31-Dec-2010 9:55 AM

Airline accidents and passenger fatalities increase; insurance claims exceed premiums

Ascend Worldwide stated the number of airline accidents and passenger fatalities increased in 2010 while insurance claims have exceeded premiums (Dow Jones, 30-Dec-2010). Ascend stated the fatal accident rate worsened in 2010 to one per 1.3 million flights from one per 1.5 million flights in 2009, which was the safest year for aviation. There were 28 fatal accidents in 2010 compared with 23 in 2009. The number of deaths rose 13% in 2010 to 828 people compared with 731 in 2009. The estimated passenger fatality rate for 2010 was one per 3.8 million passengers carried compared with one per 4.5 million in 2009. Ascend estimates that incurred aircraft hull and legal-liability losses for 2010 were approximately USD2.15 billion or around USD370 million less than 2009. However, losses still exceeded the USD2.1 billion of written premiums during the calendar year. Ascend estimates that written premiums have increased by approximately 7% in 2010. Ascend added that increases in the coming year are unlikely to exceed this level. Between 2007 and 2010, total written premiums reached around USD7.3 billion, while incurred losses stand at USD8.2 billion, according to Ascend.

Ascend: "Despite the relatively poor performance in 2010, we believe that air safety is still improving and this has resulted in 100 fewer fatal accidents during the last decade than in the 1990s, on average, 10 fewer fatal accidents a year," Paul Hayes, Director of Safety. Source: Dow Jones, 30-Dec-2010.

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