Any time you are pilot in command of an airplane that you do not own, you should make sure that you have an aircraft renter’s insurance policy in place, as secondary coverate to protect your liability exposure. The FBO, your flight school, or the person who let you borrow their plane should have their own insurance, which is primarily designed to protect them, the aircraft owners and not pilots and crew. Even a minor accident could cause damage in the thousands of dollars if not more, and you could be liable for that damage.
Who Needs Aircraft Renters Insurance?
Aircraft renters insurance, also called non-owned aircraft insurance, is relatively inexpensive when compared to what could happen to you financially if you have to cover bodily or property damage yourself. If the owner’s insurance company pays out a claim, the insurance company may then decide to subrogate against you, to cover those costs.
There are several scenarios in which you should get this extra protection for yourself, including:
- You are a student pilot
- You are a flight instructor in someone else’s plane
- You charter a plane
- You borrow or rent a plane, even from a friend
- The owner is on board but you are flying the plane
- You are a contract pilot in an owner’s aircraft
- You are an FBO using the customer’s plane for flight instruction
- You are an aircraft mechanic doing a test-fly
- You are delivering a plane you do not own
Aircraft renter’s insurance is always secondary coverage and the aircraft owners insurance is always primary coverage in the event of an accident or incident. Having an aircraft renter’s insurance policy is an additional layer of protection, in the event that the owners insurance policy has inadequate coverage, the claim is denied or they have no coverage.
Most FBO’s have commercial aviation insurance policies, that are designed to protect the FBO from the liability risks associated with owning and operating aircraft. The potential problem with relying on FBO insurance, is that their insurance offering may only cover the cost of their insurance deductible in case of an accident. You would be on the hook for the rest if you don’t have your own coverage and their insurance company wants to collect from you.
For example, if there is an accident when you are flying the plane and you do $15,000 worth of damage, the FBO insurance policy will typically have a $5,000 or $10,000 deductible and if a claim is turned in the first $5,000 or $10,000 would not be covered. This is typically why flight schools and other aviation related businesses require at least $5,000 or $10,000 of physical damage coverage in a non-owned aircraft insurance policy, for all pilots operating out of their business.
Renters insurance is there to back you up for just this type of situation.
What Does Aircraft Renters Insurance Cover?
Some aircraft renters choose to only get liability protection, while others choose to also get protection in case the plane itself is damaged. We recommend carrying at least $1,000,000 in per occurrent, liability coverage, limited to $100,000 per passenger. We also recommend carrying physical damage coverage at the very least up to the deductible of the flight school or FBO.
There are several types of renters insurance you can choose.
Aviation Liability Insurance
The base coverage on every aircraft renter’s insurance policy is liability coverage. This covers bodily injury or property damage as a result of the operation of the aircraft.
Bodily injury liability coverage covers injuries to bystanders or passengers when you are piloting an aircraft. For example, if you make a hard landing and your CFI is hurt, your bodily injury coverage will kick in as long as your insurance company doesn’t find that you violated your policy in some way.
In the event that someone sues you for bodily injury caused by a plane you were flying, your renter’s insurance includes liability coverage and legal defense to defend covered claims.
Aircraft Physical Damage Insurance
As an optional coverage, you can purchase physical damage coverage, usually from $5,000 up to $200,000, which covers damage to the aircraft itself.
How Much Does Aircraft Renters Insurance Cost?
For all the protection it offers you, aircraft renters insurance is a bargain. The amount you pay will depend on the types and levels of coverage that you select. The best liability coverage you can get costs less than $500 per year, although you can choose less liability coverage for under $100 per year.
Adding physical damage coverage will significantly increase the premium depending on the amount of coverage you need.
Learn More or Get a Quote
Don’t be one of those pilots who finds out after an accident that you aren’t covered under someone else’s aviation insurance policy. Learn more about renters insurance or get a quote today from BWI Aviation Insurance.
We are consistently ranked among the top aviation insurers by Investopedia, and we work hard to make sure you have the coverage you need when you need it and at the best price 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.
Call 800.666.4359 today for a free Airplane Insurance Quote or Click Here to submit a quote request online.
BWI is the Nation’s Leader in Aviation Insurance, with offices based in Corona, CA and Anchorage, AK