PPL (Placing Platform Limited), an electronic placement environment that will allegedly provide faster and more flexible placement, was launched at Lloyd's in 2016. PPL was created as part of the modernization process of the London Insurance Market and as a system to further facilitate and support the personal contact based face-to-face placement system that is the most important feature of the London Market. The three main organizations that create and support the PPL are the International Underwriting Association (IUA), London and International Insurance Brokers' Association (LIIBA) and Lloyd's Market Association (LMA); They are the three main bodies of the London Insurance Market.
PPL, which still believes in the necessity of placements made as a result of face-to-face meetings and discussions, and which is claimed to have been created as a supporting element of this system; It is an environment that allows rapid placement, where documents will be arranged and sent electronically, and therefore human error will be minimized. PPL is also especially supported by Mega Brokers as it will be a system that brings flexibility to placements and can be placed more with less brokers. As of December 2016, more than 1,000 risks have been placed and 1,600 addendums have been issued with this method in the branches of Finance, Professional Responsibility, Terrorism and Political Risk, and now it is the turn of Marine Insurance. As of March 2017, the electronic placement system stipulated by PPL will be implemented in Marine Insurances as well.
However, there is an important point that has been overlooked. Marine Insurances such as Boat/Machinery are sui generis and the risk of each ship creates a different risk depending on the type of ship, the type of cargo it carries, the navigation area and the ship owner/operator. No boat insurance is alike and does not carry the same types of risks. The trio of brokers, shipowners and insurers, who are connected to each other with the principles of trust, respect and transparency, form a trivet without mutual negotiations. I am not sure how well they will evaluate and price the risks in the PPL environment without discussing the risks face to face by looking each other in the eyes of the three main parties that make up this triangle.
Although PPL; Although it claims that the placements made as a result of mutual negotiations will continue and that electronic placements will only have a complementary feature, it seems that the course of the market and the preparations made by Mega Brokers will end this sooner or later. In the presence of these mega-organizations, where the human element has become increasingly insignificant, will the shipowners, who only appear as an account number, lose personal contact even more from now on? I have never opposed technology, I have always defended the necessity of electronic placements in certain insurance branches, but Marine Insurance is not like other insurance branches. Here, as soon as personal relationships disappear and the broker, the insurer and the ship owner do not look into each other's eyes, you may encounter unexpected results that you cannot predict. By then, it might be too late. I hope our generation does not see those days.