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12 decisions and are less concerned about the exposures atten- authority granted to airport risk managers regarding insur- dant to airport operator functions. Although medium air- ance-purchasing decisions (see Appendix E). Most risk port operators take price into consideration, they are equally managers have limited or full buying authority subject to concerned with exposure and coverage. Large airport oper- ratification by a governing body or top-level executive. In ators, on the other hand, do not consider price a determining the public sector, purchasing authority is often highly lim- factor in purchasing decisions. Large airport operators give ited, especially for service purchases. Although ratification factors such as coverage and exposure far more weight in is required in all interviewed airport operator entities and the deliberations process. dollar amounts are restricted for some airports, the level of authority for insurance buying is quite high and, in some A point of commonality among the three size classifica- cases, without specific limits. tions is that all airport classifications use internal staff in addition to the expertise of their insurance brokers to make The interviews also explored the effect of tort liability purchasing decisions. However, medium and small facilities caps on insurance-buying decisions. Five of eight inter- rely more on brokers than do large facilities. viewees reside in states with governmental tort liability caps on claims. The caps range from $50,000 to $1,500,000 Small and medium airport operators also find common per occurrence. Two states have no caps (two operators are ground in their tendency to shop coverage more frequently located in the same state). Four of the interviewees stated that than large airport operators. Although the small and medium tort liability caps influence their insurance-buying decision. facilities indicate program shopping once per year, larger One interviewee stated that purchase of insurance above the facilities are in the practice of locking in rates for long-term tort caps waives the entities' immunities. In that instance, programs with their chosen insurance carriers. All three clas- the airport operator buys insurance only to tort limits for sifications, however, prefer to conduct a costbenefit analysis nonaviation exposures. Some of the operators indicated that in contemplation of the purchase of a new insurance product. despite immunities or tort caps, the airport purchases cover- age out of caution. INTERVIEW RESULTS--INSURANCE-PURCHASING DECISIONS One of the most interesting findings of the follow-up inter- views with airport officials was the relatively high level of