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Update from London on the aviation market

aviationJust back from a visit with our London insurers, we thought we’d provide you with a report on the state of the commercial aviation market and what to expect in 2010…

The calendar year 2009 has certainly not been a winner for aviation insurance underwriters, since they expect losses of approximately $2 billion USD and estimate the premiums generated will only total approximately $1.5 billion. The result has been an increase in renewal rates in the range of 20% to 30% for insured/airlines, or more in some cases. Actual renewal dollar increases are at a slightly lower rate of about 10 to 15%.

As for the rating basis, airline passengers are down, therefore the premium associated with RPM’s (revenue passenger miles) are lower. Many operators have parked aircraft but continue to take delivery of new equipment. In past years, when the market was such that underwriters were not making profits, the trend would be a reduction in overall underwriting capacity. This year, we are seeing capacity to be stabilizing or even increasing in some cases, which assists in our continued pressure to keep any increases moderate.

The majority of the world airlines renew their insurance coverage in the last quarter of the year, and most underwriters’ reinsurance treaty renewals expire on January 1st. So stay tuned over the next month for what we can expect in the coming year within the aviation insurance marketplace.

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William Gallagher Associates is a leading provider of insurance brokerage, risk management and employee benefits services to firms with complex risks and dynamic needs, within industries that include technology, life sciences, financial risks, health care, renewable energy & clean technology, and environmental services. WGA has offices in Boston, MA; New York, NY; Hartford, CT; Princeton, NJ; Columbia, MD; and Atlanta, GA.

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