As the infamous year of 2020 heads into fall and the sun sets on what will go down as a challenging year for pilots and the aviation insurance industry as a whole, we want to implore you to hang in there just a little longer. Specifically, if you have endured the spring and summer without cancelling your airplane insurance, don’t give it up now.
At the onset of this year’s pandemic, pilots from sea to shining sea found themselves grounded, low on business, and facing the need to cut costs wherever they could find them. Naturally, many pilots believed that if they were not flying, they would just set aside their airplane insurance policies or reduce coverage until it was time to take to the skies again.
We understand the thought process behind it, but most of us in the aviation insurance industry were pleading with pilots not to do so. If I can borrow a few minutes of your time, we’d like to tell you why and also tell you why cancelling your policy now is an even worse idea.
Airplane Insurance is Not Car Insurance
Most of the logic behind cancelling or cutting back policies during the pandemic comes from a reasonable place, but it is unfortunately driven by the perception that airplane insurance is much like auto insurance. When families know that they will not be driving a particular vehicle for an extended period of time, they park the car in the garage and cancel the auto policy for months on end.
Then, when the winter is over or the season of life changes, they simply call their agent and kickstart it again. Applying the same principle to airplane insurance, unfortunately, ignores some major differences between the two industries.
The first being is that there are a little more than a baker’s dozen aviation insurance providers in the game. Meanwhile, there are well over 500 auto insurance providers operating in the United States. You see commercials on television all the time for auto insurance, but when was the last time you saw a commercial for airplane insurance.
You can cancel your auto insurance any time you want and with near certainty, you will be able to find someone to cover you at a competitive rate. It’s just not the case with airplane insurance and because we here at BWI are committed to finding you the best coverage for the best rates, we are duty bound to warn you that you could wind up paying more if you cancel now.
Starting Over Can Be Painful
As the pandemic gave way to shut downs, there were a few states that tried to offer relief to pilots struggling to make insurance premiums. What they offered were “grace periods”, but the bills for those premiums were always coming due. In addition, some states and insurance providers explored waiving some requirements that might have led to policy cancellations because of the lockdowns. Those too were only temporary measures and some pilots found themselves facing a harder path to maintaining coverage than these waivers led them to believe.
All that to say, if you have made it to this point in the pandemic and you have maintained the ability to retain your coverage, please do not cancel it now. We understand that our economy is hurting, but being a pilot in any capacity is more of a lifestyle than it is a job or business. Pilots are rare breeds and it takes a great deal to keep them out of the skies for good.
So if you still have your coverage, we implore you to find a way to keep it. The year 2020 was already a hardened market with rising aviation insurance rates for a number of reasons. It is not abundantly clear at this point how the pandemic will affect the market long-term. If you cancel your policy now with the hopes of returning to the skies in 2021, you will find yourself starting from scratch and that could be painfully expensive.
Now, whether you keep or cancel your policy, BWI will be here as always to help you navigate your options in 2020, 2021, and beyond. That being said, our best professional advice is for you is to hold the line, maintain your coverage, and let’s navigate this unique season in aviation history together.
BWI | The Nation’s Leader In Aviation Insurance
Family Owned | Nationwide | Since 1977
What makes us different? Our office is open 12 hours a day, our team is hand-picked, well-trained and every single customer has their own dedicated Aviation Insurance Professional.
Get a no-obligation, free insurance quote at www.bwifly.com or call 800.296.8595