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Travelers launches aviation unit in Atlanta


ATLANTA--A new aviation unit of The Travelers Cos. Inc. of St. Paul, Minn., has begun writing liability and hull coverage for corporate aviation fleets and plans to introduce a variety of aviation insurance products through early 2008, the insurer said Tuesday.

The unit, Atlanta-based Travelers Aviation, this week bound its first Flight Plan Premier policy for corporate fleets that operate worldwide. The policy provides up to $300 million of third-party liability coverage as well as hull coverage.

Thirty-two states have approved the policy, and approval by the remaining 18 states is expected by the end of June, said Jeff Novak, a vp with the new unit.

By the fall, the unit plans to roll out several additional coverages, Mr. Novak said: workers compensation insurance for corporate pilots and ground crew; general liability insurance for ground service operators and fixed-base operators; and basic aircraft coverage for fleets that operate only domestically.

By the end of the first quarter of 2008, the unit plans to introduce liability coverage for aircraft component manufacturers.

"Since 9/11, the use of private and corporate-owned turbine aircraft for business travel has seen significant growth, because corporate executives and managers are finding it difficult to deal with the delays that security issues can present and with the inconsistent service levels of the commercial airlines," said Gordon Murray, president of Travelers Aviation, in a statement. "So, the general aviation marketplace has responded to meet the increased demand for business and executive transportation."

Travelers has been underwriting aviation risks through its Lloyd's of London syndicate since 1994.