Hurricane Irma Threatens Thousands Of Aircraft

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As Hurricane Irma bears down on what may be a landfall somewhere in Florida, aircraft owners across the state are considering whether to move their airplanes or just lash them down and hope for the best.

Insurance companies may or may not be willing to help. AIG, for instance, will reimburse owners for a portion of costs incurred in moving the aircraft out of harm’s way. Jon Doolittle of Sutton James Insurance Brokers said owners should check with their underwriters to see what’s covered—and when. Most underwriters don’t off the reimbursement option. Agents have been receiving calls and emails to cease binding coverage for Florida owners until the storm passes.

A spokesperson for Avemco, the largest direct writer of small aircraft aviation insurance, told us it does not reimburse owners for removal expenses. However, it does cover losses incurred in hangars including liability if an aircraft is blown into other aircraft or structures.

Florida is behind California and Texas for having the most aircraft registered, according to the FAA. More than 21,000 aircraft of all types are registered in Florida and many are located at threatened coastal areas.

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