Owning and operating a private aircraft has never been a cheap venture. Even your average crop duster still incurs a great amount of cost to maintain operations. Recent increases in the price of aviation insurance have caused more pilots to toy with the notion of self-insurance. For a good look into the primary factors driving the price increases, you can read 5 Things You Need to Know About Aviation Insurance in 2020. That being said, prices are going up and that has placed some pilots on the brink of travelling down a very perilous road. While I cannot dictate to each and every pilot what is the right course for them, I can, with the sum of our 40 years of experience in the aviation insurance industry, plead with my beloved aviation enthusiasts to consider the consequences. So let’s jump right into the great aviation insurance versus self insurance debate.
The Inevitability of an Aviation Disaster
In 2015, a group of doctors were enjoying the afternoon on a Los Angeles County golf course when they heard a rumble from above. They looked up to see a World War 2 era aircraft descending from the sky and eventually crashing onto the fairway. Believing that the pilot may be in need of assistance, they rushed to his aid. When they arrived on the scene, they were shocked to find out that the aircraft was operated by none other than Han Solo himself.
Actor Harrison Ford is a well known aviation enthusiast and it was mechanical failure that sent him crashing into the golf course on that day. Now one might think that the pilot who made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs would ever crash a plane, but this was actually Harrison Ford’s third reported aviation accident.
I’m not saying that you are guaranteed to be involved in an aircraft accident. I am telling you that events small and large are more common than you might think. Not every incident is a major headline and if you pilot long enough you will see your fair share, even if you are not personally involved. Wealthy pilots like Harrison Ford may be tempted to self insure because they believe they can cover the cost of any accident. However, pilots that are not as well off could be in for a rude awakening when a minor incident occurs. As much as he crashes, I’d be shocked if Harrison Ford was not well insured himself.
Aviation Insurance is Caring for Others
Beyond your own financial security, aviation insurance is also about caring and supporting others who may be adversely affected by your role as a pilot. It’s been my personal experience that pilots are serious about the business of flying and they go to great lengths to care for those that rely upon them. Aviation insurance ensures that pilots have the ability to take care of others, should the worst happen. Bankruptcy may save yourself personally in the end, but it will do little help grieving families or private property owners who find themselves facing financial ruin in the event of an accident.
Given that aviation accidents are more common than you think, I can testify that I’ve seen aviation insurance truly save both the pilot and unintended victims alike. Self insurance is a risky approach for all involved. The costs are going up and our market analysis tells us that we may see continued increases in the near future. However, the cost of inaction could be devastating.
Aviation insurance is caring for yourself and in this case, self care is caring for others as well. Part of the flying experience is embracing the freedom that the open skies offers you. Piloting with the financial peace of mind that both yourself and passengers alike are covered is liberating. Here at BWI Aviation Insurance, we’d be honored to help you navigate your way to the aviation insurance solution that is right for you. You don’t have to be Harrison Ford to afford a good policy, but if you crash half as often as he does, you’ll definitely need it. Take care my friends and reach out if we can be of any help.
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