In light of several recent aviation insurance claims, the question of whether specific planes and/or specific engines are more prone to incidents is becoming relevant to aviation underwriters.  According to a recent report in Insurance Day, aviation underwriters “remain confident in the insurability of Boeing 777s” despite the possibility that there could be a repeat of the mechanical fault that caused a crash landing at Heathrow Airport in January 2008.

According to reports, the potential mechanical fault is limited to the Rolls Royce Trent 800 engine, which is used in approximately one-fourth of the Boeing 777 worldwide fleet.  This engine appears to be susceptible to ice build-up in the fuel heat exchanger in very cold conditions, possibility involving flights over polar routes.  Airlines have implemented new operating procedures, decreasing the likelihood of business interruption claims as the result of future losses.  There is, however, potentially more pressure on the product components market in terms of potential loss settlements. 

According to media reports, Rolls Royce has announced that it is developing a modification to the heat exchanger that promises an improvement on the ability to prevent the build-up of ice.  Click here for more information about Rolls Royce’s modifications of the Trent 800 engine.