Students and Renters, You Need Insurance TooStudents and Renters You Need Insurance Too

Aerial photography of Howard "Howdy" McCann JR's Cessna 140 near the mouth of the Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay. Howdy personally restored this 140 over his 35 years of ownership. Churchville, MD USA

When you’re a student or renter, you jump into the left seat expecting that you and the aircraft you’re in are covered by insurance in the event of an accident. 

Are you sure about that?

Here are some important items you want to go over with your local FBO the next time you fly. 

1. Ask to see your FBO’s certificate of insurance. It should show what they are covered for, including the following: 
All aircraft the FBO offers for rental are insured
Aircraft liability limit
Aircraft hull coverage and deductibles
Student and renter liability (if they provide, optional coverage)

2. Review your rental agreement to understand your obligations to pay for any damage.

3. Review your non-owned aircraft policy to understand what it does and doesn’t cover regarding your rental agreement obligations.

It is important to know that student and renter liability offered by your FBO does not cover you the way personal non-owned aircraft insurance will. Their coverage has a limit and they will apply the coverage to their liability first and if there is any left, it may extend to you. In other words, the owner of the aircraft could expect you to cover the balance. 

Don’t be afraid to ask your FBO for its certificates. You don’t need their full policy, just a certificate issued to you personally or a general “To Whom It May Concern” certificate with the basic details. Either is fine and easy for them to get. 

You really should protect yourself as a student or renter. Our specialists at AOPA Insurance Services can walk you through what you need to protect yourself as a student or renter and find the policy that works best for you. They’ll help you review your FBO’s coverage, rental agreement, and personal insurance policy so you understand how they work together and what level of protection you have while flying a rented aircraft. Visit us at or call 800.622.AOPA (2672) today!


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