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Future of airline insurance up for discussion


October 5, 2001   by Canadian Underwriter


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The future of aviation insurance, as well as airport and air navigation facility coverage, are the subject of debate and speculation since the September 11 terrorist attacks. The National Post reports Canadian Transport Minister David Collonette says the government could step in long-term to cover the country’s airline industry.
The federal government, along with several others worldwide, has offered temporary coverage in light of insurers canceling coverage following the attacks. In Canada’s case 90-day emergency coverage to airlines, airports and navigation companies.
However, Collonette is now suggesting this coverage could become permanent, hearkening back to the days when the airline industry was government-run. The Post adds that the airline industry is still seeking a solution through private insurers.
Airlines may find a solution through a new system established by American International Group, Inc. (AIG). The company, on behalf of the co-insurance market, is offering aviation war risk and hijacking liability coverage totaling US $1 billion per airline in excess of the US$50 million aggregate provided by the primary aviation market.
The coverage offers $150 million in excess of $50 million aggregate and up to $850 million in excess of that $150 million.
Co-insurers in the AIG-led master line slip include Ace, Axa, Chubb, Everest Re, GE Frankona, Glencoe, Hannover Re, Kemper, Liberty Mutual, St. Paul Group, Tokio Marine, TransReCo, Travelers, XL, and Zurich Re.
AIG is also offering related coverages, including an airport facility and a ground handlers facility, both providing $50 million primary war risk and hijacking liability coverage.
In a press release AIG M.R. Greenberg notes that the intent of the insurance pool is to provide airlines “with the insurance coverage necessary to maintain operations in an unprecedented environment”.
Several airlines outside of the U.S. have already taken advantage of the coverage, the company notes.
Meanwhile, airlines across North America have been adding surcharges in the range of $3 per passenger to tickets as a means of dealing with rising insurance premiums.