You should do two things when borrowing or renting someone’s aircraft. First, show gratitude to the owner for trusting you with their aircraft (very few do). Then buy aircraft renters insurance to protect yourself and the aircraft in case of an aviation occurrence.
While showing gratitude will cost you nothing, aircraft renters insurance, aka, non-owned aircraft insurance, will set you back a few bucks in premium. And it’s a good bargain considering the huge liability you would incur if you had an occurrence when flying a borrowed aircraft and had to pay for the damage from your pocket.
But before you buy aircraft renters insurance, you should know crucial specifics such as what liabilities the policy covers, the type of aircraft covered, and how much you should buy. When you come to BWI, we’ll help you get down to the nitty-gritty, so you purchase an aircraft renters insurance policy that protects your increased liability risk.
It’s our norm at BWI to keep aviators well-informed about insurance solutions, which is why we have compiled this in-depth piece about non-owned aircraft insurance to keep you in the know.
What is Aircraft Renters Insurance?
Simply put, an aircraft renters insurance policy protects you from liabilities you may incur when flying a non-owned aircraft. It covers you, your passengers, the rented or borrowed aircraft, and third-party property from damage that may occur if you got involved in an aviation accident or incident.
You may wonder why you need airplane renters insurance while the aircraft owner carries insurance. If you are renting or borrowing an aircraft from a friend, his or her owned-aircraft insurance policy is always primary in the event of an accident or incident however that policy may have specific named pilots or an open pilot warranty that excludes your pilot qualifications and therefore excludes insurance coverage. This is where an aircraft renters insurance policy would step in to provide coverage.
Without a non-owned aircraft insurance policy, you would pay for the cost out of pocket or get entangled in lengthy legal battles. Besides when hiring or borrowing an aircraft for your private use, there are many more instances where one would need to carry aircraft renters insurance. They include:
- A student pilot practicing in a non-owned aircraft
- When delivering a non-owned aircraft to another party
That said, let’s discuss the damages that aircraft renters insurance covers.
What Damages Does Aircraft Renters Insurance Cover?
- Third-Party Property Liability — covers damage you may cause to other people’s property when operating a non-owned aircraft. For instance, if you initiate a forced landing and destroy someone’s property in the process.
- Third-Party Bodily Injury Liability — covers injury to passengers and bystanders in the event of an aviation occurrence. The coverage amount per passenger depends on the policy amount you purchase. Here’s our pricing breakdown for your reference.
- Hull Coverage — covers physical damage to non-owned aircraft. Hull coverage falls under three categories — not in motion, ground and flight, and not in flight. It’s an optional policy, and the coverage amount is subject to the aircraft’s value and is activated if you get sued for the damages.
- Legal Costs — covers legal defense costs if you, as a rental pilot, is sued for damages resulting from an occurrence.
- Aircraft Owner’s Deductible — covers the deductible amount the owner is obligated to pay out of pocket before their policy pays up. It mainly applies when you’re solo training using an aircraft from a Fixed-base operator (FBO).
The Cost of Aircraft Renters Insurance From BWI
For the basic liability-only coverage, you pay $72 annually for $250,000 per occurrence. It covers third-party bodily injury and property damage, and legal costs. With this policy, the coverage amount per passenger is capped at $25,000.
The higher liability coverage option will cost you $470 annually for $1,000,000 per occurrence, with the coverage amount per passenger limited to $100,000. It’s the most risk-proof policy you should carry if you want to enjoy the highest third-party liability protection.
For the secondary hull coverage, you’ll pay an extra $86 for $5,000 in physical damage coverage. If you want a higher coverage amount, you can opt for the $200,000 policy, which will cost you an additional $1,663.
The extra premium amount ($86 and $1,663) is added to your liability cost. For instance, if you bought the $250,000 per occurrence liability coverage and added $5,000 in hull coverage, your annual premium would add up to $158 ( $72 + $86).
How Much Coverage Is Enough?
Many factors determine how much coverage you should buy. When buying liability coverage, consider the following factors:
- Do you want to include bodily injury coverage for passengers or not? It’s very much advisable to include passengers in your liability coverage. If you don’t have a set number of passengers, rely on the number you habitually carry.
- Is the owner’s aircraft insurance coverage sufficient? Some aircraft owners may not carry insurance or may buy the bare minimum amount. In such cases, purchasing maximum liability coverage and adequate hull coverage (equal to the value of the non-owned aircraft) is advisable.
When buying hull coverage, consider the following factors:
- The market value of the aircraft — the safest option is buying hull coverage enough to replace the non-owned aircraft in case it got totaled or damaged and you’re held liable.
- The deductible amount if the FBO or aircraft owner carries hull coverage — purchase enough hull coverage to pay off the owner’s or FBO’s deductibles.
What Type of Non-Owned Aircraft Can You Insure?
At BWI, we cover four main types of non-owned aircraft. These are:
- Multi-Engine Land Aircraft
- Single Engine Land Aircraft and Glider
- Single Engine Seaplane Aircraft
- Any Sailplane or Glider
The type of non-owned aircraft you’re flying influences the amount of aircraft renters insurance you need depending on its value, seating capacity, and maintenance complexity. The aircraft’s value and maintenance complexity come into play when buying hull coverage, while the seating capacity affects your liability costs when you choose to include passengers in your coverage.
Trust BWI With Your Non-Owned Aircraft Insurance
At BWI, we know firsthand how knotty aircraft renters insurance is even to an experienced aviator. You need a seasoned aviation insurance expert to help you make sense of all the factors that influence non-owned aircraft insurance.
That’s why at BWI, we take enough time to educate you more about aviation insurance and then help you select the best aircraft renters insurance policy. This way, you’ll be in the clear in case of an aviation occurrence. Besides the risk and cost aspects, carrying non-owned aircraft insurance strengthens your relationship with an aircraft owner or FBO because they know you and their aircraft are protected.
The more reason to contact us today and get a free quote