Aviation insurance is necessary if you plan on owning an airplane or aircraft of any kind. To put it simply, aviation insurance is a type of insurance coverage intended specifically for aircraft.
As with other insurance policies, you will find a wide variety of insurance rates, clauses, and limitations. That is why it is incredibly important to always review different coverage policies before getting aviation insurance. You may even need multiple insurance policies.
Here is a closer look at the main 5 types of aviation insurance coverage policies. Learn more about each of these policies to determine which one is right for you.
Public Liability Insurance
Public liability insurance is coverage for damage caused by the aircraft. This is often referred to as third party liability. It applies to damage to third party property. This could include cars, houses, crops, and any other private or public property.
In most countries, you are required to have public liability insurance for your aircraft. It is typically purchased in amounts that can be applied to a single incident.
For example, you may purchase $1,000,000 in public liability insurance. This would provide coverage for up to $1 million in damages during a single accident.
Passenger Liability Insurance
Passenger liability insurance protects your passengers. If an accident happens and your passengers receive an injury or die, then your passenger liability insurance can be used to cover costs.
With large aircraft or commercial aircraft, this insurance is often mandatory. Though, this is not always the case with private aircraft.
When purchasing passenger liability insurance, you will typically obtain coverage on a “per-seat” basis. This means that a specific amount of coverage is applied to each passenger seat on your aircraft.
Combined Single Limit Insurance
Combined single limit insurance is a combination of public and passenger liability coverage. Instead of having separate coverage for public and passenger liability, you can combine the coverage with a single amount per accident.
Generally, this is a more affordable solution for private aircraft owners. You gain protection for both passenger injuries and third party property.
Though, if an accident occurs, your coverage amount will need to be divided between the costs for passenger injuries and third party property damage.
Ground Risk Hull Insurance
There are actually two different types of ground risk hull insurance. There is ground risk hull insurance “not in motion” and “in motion”. The “not in motion” insurance offers coverage for damage that occurs to your aircraft while it is grounded and not in motion, such as in your hangar.
The “in motion” insurance protects your aircraft if damage occurs while you are taxiing. Though, due to the frequency of disputes between insurance providers and aircraft owners as to whether the craft was attempting a take-off or taxiing, this type of coverage is rarely offered.
While the “in motion” insurance is rarely offered, the “not in motion” insurance coverage is still useful for protecting your aircraft during storage.
The amount of coverage is often equal to the blue book value of your aircraft. This will cover damage that could occur while grounded, including vandalism, theft, fire, flood, and weather damage.
In-flight insurance is coverage for your aircraft during all stages of flight and even includes ground coverage. With this coverage, your aircraft is protected while in the air, in your hangar, or during taxiing.
Since this coverage included in-flight coverage, it is more expensive than the other insurance options. Also, you will need a third party and passenger coverage, either through individual insurance policies or with combined single limit insurance.
Which Insurance Should You Choose?
Now that you have reviewed these insurance policies, you should have a general understanding of which policy is right for your situation. How you intend on using your aircraft is the biggest deciding factor.
For example, if you are going to have passengers, you will want some form of passenger liability insurance. You may also want to add ground risk hull insurance or any of the other policies in order to expand your coverage.
If you need help choosing an aviation insurance policy, you should discuss your options with a trusted insurance provider. They will be able to explain which policies are required. You will also learn more about the coverage of each policy and receive further recommendations.
Another benefit of talking to an insurance provider is to make sure that you have the right policies in place for your region. The insurance requirements can vary from city to city and state to state. You need to ensure you have the proper coverage to avoid fines or penalties.
It is always a good idea to be fully prepared for the worst. That is one of the points of insurance. You do not want these accidents to occur. But, when an accident does happen, you will regret not having insurance.