Top 10 most frequently asked questions?
- What is non-owned liability coverage?
It is a liability insurance policy to protect you against claims arising from bodily injury and property damage for which you are legally liable, caused by an occurrence arising from your use of a non-owned (rented or borrowed) aircraft. Non-owned liability coverage does not apply to damage to the aircraft you have borrowed or rented. However, physical damage coverage for your non-owned aircraft may be added to your liability policy for an additional premium.
- Why should I buy a non-owned policy? My FBO tells me they have coverage.
Your FBO has coverage for itself. Some FBO policies have provisions, which will extend coverage to students and renters for liability coverage, but that limited protection if part of the limit that also protects the FBO and there may not be enough coverage limit to cover you both adequately. The FBO policy does not provide you any protection for physical damage you may cause to its aircraft. Your own policy provides both coverage for you independent of the FBO and unlimited defense costs affording you legal support that serves your interests.
- What limits of bodily injury and property damage liability should I carry?
There is no standard recommended amount of liability coverage you should carry. You need to consider factors such as your personal assets, earnings, whom you carry as passengers, area of operations and how much insurance you can afford or that may be available.
- What effect does pilot experience have on non-owned insurance premiums?
None. Premiums for standard non-owned policies are based on the limits of coverage you select.
- Will a non-owned policy protect me if I use a non-owned aircraft for purposes other than my own pleasure and business use?
No. Non-owned policies do not provide coverage if the non-owned aircraft is being used for or in connection with:
Aerial advertising, towing or photography
Hunting, herding or spotting of animals of any kind (including birds and fish)
Patrol or surveillance of any kind (including powerlines, pipelines, traffic or fires)
Skydiving or parachuting
Closed course racing
Flights off-shore in support of an off-shore business or operation
External transportation of persons or property, including wire stringing, or construction.
Any type of commercial aircraft operation.
- What is an “open pilot warranty?”
An open pilot warranty is a clause in many aircraft insurance policies, which allows pilots with certain minimum qualifications to fly the aircraft on an occasional basis without being specifically endorsed on the policy as a Named Pilot.
- Can I name my CFI and/or A&P to my policy?
A CFI or A&P can be included on your policy as an Additional Insured party and/or Approved Pilot. The question to be answered is “what is your purpose in adding them to your insurance policy?” If the intent is to insure your coverage will not be invalidated while another pilot may be flying your aircraft for training purposes or maintenance test flights, this is a smart move. Ensure that your open pilot warranty covers anyone that you allow to fly your aircraft or specifically add them as Named Pilots, if necessary. If the intent is to provide coverage to CFI or A&P for their professional liability, your policy would not extend to cover their exposure and they should acquire Non-Owned Aircraft Insurance.
- Can I change my deductible to lower my premium?
In nearly all cases, aircraft insurance companies have moved to a fixed deductible, which cannot be increased by the insured in exchange for premium credit. The exception to this may be the aircraft with a very high insured value ($1 million plus), in which case a higher deductible may be negotiated.
- Can I be re-rated midterm for additional hours/certificates/ratings prior to my policy renewal date?
In some instances, yes, but, in most cases, the underwriters will consider these factors at renewal. When we are working with our policyholders on their renewals, we ask whether they intend to add experience that would impact their premium, such as an instrument rating, so we can include this detail in our negotiations. Some carriers may provide a portion of the premium benefit on the current policy quote followed by providing the full benefit on renewal once the goal of a new rating, for example, is actually attained. Other carriers will only provide a premium adjustment at renewal time.
- What can I do to reduce my insurance rates?
Typical actions you can take to reduce your rates include:
Obtain an instrument rating.
Hangar your aircraft.
Participate in a pilot proficiency program (i.e. FAA’s Wings program).
Increase 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. We can help you identify the opportunities specific to you!