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Aon survey reveals airlines' perception of risk


LONDON—Aircraft accidents, property damage, war and terrorism are airlines' top risk management concerns, a survey by Aon Ltd., the London-based unit of Chicago-based Aon Corp. reveals.

More than 45 of the world's leading airlines listed those risks as the most significant they face, while identifying premium costs as the key insurance industry issue in the Aon's "Airline Risk Management Survey", which was released June 6.

Airlines identified environmental pollution as the risk they are most likely to purchase coverage for over the next three years. Computer crime—which was identified in last year's survey as the risk companies were most likely to cover within three years—was the second-most often mentioned risk in the 2007 report. Business interruption risks moved up to the third spot in this year's survey.

"This is a fascinating snapshot of how airlines' perception of risk is changing year-on-year," said Steven Doyle, manager, aviation practice group at Aon Ltd., in a statement. "The survey shows how issues such as the environmental debate and fears about cybercrime affect the aviation industry and its insurance markets. It also highlights how the significant reductions in average hull and liability premiums since September 2006 are translating into organizations' bottom lines."

Risk management budgets at airlines fell to 1.6% of total revenue from 2.1% in the 2006 survey because of cheaper insurance costs, Aon said.

The percentage of organizations surveyed that have company-wide risk management strategies reached 86% in this year's survey, up from 67% the year before. Aon said the increase reflected a greater number of large company respondents in this year's survey.