Before renting an aircraft, there are some things you should consider to make sure you are protected while flying it.
1. Don’t rely on other people’s insurance. Whether you’re borrowing the airplane from a friend, taking flight instruction from a school, or renting an aircraft from an FBO, an accident could occur. That means the possibility exists you could be sued for bodily injury, property damage, or damages to the nonowned aircraft. The owner’s policy most likely will not defend the renter. Additionally, the owner's policy is designed to make them whole in the event of an incident—not cover you. However, your AOPA renter's insurance includes a legal defense benefit! Legal fees can add up quickly and the average legal defense cost is over $25,000.
2. Make sure you meet the requirements of the owner’s coverage. Depending on the policy an individual owner has, you must meet the minimum requirements of the insurance policy. An owner's policy specifically states who is approved to fly the aircraft; make sure that the owner advises you of those requirements. Those requirements may be experience in type or a certain number of hours logged.
3. Renter's insurance is not model-specific for single-engine aircraft. That’s good news for the renter. You can rent a Cessna 172 one day and a Bonanza A36 the next. Renter's insurance includes a definition of the kind of aircraft covered, and it is typically a broad description, allowing the pilot to rent a range of aircraft under one policy.
4. In case of aircraft damage, most flight schools and FBOs require that you cover their deductible. That could be as high as $10,000. If the flight school or FBO believes you were negligent, they may sue you for the entire damages. Again, this is where your renter's insurance policy is there to protect you.
It’s easy to apply for renter's insurance. You can apply online, pay online, and get an immediate email verifying your coverage. Whether you own or rent, AOPA has the right insurance coverage for you. AOPA Insurance has knowledgeable agents who can talk your language and understand your unique flying and insurance requirements. For more information or to request a free quote, please visit aopainsurance.org or call AOPA Insurance at 800.622.AOPA (2672).
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Want more information on renter insurance? Check out our free Renter Aircraft Insurance Guidebook available for download here.
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