...But Can You Afford It?...

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Gregory Sterling, general manager at AOPA Insurance Agency, told AVwebyesterday that most Sport Pilots will be able to obtain coverage on Light Sport Aircraft through his agency, as well. "Most underwriters have indicated that they will offer limits up to $1 million, limited to $100,000 per passenger on liability, and hull values commensurate with the current market value of the aircraft," he wrote in an e-mail. "As the underwriters have not yet seen many of these come through yet, we don't have much specific information on rates." Mackey, at Falcon, said he would hazard a guess that to insure a $50,000 Light Sport Aircraft would cost $2800 to $3400 a year, for hull coverage and liability, but there are many factors that could affect that bottom line -- such as the pilot's experience, the type of aircraft and the airport where it is based. Falcon's renter package, which is available now and covers Sport Pilots and Light Sport Aircraft, costs $180 to $240 annually for liability only, he said, with hull coverage available for an additional premium. That policy makes no distinction between a Sport Pilot or Light Sport Aircraft and any other covered category, he said. Falcon also has new policies in the works for powered parachutes and trikes that should be available by October, Mackey said.

Dawne Faye, program manager for First Flight Insurance Group, which covers many ultralight flyers through the U.S. Ultralight Association, told AVweb yesterday that the company is "examining" the Sport Pilot situation. "Since the guidelines were just recently released, we are still assessing how we may accommodate this new classification with proper policy coverages, limits, premium and guidelines," Faye wrote in an e-mail.