The typical American will move 11.7 times during his or her lifetime, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. For AOPA members, at least a few of those moves will include your airplane. Whether you’re moving across country for a new job, retirement, or simply a change of scenery, that move may impact your airplane’s insurance. Even if you’re moving from one local airport to another local airport in order to take advantage of lower hangar rent, you should check in with your insurance agent.
First, there is no legal deadline for when you inform your agent that you and your airplane are moving. You can tell your agent as soon as the plan is definite up to the week after you make the move. What’s important is that you alert them.
What an insurance underwriter is looking for is the amenities at a particular airport that might affect your airplane. In some cases, however, if you move from Airport A to Airport B (within the continental United States) and they both are about the same, nothing will happen other than your agent makes a note in your file about your new address and the new location of your airplane. All the agent will want is an updated personal address and new airport information.
But what if you move from a busy urban airport to a grass strip in Kansas? One underwriter had a problem with a Mooney making a move just like that. This underwriter believes that a complex airplane doesn’t belong on a grass strip. That’s just one example. As for the actual new airport, very short runways, poor or no pavement, no instrument approaches, and questions about security measures could all be considered, but these factors don’t matter as much as how the airplane will be stored.
Every underwriter cares about storage. A tiedown has obvious risks. An open-shade hangar, common in the south and southwest, is better. A gang hangar has its own risks with other airplanes being moved around. Also, airplanes stored in gang hangars often get pulled out to “unstack” the hangar and spend the whole day sitting outside, where there is some risk. Obviously, the lowest risk is a sturdy T-hangar where the airplane is protected and not at risk of being dinged by movement of other airplanes.
If you have any questions about your aircraft move, give yourself the peace of mind that a talk with your AOPA Insurance agent can provide. Make sure you tell your aircraft insurance agent about your aircraft’s new location. For more information or to request a free quote on aircraft insurance, please call AOPA Insurance Services at 800/622-2672 or visit aopainsurance.org. AOPA members, don’t forget you may qualify for a 5-percent discount.