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Who Can Fly My Plane?

A common theme of aircraft insurance coverage denials stems from having an unapproved pilot at the controls. 

As an owner of an aircraft, it’s important you identify the pilots who regularly fly your aircraft and name them on your insurance policy to help avoid these types of issues should there be a claim.  The last thing any aircraft owner wants to hear is that a claim is not covered.  AssuredPartners Aerospace, AOPA’s strategic partner for aviation insurance, recommends that all owners and those who have regular access to fly the aircraft be identified and listed on the insurance policy as named pilots.

While a pilot may be flying appropriately based on the FAA requirements, the insurance policy requirements may be different from, and often exceed, FAA standards.  Such things as total time, time in type, recency of experience, recurrent training and related items are usually spelled out very specifically in the policy. Prior to flight, the owner of the aircraft needs to verify the pilot meets all the policy requirements.

Some aircraft insurance policies are ‘Named Pilots Only’. This means that if the pilot is not specifically named on the policy there is no coverage.  Other policies have an ‘Open Plot Warranty’ (OPW) which is a clause that allows pilots with certain minimum qualifications to fly the aircraft on an occasional basis without being specifically endorsed on the policy as a Named Pilot. The OPW provides some operational flexibility in case an aircraft owner needs the aircraft relocated or otherwise flown whenever they are unable to do so themselves.

The OPW is not meant to cover pilots who have regular access to fly the aircraft, instead it is to be used for those ‘ad-hoc’ occasions when you need a pilot to fly your aircraft.  The OPW also isn’t a place to ‘hide’ a pilot with less experience or advanced age. It is best to be transparent with your insurance broker as to who is flying the aircraft to ensure your insurance policy provides you with the proper protection.

If you have questions about Open Pilot Warranties or your policy, AssuredPartners Aerospace, AOPA’s partner for Aircraft Insurance can help guide you through the insurance process.  Call (800) 622-2672 today to speak with one of our experts or visit today to learn more. We look forward to serving all your aviation insurance needs.

Topics: Insurance, Ownership, Corporate Partner

AssuredPartners Aerospace

As AOPA’s strategic partner for aviation insurance, AssuredPartners Aerospace, one of the nation’s largest aviation insurance firms, provides the absolute best insurance protection to fit your needs. Whether you’re flying your own airplane, renting, instructing, or running an aviation business, we have an unmatched depth of knowledge and resources driven by the desire to set a new standard for service and responsiveness. With more than 25 years’ experience serving pilots’ aviation insurance needs, our expertise has been developed over years of working closely with the nation’s best insurance carriers. We understand the exposures that make aviation insurance unique.