A little trick of the trade is that when requesting quotes, never rely solely on the application to present your information. A follow-up phone call with the insurance broker is the best method for getting the best coverage. Particularly if you’re a new pilot, insuring a new type of airplane, or plan on flying to new places.
To be sure the insurer is a good match for you, you’ll want to discuss several items.
- Who are the pilots who will be flying the aircraft, even if they’re not going to start flying until later into the policy year? This is important so you don’t choose an insurer that won’t cover the additional pilot downstream (such as a student or transitional pilot).
- Is your use of the aircraft potentially going to change beyond your own personal use? Rental or instruction? Aerial photo work?
- Are you planning a trip to Argentina or Greenland this year? Make sure you mention these details so you avoid insurance surprises later.
- Will you be refinancing this year? Lienholder coverage can vary slightly between carriers, so learn the potential impact on you.
- Are you adding an aircraft or replacing your current one with something different?
Once you have covered those questions, here are some more tips for being a savvy shopper.
- When requesting your hull coverage, be sure you consider the amount of your lien, if applicable. Sometimes this is the key factor in your hull value decision.
- While liability limits are typically left up to the discretion of the aircraft owner, if you have a hangar lease or other contractual requirement, you need to consider those in addition to your own personal needs.
- If you’ll ever rent your aircraft, another contract to review is the rental agreement. Understand what you’ve agreed to with the FBO and how your insurance policy may or may not protect you.
Visit the AOPA Insurance Services website for more information.
Brenda J. Jennings is an aviation insurance professional with more than 35 years of experience.