Jim Pinegar, Vice President & Director of Operations of AOPA Insurance Services, addresses your aviation insurance questions. Disclaimer: The following material is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For questions concerning your specific circumstances, consult a local attorney.
STEVEN: I am a flight instructor at the Air Force Aero Club in Tokyo, Japan. I am trying to buy a light twin and bring it to Japan to lease to the Aero Club. I am wondering how I can get coverage from the time I take ownership until I get to Tokyo. The most likely scenario would be for me to pick up the airplane on the east coast, fly to California for some avionics upgrades and installation of ferry tanks, and new engines.
JIM: Steven – great question…I know you’ll have many factors to consider, but we’ll just address the insurance portion in this answer. For insurance purposes, you’ll want to make sure you’re more than adequately qualified in the plane – and that means plenty of make/model hours.
Second, you’ll want to make sure you have an adequate level of insurance for all your upgrades. Third, watch the covered territories of the policy. When you call for insurance, please be sure to tell your broker your intended route – this will give them the opportunity to ensure the areas in which you will land are covered by a particular carrier. And finally, since most brokers specialize in aircraft based in the U.S., you’ll need to cancel and secure insurance once safely landed in Japan.
Sounds like you have a great adventure ahead of you – hopefully a few of your insurance questions have been marked off your “to-do” list.
ARNOLD: I have an insurance policy with AOPA. When I got it, I had a current Class 3 medical, but it has since expired. The FAA is going to take some time clearing my medical – but how can I still fly in the mean time?
JIM: Arnold - thank you for writing in; medical questions as they relate to insurance are always of interest, especially as we continue to work on third class medical reform. Not having a current medical at the time of your renewal will generally only limit our ability to shop all available insurance markets. Your current carrier will still offer terms, but will add a dual requirement – specifying that you fly with a qualified CFI until your medical is current. This is similar to having an expired BFR, the same requirement would be added – fly with a CFI until current. Please make sure the CFI meets the requirements of the policy as specified in the “open pilot warranty”, and keep flying!