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What are the liability insurance options for jump pilots? Find out in June's Ask Jim edition.

Question: Do you offer liability insurance for a pilot flying skydivers? Thanks, Steve

Jim: Skydiving – one of the most exciting and thrilling activities that involves general aviation. Sometimes called a bucket list item, but many people have thought about making the jump. I know I’ve skydived 16 times – always a thrill … and who doesn’t like seeing a jumper holding a large American flag land softly before a large public event!

One way some commercial pilots build their hours is to fly a “jump” plane. Just think of how many takeoffs and landings a busy jump school could get on a nice day. But one major consideration that I hope pilots consider is how they protect themselves in the event of an injury or accident. Jumpers sometimes get hurt, and the question was asked – “how can a contract jump pilot protect themselves?” Quite frankly, there aren’t many options – but there is one that I recommend. Since the jump school, hopefully, has coverage, the pilot should request to be added to their insurance policy as an “additional insured.” In effect, this extends the policy coverage to the “additional insured,” in this case to the pilot. Now there typically is an additional charge for this service, and the amount will vary depending upon the pilot’s qualifications. And one other recommendation, politely ask to see the policy. You might be surprised – in that they have decent coverage for jump operations, or have an eye opening moment and find that they don’t have any jump coverage at all.  

 

Jim Pinegar

Jim Pinegar

Vice President & Director of Operations of AOPA Insurance Services

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