Wed, Apr 16, 2003
Lloyds of London Raises Premium to Reflect Monumental Risk
One of the ways premium airlines got business travelers to spend
their companies' money on their higher fares was by offering
generous perqs through their mileage programs. Now one of the
biggest frequent flier programs looks like it's going the way of
of London, which was insuring United's Mileage Plus through
AwardGuard, raised its premia to reflect the risk. Because of this,
AwardGuard can't offer its usual protection policies.
Privilegeflyer.com, which offers the AwardGuard insurance that
Lloyd's underwrites, is in the thick of the battle, and says that,
"at least for the short term," your Mileage Plus account should go
into the same drawer as your application to be an accountant for
AwardGuard, the only such insurer in the business, can't make
money by charging clients $119 a year, to insure their mileage
award premia, up to a $7500 limit.
Privilegeflyer.com president Randy Petersen, talking to the
Denver Rocky Mountain News reporter Heather Draper, said,
"As you might imagine, the current climate of the airline industry
has had an impact on every travel-related company." Like United,
today; and like American, and like... tomorrow? "When MileagePlus
members redeem out into other programs, United has to pay,"
Petersen said. "United is in no situation to owe or pay people
Just like your stockbroker, who urged you three years ago to
'stay with that mutual fund,' Petersen is a believer: "I still
strongly encourage members to earn and hold, rather than burn
miles," he added. The airlines would like that, too -- it's a debt
they'll probably never have to repay.
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