Lloyd's of London is not itself and insurer. The Corporation of Lloyd's provides the premises and services necessary for members to conduct business (such as centralised accounting, policy checking and signing, claims settlement and risk information). The members of Lloyd's form themselves into underwriting syndicates and accept business, of all kinds, only from Lloyd's brokers. Any person who wishes to become a Lloyd's member is subject to strict requirements, not least of which is their financial standing. The amount of premium income each member is allowed to obtain is based on his assets and the amount deposited in trust with the Corporation. All premiums must be paid into a trust fund from which all claims and expenses are paid. However; Lloyd's members are personally liable for their own assets if at any time the funds of the syndicate are insufficient to meet claims.

The Committee of Lloyd's administers the services provided, elects new members and enforces rules regarding financial status. Most members can be regarded as 'sleeping members' who usually have no technical knowledge and take no part in the transacting of business which is handled by underwriting agents who employ underwriters to do the actual underwriting.

Life assurance is transacted through Lloyd's Life Assurance Limited-a limited company specially set up for this purpose in which the share capital is subscribed by underwriting members of Lloyd's.