Standard aviation policies cover hull, passenger, and third-party liability coverage. You can also arrange for personal accident coverage for crews, passengers and “loss of license” coverage for pilots. And always be aware that, in some cases, you may need to alter standard liability coverage and revise your policy to obtain a landing permit. Atlas Plus Insurance is an aviation insurance broker who is intimately familiar with these varied and unique policy requirements, coverage minimums, and format mandates of California where you operate and fly.
In order to encourage best practices among our clients, whether they own the airplane they fly, rent plane they fly or fly a friend’s plane, here are some aviation insurance myths debunked and tips for reducing your costs:
Myth: All Aviation Insurance policies are the same.
Reality: While there are many similarities in aviation policies, there are some significant differences which should not go overlooked. What is true for one state may be different in California. And what is true for one flight school may not be the same for a renting pilot. Check with your agent to ensure you are covered given your specific aircraft usage.
Myth: If a friend names me on his aviation insurance policy, then I don’t need my own.
Reality: In most cases, you will be covered under your buddy’s liability coverage when you are flying their plane, however, the plane owner and insurer can still hold you responsible for a portion of a claim. To protect yourself from subrogation, you may want to consider a policy of your own.
Myth: My flight school’s insurance will cover me when I use/rent their planes.
Reality: Just as with your friend, a flight school’s insurance policy does not protect you from subrogation – paying a portion of a claim – loss of use or from liability when you and other passengers are injured or property is damaged by the plane you are flying.
Myth: My non-owner policy will cover the plane owner when I fly their airplane.
Reality: Only in the event of an accident in which you were found negligent would your policy cover the owner. If you fly someone else’s plane and the engine fails – through no fault of your own – and the airplane is damaged, your non-owners policy won’t cover the damage.
Myth: If I add new avionics gadgets, I should increase my hull insurance.
Reality: Not every addition or gadget is going to increase the planes value. Speak with your insurer to see if these additions fall under accepted valuation guidelines. If it does increase the value of your aircraft, then yes, increase your hull insurance.
Myth: I can save money by only insuring my aircraft for the loan amount.
Reality: Aviation insurance is based on the ‘stated value’ of the aircraft and if you insure it for less than the market value, you may find your reimbursement during a claim is less than the amount to return it to proper working order or it could be totaled. Be sure your aviation insurance reflects the current value of the aircraft.
What can I do to reduce my insurance rates?
Our best advice would be to make sure your team of expert agents have all of your updated pilot information for your renewal, including initial or recent training and pilot hours. To reduce your premium rates you may want to participate in special aviation programs, update your instruments, conduct engine checks, enroll in additional training specific to your aircraft and review your flights annually.
Typical actions you can take to reduce your rates include:
- Obtain an instrument rating
- Store your aircraft in a secure hangar
- Participate in a pilot proficiency program (i.e. FAA’s Wings program).
- Add to your flight time
- Maintain a claim-free status for a certain period of time
Not all carriers have the same guidelines for when they will offer a premium reduction. At Atlas Plus Insurance, we will help you identify the opportunities specific to your situation so that you are protected at an affordable price