Guernsey insurers have committed to support a campaign to create an insurance museum in London.
The Guernsey International Insurance Association (GIIA) and its members have pledged financial support towards the establishment of the Insurance Museum initiative in London. The campaign is seeking to raise £3 million a year to deliver a permanent and free visitor venue in the City of London, including a virtual display to tell the history of insurance and London’s part in it.
Insurance and risk management goes back thousands of years and London has been one of the centres of the global industry since the days of the coffee houses, where insurance deals were struck, in the 17th century. Insurance also has a long history in Guernsey and the island is the leading captive insurance jurisdiction in Europe. That sector dates back very nearly a century and the sector thrives on its relationship with London.
John Rowson, CEO of Kelvin Re in Guernsey and a committee member of GIIA, has driven the campaign to generate support for the project locally. “GIIA hopes that the museum project does secure the funding it requires and that awareness of insurance is raised. The educational benefits of the museum cannot be underestimated, and it is hoped that this will attract the next generation of underwriters, brokers and claims professionals to the industry,” he said.
Reg Brown, an industry veteran from Lloyd’s of London and a former president of the Chartered Insurance Institute in the UK, is leading the museum campaign. He said he was inspired for the idea of the insurance museum by the Bank of England’s museum, which gets 100,000 visitors each year. “We’re as important to the City as the bankers are. We could tell lots of stories,” he said.
Sian Fisher, CEO of the Chartered Insurance Institute, said: “Our insurance heritage is so valuable, it can help to build greater awareness and trust in our profession, and also to attract new talent and business to our industry. An insurance museum will capture and share this heritage”.