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NOAA predicts 'active' hurricane seasonNOAA predicts 'active' hurricane season

NOAA predicts 'active' hurricane season
Pilots urged to make sure aircraft protected

Aircraft relocation checklist

Check out these helpful tips from Greg Sterling, general manager of the AOPA Insurance Agency, to make relocating your aircraft out of the path of a hurricane run as smoothly as possible.

Choose evacuation airports that:

  • Are comfortably within the range of your aircraft;
  • Are out of the hurricane watch or warning area;
  • Have scheduled airline service or rental car availability to get you and/or your evacuation pilot back home;
  • Have temporary hangar or tiedown space available.

If you plan to have an evacuation pilot fly your aircraft:

  • Check your policy's "Open Pilot Warranty." It will state the required minimum qualifications for your pilot. For many common single-engine aircraft, it is simply "private pilot or better;"
  • When looking for pilots in your area, check flight schools and aviation colleges, as well as local airports.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced May 22 that it anticipates an active hurricane season this year of up to 10 hurricanes, with four to six of those reaching at least Category 3 strength. Hurricane season starts June 1.

"AOPA encourages all aircraft owners living in hurricane-prone areas to develop a plan now to relocate their aircraft outside a hurricane's predicted path," said Woody Cahall, AOPA vice president of aviation services. "Owners also should check their aircraft insurance policy to see if it includes hurricane protection coverage."

Need some ideas for your aircraft relocation plan? Check out AOPA's Hurricane Subject Report, which includes articles from AOPA Pilot and AOPA Flight Training.

Questions about hurricane insurance coverage?

Read your policy to see if it covers any of the costs of relocating your aircraft. Some carriers cover the costs of hiring an evacuation pilot and relocating and storing an aircraft.

Earlier this year aviation insurer Global Aerospace announced that it would reimburse policyholders up to $500 for the cost of relocating their aircraft outside of a hurricane watch or warning area. AIG Aviation also offers similar coverage for relocation.

Does your policy impose a higher deductible for losses incurred while under a hurricane warning or watch? (This will be on an endorsement page near the back of the policy. Look carefully and call your agent with questions.)

If your policy does not have hurricane relocation coverage or imposes a higher deductible, contact the AOPA Insurance Agency (800/622-2672) for a quote on a better policy. In most cases, AOPAIA finds that policies with better coverage cost no more than those without. And remember to keep your receipts for reimbursement under your policy's hurricane relocation coverage.

May 24, 2006

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