...Rates Unlikely To Rise Significantly

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Brimming with empathy, many of us would yet be lying if we didn't admit to wondering what this far-away (for a lot of us, anyway) disaster might do to our insurance rates. The quick answer is probably not much. Sterling (of AOPA) said he doubts there will be any directly related rate increases because the year so far has been better than average for claims. Both Mallard (of Falcon/EAA) and Lauerman (of Avemco) expect a slight increase in rates as a direct result of the Charley-related claims. "Don't forget, we anticipate things like this when we set our rates," said Lauerman. Retail-level carriers take out policies -- called re-insurance -- with international insurers against these types of catastrophes. "It spreads the risk," said Lauerman. In fact, Avemco has adjusters traveling from airport to airport. In a few cases, owners might hear from their insurance company first about damage to their planes. "A lot of people are busy dealing with damage to their homes and cars and haven't been out to the airport yet," said Lauerman. When the time comes to meet with the adjuster, make sure you have as much of your airplane's documentation with you as possible so the insurer can accurately assess the value of the loss. And Mallard says you can expect prompt and courteous settling of the claim. "The insurance companies are all really good," said Mallard. "They're not going to nickel-and-dime you."