Explore Aircraft Insurance Before Building or Buying
By Bob Mackey, representative for the EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan, Administered by Falcon Insurance Agency
March 4, 2010 — When I first became an insurance agent, someone told me that everything is insurable. A movie star’s legs…original art work…hole-in-one golf contests…and million dollar, full-court basketball shots. As long as someone was willing to pay the premium, I was told, anything is insurable. Nearly 30 years later, I realize that’s not totally true. The fact is, some things are not insurable, not at any price!
In recreational aviation, I’ve seen too many situations when someone wants insurance but can’t get it, or if they can, the terms, the insurance provider, or the price are extremely unsatisfactory.
Here is a real-world example:
A pilot who earned his private ticket in 1970 flew for maybe five or six years and accumulated 120 hours, including 70 hours of training towards his license. Since then he’s been inactive. Now he decides it’s time to buy an airplane and get back into the swing of things.
He investigates by reading many articles, visiting numerous websites, and attending a few fly-ins. Finally he decides to buy a brand new “Belch-Fire 42,” a four-place, 20,000 feet-plus screamer that goes like stink and costs a small fortune. He makes the buy and begins to dream about soaring across the country.
Then he contacts an EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan representative to line-up insurance, figuring all that’s required is a couple of hours of check-out with a CFI.
The truth, however, is something very different; he’ll need 500 hours of total flight time, an instrument rating; a high-performance endorsement (with a least 100 hours of high-performance time); 100 hours of retractable gear time; and 25 hours of dual instruction in the Belch-Fire 42.
Needless to say this all adds up to a whole lot more than expected, not to mention a bunch of money he hadn’t planned on spending.
Is this situation abnormal?
Unfortunately, this isn’t as abnormal as you might think. I’ve made this particular situation extreme, but I’m doing that to make a point. When we set ourselves up for disappointment it’s usually because we haven’t done our homework. Sure you might be able to get insurance, which will be very expensive, and the insurance will be placed with an insurance company that might be a little difficult to deal with if there is a claim, but is this how you want to buy insurance? I don’t think so.
To avoid getting caught in the insurance nightmare trap, “don’t buy it/don’t build it unless you know you can insure it!
First, you should pick up the phone and call the EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan administered by Falcon Insurance Agency and talk to the insurance pros. Tell them what you are thinking about and ask about getting insurance. This will take you less than 10 minutes and you will know instantly where you stand. Sure, the airplane you’ve been dreaming about might have to wait, but that’s the nice thing about airplanes; they’re usually around for a long time.
Second, be prepared to listen to some advice because the pros at the EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan want to see you happy and flying the right airplane.
Third, when you’ve got the best airplane for your skills and the best insurance at the best price, you’ll also get the best service available. It’s a win-win outcome for everyone. Some day you’ll own that Belch-Fire 42, so why not make some day the right day?
EAA members have a great resource at their fingertips. Call the EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan (Falcon Insurance Agency) toll-free 866-647-4EAA (4322) or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll make sure you are contacted by one of the insurance specialists with the EAA Plan.
If you would like to know more about the EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan, or find the right insurance for the type of flying you do, call 866-647-4EAA (4322), or visit www.eaainsurance.org and complete the online quote request form. When you insure your airplane through the EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan you’re helping support EAA Member Safety Programs and EAA Youth Education programs.