Lloyd’s of London, one of the oldest insurance marketplaces in the world, has partnered with custodial firm Kingdom Trust to offer digital asset insurance underwriting for institutional players, providing insurance coverage for theft or destruction of underwritten crypto.
The new insurance partnership, announced in an August 28 press release, was “successfully placed” by Illinois-based broker Safe Deposit Box Insurance Coverage (SDBIC) and “marks a solid resolve for institutional investors seeking to enter the crypto marketplace.”
Founded in 1686, Lloyd’s currently operates in over 200 countries and paid out $87 billion on claims between 2011 and 2016. For such an industry giant to accept liability for crypto assets in custody at Kingdom Trust is sure to build legitimacy for the entire industry and encourage even more institutional players to dip their feet into digital assets.
However, the iconic City of London company, which acts as a legal umbrella to hundreds of insurance syndicates in order to spread risk across the market, has kept largely quiet about the new partnership with Kingdom Trust. Lloyd’s hasn’t yet published any press release about the underwriting it allegedly provides to Kingdom Trust and declined to comment to Reuters for an article about the partnership published August 28.
According to the Reuters article, Kingdom Trust CEO Matt Jennings “saw insurance as a key factor to bring institutional investors into the marketplace,” but declined to reveal neither the identity of the insurer underwriting the insurance coverage obtained by Kingdom Trust through the Lloyd’s marketplace, nor the cost or terms of the policy.
Jennings did reveal to Reuters that Kingdom Trust received a “drastic discount” because it keeps digital coins in cold storage. “Most insurers in the cryptocurrency market avoid coverage for coins kept online, or in “hot storage,” because of the high risk of hacking and will only cover offline “cold storage,” which is also generally preferred by cryptocurrency companies.”
Founded in 2010, South Dakota-chartered Kingdom Trust handles over $12 billion in assets and provides storage services for over 30 digital assets. “By adding another trusted specialist like Lloyd’s to our platform, we’re ensuring that current and future clients will have access to a highly-secure, complete safekeeping solution tailored to meet the challenges of institutional finance,” Jennings added.
According to an article published by Insurance Journal in July, interest from major insurance groups in getting involved in the nascent cryptocurrency insurance industry is growing, but major players are staying relatively quiet. AIG, Chubb and XL Group, Allianz, Marsh & McLellon, Aon, and a dozen other underwriters currently “provide coverage to crypto-related businesses.”