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From the Insurance Mailbag

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

Every week I receive e-mails and a few telephone calls in response to these “EAA Insurance Tips” articles. Some weeks generate more responses than others, like after the piece titled “Tough Insurance.” For some reason, this one generated a lot of conversation, some positive, some not so positive. Frankly, I’m willing to discuss just about anything pertaining to aircraft insurance and the EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan and perhaps clarify something I’ve written.

For example, I received the following e-mail from an EAA member I’d like to share with you.  

About a year ago I finished my Zenith 601XL and now it is insurance renewal time. When I called to discuss my renewal, I asked for a quote to add my 16-year-old son as a student pilot. I was surprised and disappointed with the initial response that my son could not be added as a student pilot because when I started building my plane in 2001 I specifically asked about this and was told that my son would be insurable in this airplane. I guess my biggest issue was that no one told me the insurance industry’s position on student pilots in a homebuilt airplane had changed. I felt misinformed and that information was being withheld from me.

The result was this EAA Member had his sights set on teaching his son to fly in his homebuilt and the underwriting guidelines changed on him midstream. Insurance underwriting, by its very nature, changes over time in response to a insurance company’s loss experience. Sometimes underwriting gets tighter, making it tougher to insure some risks. Other times you can obtain insurance that may not have been available before when things “loosen up.” It’s important to periodically communicate with your agent to stay on top of possible insurance underwriting changes.

Anyway, I gathered some additional information on this EAA Member’s particular situation and I found out some significant details. First, I learned that this EAA Member was nearing completion of his instructor rating in the Zenith. I also learned that his instructor had accumulated quite a number of flight hours and experience while training this EAA Member.  I knew from the insurance underwriter’s perspective this would make the risk somewhat more acceptable.

Given this additional information, I took a shot at asking the underwriter to have another look at this situation and perhaps under these unique circumstances allow the Member to add his son to the insurance policy. As it turned out, because the airplane was a good match for pilot training and the EAA Member would be doing the teaching with nearly 200 hours of flight time in the 601XL, plus considering the other instructor’s experience, the insurance underwriters approved adding the son as a student pilot.  This was an exception to a standing underwriting rule.

The moral to this story is there is always a possibility of an exception to a rule, but the situation will depend greatly on details such as the above example. Another moral is that insurance underwriters do change what they will and will not insure.

At Falcon Insurance Agency with the EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan we deal with every type of situation you can imagine. Sometimes we have a difficult time arranging insurance, however we are always looking for ways to match EAA Members with the right insurance at a competitive price. If you haven’t done so already call the EAA Plan at 866-647-4EAA (4322) or visit www.eaainsurance.com and complete an online quote request.

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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