A syndicate refers to a group or association of individuals or businesses with a common purpose. An insurance syndicate in particular is an association of insurance companies targeting the same customer base.
The individual companies of an insurance syndicate are known as "subscribers." They generally elect a governing board and officers to oversee and conduct business for the group. The syndicate works as a go-between for those seeking insurance coverage and those willing to underwrite the coverage.
Insurance syndicates are often made up of subscribers that issue policies and companies that reinsure the issuer's risks. In other words, they provide insurance for the insurance company.
Lloyd's of London
Lloyd's of London is a market place where underwriters seek reinsurance for policies. This insurance organisation is not part of Lloyds Bank, the similarity in name is just a coincidence. Syndicates rarely underwrite an entire policy, but subscribe to a percentage of the policy.
Lloyd's of London comprises more than 150 insurance syndicates, which are in turn made up of many underwriters. Lloyd's is the supervisory head of the group. Syndicates at Lloyd's are associations of individuals. A member of a syndicate is called a "name."