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Related Solutions

Willis has extensive experience in sourcing insurance and risk solutions for all parties involved in the complex and hazardous process of providing and delivering aviation fuel.

This process includes:

  • Depot management
  • Intoplane refuelling
  • Management of hydrant systems
  • Manufacturing / refining fuel
  • Movement of fuel
  • Other ramp activities
  • Storage of fuel on / off airports.

Risk Factors
The risk exposures in the refuelling process are many and can cause major or even catastrophic losses, for example:

  • Catastrophic engine failure in flight due to fuel contamination
  • Damage to fuel systems caused by contaminated or off-specification fuel
  • Injury or damage on the ramp caused by movement of vehicles
  • Serious damage or destruction of aircraft by fire caused during or as a result of refuelling.

The whole process can be carried out entirely at the responsibility of the oil company whose name appears on the side of the tanks and refuelling vehicles. More commonly, especially at international airports, it is carried out by more than one party, including, for example, national and international oil companies, independent refuelling agents, airport authorities and the airlines themselves.

Managing the Risk
This creates a series of relationships and complex liability apportionment, all of which will customarily be addressed by insurance. Often the relationships will be managed by forming a consortium which is usually where several oil companies agree to pool their fuel into a series of storage tanks, and provide a common distribution system. Each oil company usually accepts liability for claims made against the consortium by customers or third parties involved while their respective customer airline is being refuelled by the consortium. Sometimes the intoplane refuelling will be done by an agent, which may be a joint venture of the consortium members, or independent. In these cases an agreement is reached about the extent to which the agent is liable, or indemnified by the consortium members.

All these relationships are managed under the umbrella of the Tarbox Agreement, which has various exhibits according to the relationships involved.

The aviation liability insurers of the oil companies and refuellers understand that liability is apportioned in this way, and take it into account when they are rating the policies for the respective parties. It is Willis job to ensure that these are represented carefully, otherwise for example an intoplane refuelling agent that is fully indemnified for all its actions by Tarbox consortium members, could end up paying premium for exposure it does not have.

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