February 4, 2002 by Canadian Underwriter
The Canadian government has followed its U.K. counterparts and extended the deadline for federally-backed insurance coverage for the airline industry. The coverage, for war risk liability, was to have ended February 4, but will now go until March 21.
However, there is still no solution to the airline industry’s insurance dilemma. Following the September 11 terrorist attacks, insurers worldwide quickly cut off the war risk portion of coverage, forcing the government to step in lest planes be grounded. The coverage, extending to airlines, airports and the navigation service NAV Canada, was originally to have ended in December, but has now been extended twice.
Transport Minister David Collonette has been openly critical of insurers for not providing a solution for the airline industry, and has indicated that the government may have to step in and insure airlines permanently. He says this will mean the government will collect premium dollars and insurers will lose out. He points out that insurers should have a clear idea of what their exposure is in this market and be able to develop and price coverage accordingly.
Recently the U.K. government extended the same deadline for its airline industry, and has indicated that it may have to step in as well to offer the coverage if insurers do not come forward.