Insurance Tip: Check, Double-Check, Then Check Again
By Bob Mackey, Senior Vice President, Falcon Insurance Agency (EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan)
November 7, 2013 - One thing is for certain in the aviation insurance industry: Nothing stays the same for long. The airplane or pilot one aviation insurance company is willing to insure today may not be insurable tomorrow - or even later the same day.
I've seen aviation insurance companies change their pilot check-out or transition training requirements many times. I have also seen decisions made at a moment's notice to start offering insurance for a certain airplane - or stop insuring another type of airplane. Why do aviation insurance companies change their underwriting requirements and insurance quoting?
Aviation insurance companies are reactionary. If losses begin to occur with a certain type of airplane or with pilots below a specific level of experience, the insurance company is likely to raise its price for insurance, change the pilot experience requirements, or simply stop offering coverage for a specific airplane or pilots without a higher level of experience. This can be frustrating for airplane owners and insurance agents.
Occasionally pilot transition training requirements for new homebuilt aircraft completions or the purchase of a used homebuilt change. I always recommend that builders check to see what the pilot check-out requirements might be before they purchase an airplane kit and begin a project. I also urge builders to contact their agent during the building process to see if anything has changed regarding their pilot transition training requirements.
I further recommend checking again when a project is about 90 percent complete. The last thing you want to happen is to find out the transition training you've completed based on what you were told a year ago is now inadequate, or worse, the aviation insurance company will no longer offer insurance for the airplane you've built.
I encourage EAA members to call EAA Aircraft Insurance (Falcon Insurance Agency) at 866-647-4322 with questions about an airplane you plan to build or buy. Or go to www.EAA.org/insurance to complete the online quote request.
Make sure you know what transition training you will need and you will avoid being disappointed when you are ready to go flying.
Remember, when you insure with any of the EAA insurance plans, you're helping support EAA programs and services.