Little Words, Big DifferenceLittle Words Big Difference

While piloting an aircraft, we know that certain key words have a significant impact on our operation. The same goes for insurance. Read more to discover what two words can mean a difference of $100,000 and $1,000,000. 
When we pilot our aircraft in controlled airspace, we know that certain key words have a significant impact on our operation. Examples such as, “Cleared into class B airspace,” “Cross runway 18,” “Approved” as filed,” and of course the most exciting, “Cleared for takeoff!” While the whole sentence has importance, these bolded key words are what we are trained and expecting to hear.

Now when it comes to asset protection, we are continually asked and wish to share one of the most important key words in aviation insurance. It’s simple – yet when we explain the difference, most are shocked how one word can dramatically change coverage. The one word relates to the sublimit in most liability policies…and it is Person or Passenger. 

AOPA insurance carrier’s sublimits read something to this effect…$1 million per occurrence, with a $100,000 per Passenger sublimit.  If you have a sublimit, this language is the broadest available and only limits liability payments to those onboard the aircraft.

On the other hand – there are policies that read very similar…$1 million per occurrence, with a $100,000 per Person sublimit.  Did you catch the difference? With this type of sublimit, everyone now has their protection limited…everyone, both inside and outside the aircraft.

I’m a visual person, so how about a quick example. If I take a friend flying and he is injured while inside the airplane – the coverages are identical. However, if I hurt that same friend while he is outside the aircraft, the per Person only gives them a potential recovery of $100,000…while AOPA carrier’s policies with a per Passenger give them the full $1M as a potential recovery. So in this very real example, one small word difference changed coverage by $900,000! Significant for a single word!

So, pilot to pilot, please ensure you know what you are buying. You may ask, doesn’t this additional coverage from AOPA’s carriers cost more? Quite frankly – in probably 95% of the cases – NO! 

If you have a sublimit on your policy, read it carefully; it’s only a sentence or two. Or better yet, call AOPA Insurance, we would welcome the opportunity to help – and if you want a sublimit, we’ll ensure you only get one that is “per passenger.”

Jim Pinegar

Jim Pinegar

Vice President & Director of Operations of AOPA Insurance Services

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