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A.I.G. Balks at Claims From Jet Ditching in Hudson

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meegbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-12-09 09:01 AM
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A.I.G. Balks at Claims From Jet Ditching in Hudson
For the first couple of days after his flight ditched into the Hudson River, Paul Jorgenson was just glad to be alive. But then he started to need his laptop, his wallet, his car keys all the essentials he had stowed under his seat and left behind in the sinking plane.

A pleasant woman at US Airways told him not to worry; he would be made whole for his losses. But then the matter shifted to US Airways insurer, the American International Group, operating under government stewardship since its bailout last fall.

"Everything went downhill," said Mr. Jorgenson, a software executive in Charlotte, N.C., whose laptop and keys have not been recovered.

When a homeowner has a burglary or a driver has a crash, all it normally takes is a call to the insurance company and a description of the loss to activate the policy. But aviation liability insurance is different. It is activated by a finding of negligence on the part of an airline. If there is no negligence, then arguably there is no liability, and no obligation to pay claims.

That poses a problem for the passengers of US Airways Flight 1549. They suffered real losses and injuries, but they are widely perceived as having been saved from sudden, violent death by their heroic and quick-thinking flight crew, led by Capt. Chesley B. Sullenberger.

"Insurance companies try to protect their assets, obviously," said Bruce D. Chadbourne, a co-author of the book, "Introduction to Aviation Insurance and Risk Management," and a professor in the business school at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla. With the airline wearing a halo, A.I.G. "is going to play hardball."

A spokeswoman for A.I.G.s property and casualty business declined to comment.

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Coyote_Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-12-09 09:54 AM
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1. Most of these passengers
probably have some coverage available to them under their homeowners or renters policies. Typically these policies extend some coverage for personal property outside the home. Coverage varies of course.
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