Company profile

Willis is a leading global insurance broker, handling risk management and reinsurance across a wide range of service areas and industries. With nearly 20,000 Associates positioned in 400 offices across 100 countries, Willis offers a truly worldwide network, combined with outstanding local service and expertise.


Willis specializes in risk management and (re)insurance, concentrating solely on broking, risk management and consulting. 

The situation

Willis transacts business with a vast number of clients and needs timely and accurate information in airline presentations. Willis Aerospace’s Research, Analysis, Marketing Support (RAMS) team is responsible for gathering relevant airline and aircraft data including the latest fleet, exposure and accident information on behalf of their account executives for use in market analysis and renewal presentations.


Willis also needs to grow and retain its client base worldwide by recognising new start-up operations. To assist with business planning, Willis needs to analyse the market for areas of growth as identified by aircraft orders and deliveries.


The Aviation Reinsurance Division of Willis conducts a wide range of exposure analysis and uses a variety of models to assess individual portfolios, assess and monitor model assumptions, exposure trends, loss analysis and loss trends. One such example of exposure analysis would be Possible Maximum Loss analysis (PML analysis).

The Solution

Willis wanted a single solution that could be used to meet its risk management, reinsurance and business development requirements. Willis therefore chose Ascend Online Fleets, the industry’s leading data service for understanding and analysing the airline and aircraft market.


Ascend Online Fleets enables Willis Aerospace’s Research, Analysis, Marketing Support team to conduct airline peer reviews and comparisons of operators with similar fleet compositions, load factors, passengers, accident rates, aggregate measures of exposures using the latest hours and cycles. It provides a single source where the research team can look at areas of the world and benchmark loss information, making comparisons by insurance placement groups.


The Reinsurance division uses Ascend Online to conduct analysis by operator insurance groups, aircraft type, family, series and variant. At an individual aircraft level, analysis is conducted by aircraft class, seating configuration, number of passenger seats, so that estimates can be made for liability exposure and hull value to produce a Possible Maximum Loss amount.


Ascend Online data is also used as base data for their Airline models and assumption testing using the exposure and loss data. Other more bespoke analysis often calls upon Ascend Online data as part of the solution.

The result

Claire Thomson, from the Reinsurance division, says that, “Ascend Online provides the base data we need for many of our tools and models. This gives us a useful insight and guide to the decision making process. By having reliable data and the ability to analyse a portfolio by aircraft rather than just at policy level, we are able to provide a more detailed and fairer assessment of exposure.


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