Member News


Protect yourself when you rent an airplane

Apr 22, 2014

More often than not, the FBO or aircraft owner does not provide adequate coverage (if any) to the renting pilot, putting the renter at huge financial risk.

AOPA Insurance Services has teamed up with SocialFlight to present a series of live educational webinars open to all pilots.

AOPA Insurance Services

More often than not, the FBO or aircraft owner does not provide adequate coverage to the renting pilot—if any—putting the renter at huge financial risk. To help cut through the confusion and protect yourself, AOPA Insurance Services President Bill Snead will provide answers to your questions about renter’s insurance in a webinar May 1 at 8 p.m. Eastern time. After all, if you don’t understand renter's insurance, how can you make sure you have the best policy for you?

The webinar will be hosted by SocialFlight, the free mobile app and web tool connecting the general aviation community to over 10,000 aviation events. SocialFlight is available for all Apple and Android devices and at www.SocialFlight.com. Details and a link to this webinar event can be found here.

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If you're not protected, it could cost you ... a lot

Apr 04, 2014

Why should you get protected? Even a minor incident in a rented or borrowed plane can cost you a lot...

Renter’s aircraft insurance provides coverage to pilots who rent or borrow airplanes, protecting them from the enormous cost should an incident occur. Members have wondered why it’s important to get protected. Should you have even a minor incident in your rented or borrowed airplane, you could be financially obligated to repair the damages—unless you have the right coverage. Consider what the replacement costs are of some commonly damaged aircraft parts. A nosegear wheel could run $674, and a wingtip can cost up to $1,221. In comparison, you could purchase an AOPA Renter’s Insurance policy costing as little as $175 a year if you are an AOPA member. A renter’s policy including aircraft physical coverage can provide peace of mind as you enjoy your pilot lifestyle.

AOPA Insurance Services is celebrating 20 years of serving the aviation insurance needs of our customers. Visit us at online or call 800/622-2672 for information on how AOPA can get you the best coverage at the best price.

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Flying club insurance

Mar 31, 2014

When it comes to flying club insurance, each member should be an “insured” under the policy and be provided cross-liability protection, among other things.

Spring is here, and now is the time to set up that flying club and start flying more. Get your friends together, decide on an airplane, and get the ball rolling. AOPA has everything you need to get started, including help with club organization, aircraft financing, and insurance.

Let’s take a quick look at the basics of flying club insurance. Most clubs have from three to 25 active pilots per airplane, the aircraft are generally equity owned, and they set up under a holding company. LLCs are the most common legal entities and, in addition to the legal and tax advantages, registering an aircraft under an LLC also means the club will not have to re-register every time the club membership changes. Diving the equity and the status of the members as active, inactive, social, or family members will vary from club to club. (The new AOPA Insurance Club Policy does not charge for inactive members, and encourages social and family memberships.) What is important is that each member be an “insured” under the policy, that they be provided cross-liability protection, and that there are no family member liability coverage limitations or exclusions. The next question is how much liability insurance the club should carry. I recommend that the club have sufficient insurance to meet the requirements of that club member that needs the greatest protection. Clubs often find that such coverage limits are not easily available, especially when the club includes lower time pilots. However, working with a large U.S. aviation insurance company, AOPA has recently developed an innovative means to increase the protection of those individual club members needing higher liability coverage limits. Also the new club policy includes very broad territorial limits (United States, Canada, Mexico, Bahamas, Central America, and Islands of the West Indies); coverage is now available for some multi-engine aircraft, and for the first time, “for profit” clubs can obtain this same broad protection.

Flying club insurance rates are influenced by many factors, but the most important include the make and model of aircraft, the insurance coverage limits needed (including aircraft value and liability limits), the number of members per aircraft, the ratings, experience and claim-experience of members, aircraft location (hangared or tied down), and what additional expanded coverage is needed (clubhouse or hangar protection, aviation event and contest coverage, extra equipment and tools, etc.). Clubs operating retractable-gear or high-performance aircraft, or needing significant expanded coverage (such as insurance protection for a club-owned private airfield), should expect to pay higher insurance premiums.

The most commonly requested club quote is for three to four pilots, with a Cessna 152, Cessna 172, or Piper PA-28. For example, consider a Cessna 172, $50,000 hull value, hangared, three pilots with the lowest time pilot a 100 hour private pilot. Based on liability limits of $1,000,000 each occurrence / $100,000 per passenger and full ground and flight hull insurance, this new club would pay about $818 the first year or about $23 per member per month. If the club adds a fourth partner, the rate drops to $21 a month.

Remember, your insurance broker is your partner. He will try to answer any questions you might have, and needs you to respond completely and honestly to any questions he might have for you. More information is available online, or by calling AOPA Insurance Services at 800/622-AOPA (2672).

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What is emergency travel assistance?

Mar 25, 2014

Emergency travel assistance is an important stop-gap between what your medical plan covers and emergency medical expenses most health insurance plans never pay.

AOPA Emergency Assistance Plus (EA+) is a plan that protects you and your family if you get sick or hurt while traveling in the United States or abroad. It’s an important stop-gap between emergency medical expenses that medical plan covers and those that  most health insurance plans never pay.

In the case of a medical emergency while traveling, EA+ medical coordinators monitor your situation and determine if you need to be relocated. If so, EA+ pays for emergency medical evacuation (by air or ground) to get you to an adequate facility, if medically necessary, so that you can get the care you need or home once you are stable for travel after your medical emergency. EA+ medical specialists monitor your treatment; even your loved ones will stay informed with a 24-hour toll-free emergency relay service.

EA+ has two different levels of protection: member only and member plus family. Both options protect you anywhere in the world.

There are more benefits to this affordable program; visit the EA+ website or call 877/432-2672 today.

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AOPA Insurance Services: Making aviation insurance convenient, fast

Mar 13, 2014

AOPA Insurance has launched an online renewal process for clients that simplifies the renewal process, requiring no paperwork and no postage stamp.

AOPA Insurance Services

AOPA Insurance Services announces a new online renewal process guaranteed to make the renewal of aircraft insurance faster, easier, and more efficient. AOPA Insurance has launched an online renewal process for clients that simplifies the renewal process, requiring no paperwork and no postage stamp.

Clients whose policies fit the online renewal criteria will receive an email notification approximately 90 days prior to their insurance renewal date. One click takes clients to a customized renewal form that has all their current information pre-filled. It’s simple; clients will review, verify, and update the information and submit the renewal information online.

AOPA Insurance Services is dedicated to making aviation insurance convenient and fast. Other recent improvements include online policy service request options such as address changes, lienholder and additional insured changes, and certificate of insurance requests.

Not already a customer? AOPA Insurance Services would like the opportunity to serve your aviation insurance needs. We serve more pilots than any other aircraft insurance agency and would be pleased to count you among them. Call 800/622-2672(AOPA) or go online for your free quote; with access to A-rated companies, we can provide you with the best policy for the best price based on your specific needs.

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A crash course in protecting your airplane

Mar 12, 2014

AOPA Insurance Services has teamed up with SocialFlight to present a series of live educational webinars open to all pilots.

AOPA Insurance Services has teamed up with SocialFlight to present a series of live educational webinars open to all pilots.

It has been said that the only thing harder than choosing the right aircraft insurance is understanding aircraft insurance at all. Between exclusions, deductibles, limits, and underwriters, there is a veritable jungle of jargon. To help you cut through the confusion and protect yourself, AOPA Insurance Services President Bill Snead will provide answers to everything you never wanted to ask about aircraft insurance, but need to know, in "Aircraft Insurance 101" March 20 at 8 p.m. Eastern time.

The webinar will be hosted by SocialFlight, the free mobile app and Web tool connecting the general aviation community to more than 10,000 aviation events. SocialFlight is available for all Apple and Android devices and at www.SocialFlight.com. Details and a link to this webinar event are also available online.

 

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FYI from AOPA Insurance Services

Mar 11, 2014

AOPA Insurance Services extends its coverage beyond aviation aircraft and renter’s insurance in order to provide pilots like you with the most complete protection possible.

AOPA Insurance Services extends its coverage beyond aviation aircraft and renter’s insurance in order to provide pilots like you with the most complete protection possible.

The following are additional types of coverage worth considering when it’s time to insure:

AOPA Term Life Insurance: Be 100-percent sure your family is protected with coverage designed specifically for active pilots and their families. It’s one of the few policies with no aviation exclusions limiting your coverage. AOPA also offers 10- and 20-Year Group Level Term Life which provides long-term financial security for your loved ones by locking in budget-friendly rates on coverage that can deliver up to $1 million in benefits for periods of 10 or 20 years. AOPA 50 Plus Term Life gives extra protection for your golden years with up to $50,000 in benefits. There’s no medical exam required, and because it’s designed specifically for active pilots over 50, there are no aviation exclusions limiting your coverage.

AOPA Accidental Death & Dismemberment Protection provides 24/7 guaranteed protection on your personal flying activities that pays up to $300,000 in added benefits—all at low group rates.

Emergency Assistance Plus gives you access to more than 20 emergency and medical services, and you may receive assistance paying for things your health insurance or travel insurance typically won’t cover. And if you are an aircraft owner you can add the aircraft return service benefit which will return your aircraft to your home airport should you be unable to do so due to a medical emergency.

Just as AOPA is, AOPA Insurance Services is an advocate for its members. We support pilots with the very best in aviation and life insurance coverage, risk education and claims advocacy.

A full-service aviation insurance brokerage, we protect all types of pilots and their families at all stages of life. We’re experts at handling insurance for the entire general aviation community, including personal aircraft, flight schools, flying clubs, airports, FBOs, maintenance providers, and other general aviation groups.

AOPA Insurance Services is celebrating 20 years of serving the aviation insurance needs of our customers. Visit us at www.aopainsurance.org or call 800/622-2672 for loads of information on how AOPA can get you the best deal on aviation and life insurance.

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Tips for buying an aircraft and insurance

Mar 03, 2014

Whether you are buying your first aircraft or your tenth, you are probably excited and a bit nervous.

Whether you are buying your first aircraft or your tenth, you are probably excited and a bit nervous. It’s best to follow a checklist, and AOPA has an excellent free resource
 
One of your first questions when buying an aircraft should be, “Do I qualify for insurance in that airplane?”

Most of the time, but not always, the answer will be yes. Although a new private pilot might be able to obtain insurance on a Beech 35 or Cessna 210, that insurance will come at a steep price and be subject to coverage limitations and quite a few training requirements. All insurance companies prefer, and many require, that the pilot be instrument rated before they will even “indicate” a rate for a new or low-time pilot on complex aircraft. That same pilot might find an “under 200 horsepower fixed-gear aircraft” much more palatable as a first airplane, and decide to hold off on the retractable-gear airplane for a year or so. Your insurance broker is a great resource for such matters, and can help guide you toward a cost-effective decision.

If you are buying the aircraft with a partner, or perhaps forming a club, the insurance discussion and quotations will be more complex. Your rates will be determined by the lesser experienced partners, and there will likely be additional charges for partnerships and clubs with more than three members. However, the insurance markets have proven to be very accommodating over the last few years, and it is likely you will find good coverage that meets the needs of the group.

The liability risk to you as the aircraft buyer is quite low during the demo ride; however, there is significant confusion in the aircraft sales brokerage community regarding insurance, with frequent policy lapses and violations. The current aircraft owner maintains pleasure and business use coverage on the aircraft while it is for sale, and for the sales broker carries nonowner insurance and worker’s compensation to protect himself and his pilots.

When you decide to buy that airplane, call your insurance broker right away. The broker will discuss your insurance options, including training requirements, have coverage bound, and send you a confirmation. Many brokers can now provide a digital copy of the binder, the application, and the actual policy for ease of storage and retrieval. Keep a copy of the sales agreement and the bill of sale for your records; ask your broker if your CFI and/or mechanic meet the pilot requirements of the policy; and be absolutely certain to comply with all the requirements of the insurance binder and policy.

Visit www.aopainsurance.org or call 800/622-2672 for information on how AOPA can get you the best deal for your insurance needs.

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When it comes to family, safer is better

Feb 21, 2014

No matter how safe you are when you fly, how courteous a driver you are on the road, or how careful you are at home, there are many things beyond your control.

AOPA is pleased to announce an expansion of the AOPA Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance Protection Plan. To help you provide a safety net for your family, coverage is now available for spouses and children. As an AOPA member, you can elect to cover a spouse and children as an extension of your AD&D coverage.

Winter weather is upon us and the risk for accidents is on the rise. No matter how safe you are when you fly, how courteous a driver you are on the road, or how careful you are at home, there are many things beyond your control. While you can’t control when and if an accident occurs, you can help manage the impact it has on you and your family with the AOPA AD&D Protection Plan. If a covered accident takes your life or leaves you seriously injured, you can make sure your family will have help paying the bills and continuing their lifestyle.

With AOPA AD&D Protection Plan, you’re protected anywhere, 24/7, which means any family members covered by your insurance are also protected anywhere, 24/7. You pay the same rate no matter your age or level of flying experience, and this new enhanced program also covers all common accidents in addition to flying-related activities for the same affordable rate. For more information or to enroll in this plan, visit aopainsurance.org/add or call us at 877/432-2672.

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If you're not protected, it could cost you a lot

Feb 14, 2014

Should you have even a minor incident in your rented or borrowed airplane, you could be financially obligated to repair the damages.

Renter’s aircraft insurance provides coverage to pilots who rent or borrow airplanes, protecting them from the enormous cost should an incident occur. Members have wondered why it’s important to get protected. Should you have even a minor incident in your rented or borrowed airplane, you could be financially obligated to repair the damages—unless you have the right coverage. Consider what the replacement costs are of some commonly damaged aircraft parts: A nosewheel could run $674 and a wingtip can cost up to $1,221. In comparison, you could purchase an AOPA renter’s insurance policy costing as little as $175 a year for a policy that includes physical damage coverage, if you are an AOPA member. A renter’s policy including aircraft physical damage coverage can provide peace of mind as you enjoy your pilot lifestyle. Or for policies without the physical damage coverage, you could purchase an AOPA renter’s insurance policy costing as little as $81 a year.

AOPA Insurance Services is celebrating 20 years of serving the aviation insurance needs of our customers. Visit us at aopainsurance.org/rent or call 800/622-2672 for information on how AOPA can get you the best coverage at the best price.

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Why plan for the worst-case scenario...

Feb 06, 2014

When we’re away from home, we don’t often think about the logistics of an emergency – especially when we are in the midst of one.

When we’re away from home, we don’t often think about the logistics of an emergency—especially when we are in the midst of one. Being in an unfamiliar place during a crisis can compound the stress of the situation.

  • Where will I be treated?
  • Is this the best treatment for me?
  • How will my family members get home?
  • How will I get my vehicle home?

We’ve heard many personal stories from AOPA members about getting hurt or sick away from home; wishing they could get the best, most specialized treatment possible; and wanting to be closer to home and family. They have also shared that they have been forced, in the panic and confusion of an emergency, to pay thousands of dollars to fly home, and thousands more to get their traveling companions and vehicle back home.

We are more at risk while we’re traveling, so we’re more likely to need help when we get hurt or sick in a place we don’t know. That’s why AOPA has developed MedFlight Freedom especially for AOPA members and their families. So much is out of our control in an emergency that we don’t often even realize we have options. But we do.

One call to MedFlight Freedom removes the logistical burdens of a medical emergency so you can focus on treatment and recovery. MedFlight Freedom steps in to initiate and coordinate more than 20 emergency and medical services, including these:

  • Medical evacuation (by air and/or ground) to your choice of hospital so you and your family can get the care you need at the hospital you want ;
  • Medical specialist monitoring: A professional MedFlight Freedom Assistance Coordinator is assigned to monitor your condition while you’re hospitalized and provide ongoing updates to your family;
  • One round-trip economy class ticket paid to send a person of your choice to your bedside if you are traveling alone and expected to be hospitalized for three or more days;
  • Travel assistance for companions (including pets);
  • Vehicle return arranged and paid if you and your traveling companion cannot drive your vehicle back to your place of residence due to your medical emergency;
  • Lost luggage or item assistance to track down lost luggage, personal items, and documents.

AOPA members also have the freedom to choose a domestic or international plan and travel confidently in what MedFlight offers, in the United States or abroad. Annual rates for a MedFlight Freedom plan are very affordable at $169 (domestic: including the United States, Canada, and Mexico) and $229 (international). Both options protect your spouse and dependent children. For more information or to enroll in this valuable benefit, visit  us online or call 855/520-3592.

This is only an overview of the plan’s features. When you enroll, please read your Member Benefit Guide carefully to understand the details of all the services available to you, as well as any terms, conditions, and limitations.

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AOPA Insurance announces new online self-service features

Jan 31, 2014

AOPA Insurance Services has expanded online capabilites of its website to include policy service requests for its customers.

AOPA Insurance Services

AOPA Insurance Services has expanded the online capabilities of its website to include policy service requests for customers. This allows our customers to request changes to their policies any time, 24/7, 365 days a year.

• Change of address for all policies
• Certificate of insurance or binder requests for all policies
• Lienholder change for owner’s insurance policies
• Additional insured change for owner’s insurance policies
• Sold aircraft notification for owner’s insurance policies
• Employer additional insured change for renter’s policies
• Add Civil Air Patrol coverage for renter’s policies

AOPA aviation insureds can simply visit aopainsurance.org/service to request these items. It’s that simple. As always, we are available to answer your questions. Simply call 800/622-2672 or visit our website. Not a current customer? Call today to get your free quote; it’s easy.

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The short, successful aviation career of John Kartychak

Jan 25, 2014

What may seem odd to some is that John Kartychack didn’t desire to be a pilot – he just wanted to solo.

One item on John Kartychak’s bucket list was to solo an airplane. What may seem odd to some is that Kartychak didn’t desire to be a pilot—he just wanted to solo. As a longtime member of AOPA because of his attraction to airplanes, Kartychak turned to AOPA Insurance when it was time for his solo. He said, “I’ll be 70 years old next month so this was a big deal for me.” John Kartychak

He went through a ground school course and then was ready to move on. He took lessons at Pacific State Aviation at Buchanan Field Airport in Concord, Calif. At first, his plan was to solo in a light sport aircraft—he thought that would be easier—but the flight school only had one light sport airplane available for instruction and so suggested that he just go for the Cessna 172 with the promise that he could always switch back to the LSA.

“I wasn’t looking to become a pilot,” he said. “I wasn’t going to have an aviation career at my age; I simply wanted to do the solo.”

A few months later, he still raves about his instructor, Moshen Gholampour. It seems to be one of those ideal student/instructor relationships that occur; they became a great team. “He was so patient with me since at my age, I forget a lot,” Kartychak said. “We got along great.”

On the day of his solo, in front of his wife and family, he completed four takeoffs and landings. He called the day “the happiest time of my life—I’ll never forget it.” He had high praise for his flight school as well as the airport community, saying, “Everyone at the airport was so polite and wonderful. I learned a lot even thought it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.”

His last flight was from his home airport to Half Moon Bay on the Pacific coast, accompanied by his flight instructor, to have a fish and chips lunch and then home again. “I’ve stayed in touch with my instructor,” Kartychak said. “I am going to take him sailing.”

Now that he’s soloed an airplane, what’s next on the bucket list? Kartychak said, “Now my wife and I want to do some road trips.”

No matter what your aviation insurance needs are—renter, owner, or CFI—put AOPA Insurance Services to work for you. For more information or a quick quote on aircraft insurance, talk to AOPA Insurance. For more information or to apply for a policy, visit aopainsurance.org.

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Liability vs. Life

Jan 17, 2014

Everyone is familiar with the terms liability insurance and life insurance, but just how do those terms apply when there is a loss?

Everyone is familiar with the terms liability insurance and life insurance, but just how do those terms apply when there is a loss?

You and your bank president passenger are day VFR over the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia when your engine swallows a valve. You respond with the well-practiced skill of a professional aviator and put your airplane down in a hay field with nary a scratch. Great. Under such circumstance neither bodily injury liability nor life insurance should come into play, but what if it had been dark, or if you had been 50 miles farther west? If so, you might well have been dealing with issues of liability and life insurance.

If, as the aircraft owner, you carried liability insurance of $1 million each occurrence with a $200,000 per passenger sublimit, and your bank president passenger was injured or killed, your insurance company could either defend you, try to settle the claim of the injured passenger up to $200,000, or do a combination of both. This protection is premised on the idea that the pilot was legally liable for the injury, and that the insurance company was responding to that claim. Are you sure you checked that oil? Had there been “issues” with that valve before? Remember, it could be up to the courts to determine if there was negligence.

So what if you are injured or killed? If your policy provides “Medical Payments - including crew,” you might receive a small payment (usually $5,000), but unless you carry life insurance or accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) that does not have a general aviation aircraft, pilot, or crew exclusion, you would likely receive nothing. Some life insurance companies allow you to buy-out this exclusion; others will not. Be sure to check your policy. Your AOPA life insurance program has no aviation exclusions, and coverage is available for up to $1 million. AOPA members can also add up to $300,000 of AD&D insurance regardless of pilot experience, and can add dependent family coverage for your spouse or unmarried children under age 25. If you are currently enrolled in the AOPA AD&D Plan and would like to change your plan, increase your benefit amount, or have questions, call AOPA Insurance Services at 1-877/432-AOPA [2672].

Visit www.aopainsurance.org or call 800.622.2672 for loads of information on how AOPA can get you the best deal for your insurance needs.

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The new year has arrived, resolve to review your insurance

Jan 03, 2014

This is the time of year for reflecting, organizing, and preparing for the year to come.

This is the time of year for reflecting, organizing, and preparing for the year to come. Often, we forget that much has changed in our lives that would lead us to update our insurance. Perhaps you moved, married, or added to your family. Maybe this year you have a resolution to fly more! A lot can happen in a year, and your insurance coverage needs may have changed. You may even find that it’s time to shop around for better rates and better coverage. As a pilot, AOPA should be the natural first stop for you. Did you know that some life insurance policies do not cover you when you are flying? AOPA specializes in insurance for pilots and offers great rates on everything from term life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment insurance, to aircraft insurance and more. Visit our website www.aopainsurance.org. We are ready to serve you!

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