If you are instructing in an aircraft that you don’t own, typically the answer is yes, you should purchase a flight instructor insurance policy also called a CFI non-owned insurance policy.
Shouldn’t I Be Covered By the aircraft owner’s Policy?
The answer is probably not. The owner’s policy is designed to protect the aircraft owner and unless you’ve seen specifically in the policy where you as a CFI are covered, don’t assume that is the case. Far too many pilots have heard that the owner’s policy is primary and thus, they feel no need to have a renters policy or a policy specifically for a CFI.
Instructing in non-owned aircraft and acting in a CFI capacity carries with it an increased risk of liability exposure because naturally, in the event of an accident or incident the focus immediately turns to you as the instructor.
An aircraft owner’s policy is not going to pay for your liabilities as a CFI unless otherwise noted. Moreover, your renter’s policy is not going to pay for your commercial use of a plane if you were there to provide official instruction. Now, because renters insurance and CFI non owned aircraft insurance is so affordable, it just makes sense to reach out to your broker and make sure you have that added level of protection.
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The Legal Liabilities of a CFI Can Be Outrageous
It is no small matter for a CFI to sign off that the pilot is ready to take to the skies alone. We live in an extremely litigious society and when a major aviation incident occurs, the lawyers are lining up at the door to get a piece. That’s why the legal defense protections that non owned aircraft insurance provides is perhaps the greatest benefit.
Just imagine if a pilot that you recently trained was the pilot to take a major celebrity like Kobe Bryant into the sky. Now, that was not the case in that tragedy, but there is no stone being left unturned by the lawyers in that case to pursue legal liability. It’s not even about the money, but they are pursuing litigation for the principle of the matter and the devastation of the loss.
Considering your own legal fees will start to rack up at a rate of $250 to $500 per hour, the cost CFI non owned aircraft insurance will pay for itself the first time your lawyer picks up the phone.
BWI is a family-owned, nationwide insurance brokerage specializing in aviation insurance since 1977. Our dedicated Aviation Insurance Professionals are highly trained, hand-picked and experienced in helping CFI’s and flight instructors obtain non-owned insurance policies.
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