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Surprise! Dealing with the Unexpected

By Bob Mackey, Vice President, Falcon Insurance Agency, Inc.

A friend of mine is a real practical joker. Unfortunately I'm usually the object of his relished past time. But there's no joking around when it comes to the serious side of aviation. Aviation is serious business, as are the unforgiving consequences when a pilot makes a mistake or mechanical problem arises. When it comes to making sure you've got the best aircraft insurance possible, this is a serious matter too, because if you don't pay attention you could end up with insurance that A) doesn't protect you and B) provides less coverage than you expected. Regardless of whether you own and airplane, rent, or borrow an airplane there are no shortcuts in making sure you have the best insurance for your own protection.

If you were to conduct a survey you would find that a majority of people would rather spend their time getting a root canal rather than buying insurance. Buying insurance isn't the most fun thing in the world to do, but insurance is something most people don't fully appreciate…until there is an accident.

The other day I saw an ad that stressed how simple and easy it was to buy insurance from a certain insurance company. Trust me, "quick & easy" doesn't equal the best solution! At the same time, buying insurance strictly based on price should not be the only concern. The saying, "You get what you pay for," can certainly apply when buy insurance. It takes time and a professional insurance agent to help you make sure you get the best insurance for your type of flying at the best price.

You shouldn't be shopping solely on price. Instead you should be thinking how to make sure you're buying the best insurance, not more than you need, and getting the best value for your money. After all, if aviation were a "cookie-cutter" activity then a "cookie-cutter" approach to selling and buying insurance would be perfect. There are so many differences between aircraft, pilots, airports, flying activities, etc.

There are a lot of hidden shortfalls if you don't get a good insurance agent to help you secure your aircraft insurance and shortfalls can translate into inadequate insurance, hidden exclusions, and even worse: NO INSURANCE COVERAGE! Here are several shortfalls that you should watch out for:

  • Restriction or Limitation on Liability Insurance for Family Members
  • Liability Insurance Sub-Limited to "Per Person" instead of "Per Passenger"
  • Limitation on Hull Insurance Coverage for Aircraft Components
  • Hull Insurance Subject to Actual Cash Value

The restriction or limitation on liability insurance for family members and liability insurance sub-limited to "per person" instead of "per passenger" should be a red flag! While there may be state statutes that impose a limit as to how much one family member can recover from another family member or their insurance, this shortfall doesn't need to be imposed across the board within the terms of the insurance policy.

The "per person" and "per passenger" sub-limit is a huge shortfall. If your insurance is sub-limited with a "per person" condition this means anyone, passenger and non-passenger, is limited to the amount stipulated in the sub-limit. If, on the other hand, your insurance includes a "per passenger" sub-limit then the sub-limit only applies to passengers in your aircraft, and your insurance protection for non-passengers will be the full amount of liability insurance spelled out in your insurance policy.

If you want to make sure you are getting the best insurance for your situation you need to be working with a professional aviation insurance agent who is knowledgeable in all areas of aviation insurance. At Falcon Insurance Agency the EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan specialists only handle aircraft insurance and non-owner (renters) aircraft insurance for EAA Members.

EAA Members fly a wide variety of aircraft. Needless to say this means the EAA Plan Specialists have pretty much seen it all and can handle most any EAA Members aircraft insurance requirements. You owe it to yourself to make sure you are getting the best insurance for the dollars you are spend. Call the EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan toll-free at 866/647-4EAA (4322), or visit www.eaainsurance.org.

EAA INSURANCE TIPS is a special EAA Member benefit. If you have an insurance related topic you’d like to see addressed or if you have any comments, please email bmackey@falconinsurance.com. If you need an insurance quotation call 866-647-4EAA (4322).

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