The airline insurance sector appears to have incurred more claims than premium once again in 2010, according to AonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s January 2011 Airline Insurance Market News.
But the majority of airlines continue to take steps to reduce losses, despite continued upward movement in average claims values.
AonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s preliminary estimates suggest that total claims in 2010 breached the $2 billion level for the third time in four years.
The market incurred an estimated $2.1 billion in total losses in 2010, while lead premium for 2010 looks to be just above $1.9 billion. This means a significant shortfall for underwriters even before reinsurance and fixed costs.
But while 2010 saw significant claims, the data is not universally negative.
For example, Aon notes that some 601 airline-related fatalities occurred in 2010, compared to the long term average of 621.
While this could simply be a statistical anomaly, the fact that fatality rates have been below the average in all of the last five years does at least suggest an improvement.Ã¢â‚¬
Aon hints at a shift to fewer but more expensive claims, noting that between 1995 and 2009 there were 67 claims on average that met the criteria for inclusion inÃ‚ its statistical analysis. Three of the last five years has seen the number of losses fall below this number, however.
Statistics can be used to justify any position that anyone chooses to take, and while the claims value average figures may continue to point upwards, the majority of airlines continue to take steps to reduce losses and ultimately insurance claims.Ã¢â‚¬
Check out I.I.I. facts and stats on aviation.
Conditions in the airline insurance market have been getting calmer throughout 2010 and the market appears to be stabilizing, according to AonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Airline Insurance Market Indicators 2010/11 report.
While lead hull and liability prices continue to rise, the increases are tending to be lower than exposure growth, Aon says. This means that in real terms, the cost of airline insurance is falling.
At this point, it seems that there is the prospect of a stable or even soft insurance market for the rest of 2010 and into 2011, which will be welcome news after the difficulties that the airline industry has endured over the last couple of years.Ã¢â‚¬
Aon reports that between January and July 2010, average lead hull and liability premium rose by 7 percent, average fleet values grew 9 percent and average passenger forecasts grew by 13 percent.
Nevertheless, the airline insurance market is perilously close to suffering a fourth consecutive year without return. Why?
A string of major losses since May has now put the 2010 claims level well above the long term average. Aon notes that total claims so far this year excluding minor losses are $996 million, compared to a long term average of $612 million.
If there are no more major losses during 2010, Aon estimates total losses for the year including minor losses will be in the region of $1.8 billion, while total lead hull and liability premium for the year will be just over $2 billion.
Taking fixed costs into account, this means that there is a very real possibility that the airline insurance market will make a loss for a fourth consecutive year.Ã¢â‚¬
If this is the case Aon suggests that commitment to the sector may fall in 2011 and prices could rise as a result.
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Hull and liability premium prices in the airline insurance market are likely to continue to rise in 2010, but the rate of increase could slow as a result of the high level of capacity that is still available, according to AonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Airline Insurance Market Outlook 2010. Aon says there are a number of reasons why the price rises are not likely to continue at the same rate in 2010. Firstly, while average lead hull and liability premium in the airline insurance market rose by 20 percent during 2009, taking total lead hull and liability to $1.9 billion, average annual claims over 10 years came to $1.8 billion. This means the airline insurance marketÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s current level is now enough to comfortably cover claims in an ordinary year, according Aon. Still as 2009 has proved, there is always the potential that there will be an extraordinary level of claims in a given year (total estimated claims for 2009 came to $2.3 billion), but overall the hard markets have now served their purpose and prices have risen to the point they need to be to ensure that total premium and average claims are roughly in balance. Proof that the markets have reached the equilibrium point comes from the fact that some underwriters that were holding back capacity in 2008 and 2009 are now being encouraged to participate on airline insurance programs, Aon notes. New capacity is also being attracted to the sector, a fairly sure sign that prices have reached the appropriate level. Equally, while 2009 was, hopefully, an exceptional year in terms of airline claims, the fact that the actual number of losses was relatively limited should mean that a smaller number of airline underwriters will have taken a hit on their airline books of business, Aon believes. Check out I.I.I. aviation facts and stats.
Despite a relatively safe year for the airline industry, aviation insurers paid out an estimated $2.3 billion in total losses in 2009 Ã¢â‚¬“ makingÃ‚ it the second most costly year on record. According to AonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s January 2010 Airline Insurance Market News, the total lead hull and liability premium for 2009 was around $1.9 billion, up from $1.6 billion in 2008, but still far short of the $2.3 billion in total claims. This means 2009 is the third consecutive loss making year for aviation underwriters. However, Aon cautions readers to look beneath the headlines for the real story. With average lead hull and liability price increases of around 20 percent during 2009, the airline book of business began to look attractive again despite the high level of claims, it notes. This means that prices are likely to continue to rise in 2010, but, unless there is a major loss, the increases should slow somewhat. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Looking ahead is difficult, but the direction of the market is likely to be set by the level of claims in the early stages of 2010. If claims are average, then the level of competition in the airline insurance market should keep price increases at a manageable level. If there are major losses, capacity could hold back and the price of airline insurance could continue rising at the current rate or higher,Ã¢â‚¬ Aon adds. Check out I.I.I. aviation facts and stats.
The high value of losses and fatalities in the aviation sector has driven the airline insurance market into a far harder position so far this year, according to Aon’s Airline Insurance Market Indicators 2009/10 report.
Lead hull and liability premium rose on average by nearly 20 percent between January and July 2009, and there is little sign that the position will improve during the final quarter when the majority of airline premium is placed.
Despite the market hardening, as a result of the high level of claims, 2009 is likely to be the third consecutive year with little or no profit for underwriters. This means there will be significant pressure to increase prices further, Aon notes. It estimates that the cost of premium is likely to rise by at least a fifth for the rest of the year and into 2010.Ã‚ From a claims point of viewÃ‚ 2009 is set to be the most expensive year in recent airline history due to the very high number of fatalities and value of losses. Aon projects that total claims for the year could reach as high as $2.2 billion, even if there are only an average amount of claims for the rest of the year. Check out I.I.I. aviation facts and stats.
Airline insurance programs saw an average premium increase of more than 20 percent in July bringing the average increase for the year so far to 17 percent, according to AonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s August 2009 Airline Insurance Market News. That said, Aon notes that the average is somewhat inflated by the renewal of a U.S. program that had a fatal loss earlier in the year. Without that, the average increase in lead hull and liability premium would only be 14 percent so far this year. Irrespective of the specifics, the current conditions are clearly a significant turnaround compared to 2006 and 2007, when prices in the airline insurance markets declined by more than 10 percent each year. Despite only one major loss since June, 2009 still looks set to be very expensive from a claims point of view, according to Aon. Overall losses (including minor losses) have cost aviation insurers $1.66 billion so far in 2009, compared to $798 million in 2008. Check out I.I.I. aviation facts and stats.
Total claims for aviation insurers are likely to be significantly higher than the average by year-end, even if there are no further major accidents, according to Aon’s July 2009 Airline Insurance Market News. With just over half of 2009 gone, claims including an estimate for minor losses are already around 11 percent higher than the average for a full year. Overall losses (including minor losses) have cost aviation insurers $1.59 billion so far in 2009, compared to $715 million in 2008. Aon projects that total claims for the year could exceed $2.2 billion, nearly 60 percent higher than the long term average of $1.4 billion. With the Air France and Yemeni losses, June looks set to be the most expensive month in the aviation insurance market since September 2001. “In an already hardening market, this means price rises are likely to be universal for the rest of 2009,” Aon notes. It also means that even with half the year still to go, 2009 is already the third most expensive year ever in terms of hull and liability claims (excluding 2001). Ã¢â‚¬Å“Any further major losses will simply make the position worse, and would potentially extend the expected hard market conditions well into 2010,Ã¢â‚¬ Aon adds. Check out I.I.I. aviation facts and stats.
Sighting of debris in the Atlantic Ocean 400 miles off the coast of Brazil yesterday appeared to confirm the crash of the Airbus A330-200 operated by Air France with 228 passengers and crew on board. The plane was en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris when it went missing in the early hours of June 1 while flying through thunderstorms and heavy turbulence. According to latest reports, automatic messages indicating an electrical fault were sent some four hours into the flight and Brazilian authorities also reported that messages indicated a loss of cabin pressure. As the investigation into the cause of crash gets underway, industry commentators say it is too soon to say how theÃ‚ incident would impact the aviation insurance market. A June 1 Business Insurance article by Zack Phillips reports that the hull of the aircraft is insured for around $100 million. A May 2009 aviation market update from Aon noted that a few major losses can completely change the loss profile of a year. Aon said major losses have cost aviation insurers $597 million so far in 2009, compared to $351 million in the same period of 2008. It added that the value of losses so far this year continues to be very high in comparison with long term industry trends. A Guy Carpenter brief notes that this would be the first time an A330 has been lost during an operational flight. It would also be the worst loss of life involving an Air France plane. The last major incident for Air France was the July 2000 crash of a Concorde aircraft in which 109 people on board and at least four on the ground were killed. Check out I.I.I. facts on aviation.
As investigators begin the task of determining what caused the crash of a turboprop regional aircraft in a Buffalo, New York suburb late yesterday, it seems that weather conditions, rather than birds may have played a role. The plane, a Continental Connection flight operated by Colgan Air, was en route from Newark, New Jersey to Buffalo with 49 people on board when it crashed into a house in the Buffalo suburb of Clarence Center. According to latest reports, the total death toll from the crash is thought to be 50, including one person on the ground. The incident comesÃ‚ just aÃ‚ month after the emergency landing of a US Airways Airbus A-320 into New York CityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Hudson River in which 155 people escaped. Despite these two aviation accidents, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s important to note the strong safety record of the U.S. commercial aviation industry. The number of commercial aviation accidents on scheduled flights with 10 or more seats, stood at less than one per 100,000 flight hours at year-end 2007, according to National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) data. There were no fatalities on large scheduled commercial airlines in 2007, compared with 50 in 2006. Check out further I.I.I. facts on aviation.Ã‚