FocusOn...Insurance - 23 March 2021
The Secretary of ESASI had long wanted to expand our discussion topics and to explore areas of aviation safety and investigation that are not widely known to airlines, safety departments, crew, engineers and SIAs. So he suggested that the inaugural ‘FocusOn...’ look at aviation insurance, particularly the claims process and the role of loss adjustors that runs in parallel to a safety investigation.
Speakers and Content
To cover these areas, ESASI was delighted that both Theresa Gallagher (Claims Manager for Global Aerospace, London) and John Bayley (Regional Director, Europe & Russia, McLarens Aviation) accepted our invitation.
Brian McDermid, Principal Inspector at the AAIB, and Steve Hull, ESASI Secretary and former British Airways safety officer, set the scene from the SIA and airline perspectives. And then the first ‘FocusOn...’ was off and running on Zoom, kindly hosted by the Icelandic Safety Investigation Authority (RNSA).
Presentations and Summary
The event was a success, with over 120 attendees from Europe and the wider international community. While the majority were from safety investigation authorities, a significant number were from other areas related to the aviation industry.
An example? In his session describing the role of the loss adjustor, Mr Bayley provided an excellent analysis of the repair costs associated with the introduction of new technologies, such as composite materials, larger engine components and 3D printed parts.
This was especially instructive for those participants who do not deal with financial aspects on a daily basis. Indeed, the increase of the repair costs has influenced the decision to declare a wreckage a hull loss, when in different circumstances the aircraft may have remained operative.
This point, related to the cost of repairs versus declaring a hull loss following an accident involving substantial damage, is crucial when we consider accident statistics and the attrition rates of different aircraft types.
For instance, when dealing with insurance claims, Ms Gallagher underlined the question of ‘subrogation’ in a very open manner, to help attendees better understand the stakes, the related issues and sometimes the very lengthy (and expensive!) legal processes that can follow.
In the domains of search and rescue, particularly at sea, ‘FocusOn...’ addressed the importance of being prepared to face a major accident, leading to the expensive location and recovery of key aircraft parts, such as the flight recorders. The obligations of the State of Registry, to institute and conduct an investigation when an accident to an aircraft on its register occurs on the high seas, were reiterated during the session. But ‘FocusOn...’ also discussed ways to be prepared through very specific insurance contracts.
During the question and answer session, participants from airline flight safety wanted to explore ways to develop business cases within their companies for investing in additional safety equipment. They received clear answers regarding the current situation in the underwriting business, but in the mid-to-long term it is hoped that improved mutual knowledge could deliver both safety and financial gains.
These examples are just snapshots of the topics that were presented during this very interesting and instructive session. More information can be retrieved thanks to the video recording of the session.