It has been one of the most popular hangar topics the past few months; if you or your friends have had an aviation insurance policy renewed this year, you’ve probably noticed an increase. The higher rates are becoming the new normal and along with it, stricter pilot guidelines and training requirements. Many aircraft owners, despite being claim free and flying regularly, are seeing a rate increase of 5-10% or more. Where did this all come from and how do you ensure you have the lowest rate on your light sport aircraft (LSA) going forward?
For the last decade, insurance premiums have been at an all-time low due to carrier competition. Aviation underwriters were all competing for the same group of business and the way to win the account was to provide the lowest rate. With these lower rates, however, the aviation industry didn’t experience any fewer losses, especially with the countless natural disasters experienced recently. As with any business, the rates had to increase in accordance with the outgoing costs.
One route to reducing the amount of aviation accidents and claims is thorough and regular training. While training on an LSA is less rigorous than the annual training required for larger aircraft, it’s important to receive in depth initial training in that aircraft and have a check up on the pilot’s skills beyond the required flight review. Lighter aircraft can be easier to break from something as simple as a hard landing. To mitigate the aviation insurance risk, many underwriters are now requiring stricter initial training if a pilot is new to the aircraft and are expecting to see a certified flight instructor (CFI) experienced in that specific make and model providing the dual instruction.
If you are purchasing a new-to-you LSA, it’s important to come to your aviation insurance broker prepared. Have your CFI picked out ahead of time and their pilot history readily available. This will provide some peace of mind to the underwriter as they’ll already know the experience of the CFI providing the dual instruction that they will ultimately require.
Whether a new purchase or renewing your current LSA aviation insurance policy, it’s important to find a knowledgeable broker with access to all the major aviation insurance markets. As mentioned earlier, competition was the key to the lower rates of the past and still play a major role in keeping your aircraft insurance increase minimal. Aviation Insurance Resources (AIR) is an aviation insurance broker where every agent is a licensed pilot. Their piloting experience combined with being appointed with every major aviation insurance carrier provides their customers with comfort knowing they are purchasing the broadest package of coverage at the best available rate.
To learn more about the changing aviation industry and to see how your rates are being affected, call AIR at 301-682-6200 or submit a quote request online today at www.air-pros.com!