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Lloyd's syndicate leads Mandala jet coverage

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MEDAN, Indonesia—Insurance coverage for a Mandala Airlines jet that crashed shortly after takeoff on Monday in Medan, Indonesia was led by Lloyd's of London syndicate 318, managed by Beaufort Underwriting Agency Ltd. sources said.

The plane, which was headed to Jakarta, crashed in a residential area of Medan shortly after takeoff, killing many of the 117 passengers and crew as well as some people on the ground. The cause of the crash is still being investigated.

The Boeing 737-200 jet was valued at about $3.9 million and was almost 25 years old.Syndicate 318 was also the lead insurer for a Colombian passenger plane that crashed in Venezuela in August, killing all 160 on board.

There were four fatal air crashes in August and another major hull loss (BI, Aug. 29), but rates are still expected to decline when many airlines renew their insurance coverage this fall.

It is unlikely the Mandala Airlines crash will be large enough to change the market, sources said, and wider market changes brought about by Hurricane Katrina may eventually have a larger impact on the aviation market, noted Nigel Weyman, head of the direct aviation unit at Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group P.L.C. in London.

As capital providers to the aviation market are affected by insurance losses from Hurricane Katrina there may be a knock-on effect on the aviation market, said Steven Doyle, aviation and aerospace practice manager at Aon Ltd. in London.