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AXA XL, the commercial arm of French insurer AXA, is reducing its exposure to cover offered to aviation businesses, Reuters reported, citing two industry sources

The development comes as AXA strives to safeguard the business in the wake of significant losses associated with Ukraine.

According to the sources, AXA XL, a key insurer in the global aviation space, is refraining from underwriting risk on war cover.

The withdrawal by a player like AXA XL will make it harder to get this specialised coverage, potentially raising rates and increasing costs for exporters and travellers, the report said. 

In addition, the insurer has also begun cutting exposure to marine war cover, three other sources told the news agency. 

AXA XL declined to comment on the development, which comes as the conflict approaches its first anniversary on February 24 and follows months of enormous losses for several of the biggest insurers in the world.

A report by broker Howden last month said that the conflict is likely to cause insured losses of between $10bn and $20bn across the globe. 

In the first half of 2022, the business generated 20% of the group’s €55.1bn ($59.55bn) revenue, but just 14% of the net income of €4.1bn.

Considering that aviation leasing businesses have turned to the courts to obtain insurance payments and that more than 400 stranded jets in Russia are worth $10bn, insurers anticipate further losses.

Earlier this month, reinsurers said that Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus are no longer included in policies offered by them to insurers.