. Bowring, turned his copious energies towards reform of this entirely manual document management and processing system. His work resulted in the establishment of the Lloyd’s Underwriters Signing Bureau. It was later renamed the Lloyd’s Policy Signing Office, or LPSO, which lives on today as Xchanging.


The exigencies of the First World War, which strained human resources at Lloyd’s as young men were called to the colours, had spurred the launch of the Signing Bureau. Intended as a wartime measure only, it made life so much easier for underwriters and brokers that they refused to go back to the old ways. After operating unofficially for about three years, and funded by the brokers, the Committee of Lloyd’s finally endorsed the LPSO. Using it became mandatory in 1924.

Since Hargreaves’ ambitious Signing Office managed its first policy, great and near-continuous efforts have been exerted to further improve the market’s documentation processes. Papers are digitised, reposited, attached, e-mailed, and annotated daily by a plethora of systems. But this too is inefficient. In an ideal world, underwriters would need only one platform. The same system that gathers and analyses all the data they need to underwrite well would also generate the documents they need to finish the job. After they’d weighed in to set rates, terms, and conditions, the system would prepare the digital paperwork.

From paper to digital

That system is Quotech. In the spirit of Hargreaves’ policy signing office, Quotech removes manual drudgery from document generation and distribution at Lloyd’s, whether for brokers or underwriters.

Because it was designed by an underwriter, not a programmer, Quotech starts where it should, by generating letters of underwriting and claims authority. Whenever a user’s authority is first input into the platform or amended, the system automatically issues authority letters to ensure official authorities always match those on the platform. Users must accept a new letter before they can do anything else, and it’s fully auditable. It makes hunting down letters a thing of the past.

More routinely, Quotech creates quote sheets which are designed for specific clients and can always be modified by the user. The platform sends them automatically, directly to the enquiring broker by email. When a quote is accepted, it generates policy documents and endorsements, which again can be emailed automatically. Finally, Quotech prepares invoices, whether for individual risks or in bulk depending on the settings chosen by the receiving broker.

All these documents are saved and managed from the platform, plus wordings, binding authorities, and reinsurance treaties that can be retrieved with a click from any risk they attach to. That makes life easier for everyone.

A game-changing system

Quotech users need only one platform to remove all the humdrum tasks involved on the journey from quotation to binding. It can be integrated seamlessly with inhouse systems, and adjusted for specific lines of business or other preferences, to create a single, comprehensive desktop underwriting environment. Quotech puts all the information in one place, helping underwriters travel from data to rate with ease, and it even does the paperwork. If you’d like a demonstration of this game-changing system, please just drop me a line.