Insurance For Aging Pilots

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Aging pilots can run into problems with insurance, facing substantial surcharges or even cutoffs. AOPA is working on a study to see if the accident record justifies such actions. "This study is extraordinarily important to pilots, because the answers could very well affect general aviation safety and the cost of flying for everyone," AOPA President Phil Boyer said. "This affects all of us. We're all getting older." AOPA will also fund an independent study to examine what happens to the cognitive and neuro-muscular skills of pilots as they age. "Currently, there is no hard, scientific data to justify the way some insurance companies are treating older pilots," said Boyer. "We're going to find the truth." Meanwhile, AOPA Insurance Agency has negotiated an agreement with Global Aerospace Inc. that assures pilots of any age they can retain their coverage as long as they take (and pass) a medical exam every year. "Since most aviation insurance carriers have a cut-off age for accepting new business, this agreement gives older pilots who are looking for insurance options beyond their current carrier a valuable new alternative at competitive rates," said Gregory Sterling, general manager of the AOPA Insurance Agency. To qualify, pilots must be AOPA members, and fly a single-engine, fixed-gear aircraft with four or fewer seats valued at less than $100,000.