Most aircraft owners don't read their insurance policies until after they have a loss. Then, they're often shocked to discover that their loss isn't covered, although they were sure it would be. Aviation insurance experts Tom Chappell and Darrell Hyde review some of the most common misconceptions about coverage, and tell you what to look for in the fine print.
Aircraft insurance policies are not standardized. Each company has its own contract which may include or exclude coverage of various kinds of losses. So-called "all-risk" policies most definitely do not cover all risks. In this article, aviation insurance expert Darrell Hyde of CS&A Aviation Insurance defines more than three dozen different "expansion coverages" that may or may not be in your policy. Interestingly enough, you may be able to get many of these coverages added to your policy with little or no increase in premiums, provided you know what to ask for.
Most aircraft owners who fly outside the U.S. check to make sure their aircraft insurance will cover them. But, aircraft insurance may be the least of your worries. If you become sick or injured while abroad, for example, will your medical insurance cover you? Will foreign medical intitutions accept insurance reimbursement? If you're travelling on business, are you covered by worker's comp while abroad? Tom Chappell CS&A Aviation Insurance examines these and other issues you should think about before going overseas.
If you rent, charter, borrow, test-fly, ferry, instruct in, or take instruction in an aircraft that you do not own, you very well might need "non-owned aircraft" liability insurance. Darrell Hyde of CS&A Aviation Insurance explains the various kinds of coverage available, what it costs, and when you need it.
When you signed your hangar lease, did you review the fine print with your aviation insurance company or broker? If the lease is of recent vintage, chances are good that it contains a hold-harmless clause, a waiver of subrogation, or other pass-the-buck-type legal mumbo jumbo that could very well wind up voiding your insurance coverage if something bad happens to the aircraft while being stored. Tom Chappell of CS&A Aviation Insurance explains the pitfalls and what to do about them.
In recent months, AVEMCO and at least two other underwriters have stopped insuring small flight schools, FBOs and repair shops, while others have increased premiums sharply. If the trend continues, it may not be long before such business simply cease to exist. What does this portend for the future of general aviation and pilot training? Tom Chappell of CS&A Aviation Insurance explores where the industry may be headed in response to the current insurance crunch.
Whether you're in a business environment or making the "go/no-go" decision, eventually it all comes down to managing the various risks to which you could be exposed. The same is true when deciding on insurance coverage and assigning risks among owners, business partners, contractors and subcontractors. Tom Chappell of CS&A Aviation Insurance discusses the various considerations involved in minimizing and managing risk as well as the many options available.
AVweb reader Greg Amy refurbished the interior of his Grumman Tiger with automotive cloth and vinyl materials, but subsequently became concerned about whether those materials were legal for use in his aircraft. His research led him through a veritable morass of conflicting and contradictory guidance from FARs, Advisory Circulars, FAA-Designated Engineering Representatives, FAA-approved testing labs, and a National Resource Specialist from FAA Headquarters. Greg's ordeal in trying to get a straight answer to a simple certification question helps explain both why the FAA employs so many lawyers, and why so many pilots are drawn to homebuilt aircraft.
Nowadays, starting a new airline requires tens of millions of dollars in capital and nearly that many pages of FAA paperwork. But back in the 1950s, all it took was a $10,000 WWII-surplus transport, a few hungry time-building pilots, and a lot of chutzpah. AVweb's John Deakin was just starting his aviation career back then, and he tells a first-person tale of such a venture that actually got off the ground, albeit briefly.
Anyone working on a kit-built aircraft would be well advised to reach out to others who have been through the process, check out their solutions to vexing problems and build a support network. So it was earlier this year when AVweb's Matt Paxton - who's building his very own Pietenpol Air camper - made the pilgrimage to Brodhead, Wis., for the annual Brodhead Pietenpol Fly-in.