It is a position that no pilot or aircraft owner wants to find themselves in, but if you spend enough time in the sky then it is likely that an aviation insurance claim is in your future. Now, to be clear, that doesn’t mean that a crash is inevitable. Far from it. Rather, it is that a claim of some size regarding some form of damage on the ground, while in the hangar, or in the sky is entirely possible. Murphy’s Law is alive and well in the skies of America so good coverage is your only recourse. If you’ve never been through this process before, we’re going to give a broad overview of what to expect.
General Aviation Insurance by Any Other Name is Still Insurance
The first thing to realize is that an aviation insurance claim will follow many of the same templates as any other insurance claim. This is because all insurance works relatively on the same principles. You pay a premium for the peace of mind that in the event of an accident or incident, you have insurance coverage that will step in and make you whole again.
So the first step is for your insurance adjuster to determine if they even have to pay in the first place. This requires you to file a report and supplement that report with litany of paperwork that will verify their liability. This could include aircraft and engine logbooks, logged flight hours, or confirmation of regular inspections and maintenance. Once they are satisfied that the damage is covered and they are liable, the really good insurance companies then leap headlong into the effort to take care of you.
Getting Your Aviation Insurance Claim to Work
Now that the aviation insurance provider knows they have to pay, they’ll typically ask you to get estimates to repair the damage. It will often take more than one estimate to satisfy the adjustor and ultimately, you will need to be the one to authorize the work on your aircraft. However, the adjustor will let you know, when you are cleared to move forward. It is important to note that if the repair requires you to disassemble your engine and it is discovered that there are parts that need replacement due to normal wear or tear, you as the owner will be responsible for those parts. Once the insurance companies know there are parts that are no longer airworthy, they are not going to want to continue coverage unless you get those parts replaced.
The other thing to consider is that limited life components such as propellers may require an adjustment to what they will replace at full cost. For instance, a propeller has a manufacturer’s recommended time limit before replacement. If it is a $2,000 propeller and it is halfway through its lifespan, you can only expect around $1,000 for reimbursement. You may very well take the opportunity while your aircraft is down to do some elective repairs and upgrades. Logically, the insurance company would not cover these elective issues as part of the claim.
Let the Team at BWI Aviation Insurance Give You a Hand
At the end of the day, a good insurance company will take care of their pilots and aircraft owners because they know just how small the aviation community can be. Pilots talk to other pilots and with only a dozen or so providers offering aviation insurance in the United States, they can’t risk getting a bad reputation. You will need a good broker to help navigate you to the best insurance for your specific aircraft and pilot needs.
We are a family-owned and veteran operated business and we treat each client and transaction like your family name is on the line. So if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us here at BWI or request a quick quote to get you started. Hopefully you don’t have an aviation insurance claim in your immediate future, but if you do, we’ll make sure you are treated right. Stay safe out there and enjoy the beautiful skies above.
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