Whether a plane is in a hangar for storage, repair, or safekeeping between flights, its main protection is the hangarkeeper’s liability insurance. Understanding this type of insurance is important for hangar owners.
It is also important for aircraft owners, You must know what is covered under the hangarkeeper’s policy so you can identify where you may need to add to your own insurance.
What is Hangarkeeper’s Liability Insurance?
When you think about aviation insurance, you might think primarily about covering valuable aircraft. But hangarkeeper’s liability insurance is also very important because hangars contain not just planes, but expensive equipment, tools, and spare parts. Accidents occur in hangars, and you should anticipate those and make sure your coverage is adequate.
Hangerkeeper’s insurance covers damage to non-owned aircraft that are under the care and control of the hangarkeeper. It does not cover damage to aircraft that occurs in the hangar if the owner of the aircraft is in control.
Several people might purchase hangar insurance, including:
- Fixed-Base Operators, AKA FBOs
- Airport operators
- Corporate flight departments that let clients store their planes
- Aircraft repair facilities
What Does Hangarkeeper’s Liability Insurance Cover?
As a hangarkeeper, you should think about the types of planes and equipment that you store when deciding on your coverage. If you are covering your own hangar for your personal use, you should still insure it separately from your plane.
If you are housing other people’s aircraft, consider the value of those planes. Keep in mind that you also store valuable tools and repair equipment. Hangarkeeper’s liability insurance can cover several areas, such as:
Premises Liability Coverage
If there is an accident or incident in your hangar, premises liability offers you 3rd party protection. This protection can include accidents within the hangar itself and the property the hangar sits on. This type of insurance covers slip & falls and other types of incidents.
You can be sued as the owner of the hangar if there is an accident or incident on your premises. If you are sued, your legal liability coverage will pay for your legal defense. This type of insurance can help not only with suits from aircraft owners and other individuals but if you are sued by another insurance company to recoup their losses from paying out a claim.
When you house other people’s aircraft, you need protection against damage to planes that are under your control. Hangarkeeper’s liability protects you in case there is physical damage to the aircraft, a loss of use by the owner, or a loss of value. Think carefully before choosing some parts of this coverage but not others.
You should think about the worst possible scenario given the types of planes you store, and make sure you have enough coverage. Customers with expensive complex aircraft might be good for business, but you must make sure your liability coverage won’t mean going out of business in case something happens to those planes when they are under your control.
When choosing a broker for your hangar insurance, make sure they are a member of the National Hangar Insurance Program, aka NHIP. This is a key point, as other brokers may try to sell you only business property or general liability coverage. That isn’t enough. You need a broker who is a member of the NHIP and knows how to get you the coverage you need.
Other Ways To Protect a Hangar
There are other ways to protect a hangar that also have implications for your hangarkeeper’s liability insurance. In order to get lower rates from the beginning, insurance companies will want to see that you have done everything you can to protect yourself. The same goes for keeping your rates down.
Giving yourself more protection can also help you when someone else claims you are liable for the damage to their plane. Keeping the number of insurance claims against you down can also help your future insurance rate.
You should get cameras for your hangar that cover all entrances and exits, as well as all areas where planes might be completely grounded or moving. You should also have cameras where your tools and equipment are stored.
Check the Condition of Planes Upon Arrival
You or someone who works for you in the hangar should inspect every aircraft upon arrival. Try to do the same when aircraft are leaving, and get the pilot or owner to verify that there is no damage. Take a lot of pictures of all sections of aircraft when they arrive and when they depart. If possible, take a video.
This may seem like more time and expense than you want to take on but consider the alternative. An owner claims that $60,000 worth of damage occurred to their aircraft while it was stored in your hangar. You have no proof that the aircraft came in that way, so it will be hard for you to fight that claim.
Taking these types of proactive measures also tells insurance companies that you are proactive in reducing risk. This could result in lower premiums.
Understanding Hangarkeeper’s Insurance for Aircraft Owners
It is not only the owners of hangars that should understand what is covered in hangar insurance. If you store your plane in someone else’s hangar, it is also important that you understand it. Be sure to ask what their policy covers, and if you have questions, ask your own insurance broker what you should do.
If you have the option of choosing between hangars, their respective insurance coverage could provide you a reason to pick one over the other. If one owner decided to keep their rates down as low as possible, they may have chosen not to include coverage for your loss of time in your aircraft or a lower valuation of your plane after an incident.
Your own aviation insurance doesn’t cover these instances, so you need to make sure that the hangar owner’s policy will make you whole.
Learn More or Get a Quote Today
Learn more about hangarkeeper’s liability insurance or get a quote by visiting BWI Aviation Insurance. We are a family owned business and we specialize only in aviation insurance. We pride ourselves on our ability to get you the best quotes as quickly as possible.
Why choose BWI Aviation Insurance?
Over our 42 year history, BWI has built longstanding relationships with all of the above Aviation Insurance Companies. We work hand in hand with the above companies and leverage our experience to find the best market for your particular airplane insurance risk.
To ensure that you are getting the absolute lowest rate and best coverage with a rock solid A+ rated Aviation Insurance company, get a quote with BWI today. We specialize only in Airplane Insurance and our office is open 12 hours a day. Our agents are friendly and knowledgeable, and most importantly they are agents that you can trust to get you the best coverage for your needs. Aviation Insurance is all that we do and have done for 42 years.
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