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Membership: Students And Renters

Check your insurance coverage before you fly

When you’re a student or renter, you jump into the left seat expecting that you and the aircraft you’re in are covered by insurance in the event of damage or an accident. Are you sure about that? Here are some important items you want to go over with your flight school or FBO the next time you fly:

1. Ask to see your FBO’s certificate of insurance. It should show what the FBO is covered for, including the following:

  • All aircraft the FBO offers for rental are insured
  • Aircraft liability limit
  • Aircraft hull coverage and deductibles
  • Student and renter liability (if they provide, optional coverage)

2. Review your rental agreement to understand your obligations to pay for any damage.

3. Review your nonowned aircraft insurance policy to understand what it does and doesn’t cover regarding your rental agreement obligations.

It is important to know that student and renter liability offered by your FBO does not cover you the way personal non-owned aircraft insurance will. The FBO’s coverage has a limit and it will apply the coverage to its liability first and, if there is any left, it may extend to you. In other words, the owner of the aircraft could expect you to cover the balance. 

Don’t be afraid to ask your FBO to see its certificates. You don’t need the full policy, just a certificate issued to you personally or a general “To Whom It May Concern” certificate with the basic details. Either is fine and easy for the FBO to get. 

Protect yourself as a student or renter. The specialists at AOPA Insurance Services can walk you through what you need to protect yourself as a student or renter and find the policy that works best for you. They’ll help you review your FBO’s coverage, rental agreement, and personal insurance policy so you understand how they work together and what level of protection you have while flying a rented aircraft. Visit the website or call 800-622-AOPA (2672).

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