By: Victoria Neuville
While I had a small background in homeowners’ insurance, transferring to the world of aviation insurance required a lot of learning on my part. Most of this learning was gained through experience, it’s not something you can read in books, it’s learned through years on the job and seeing it firsthand. One area was who an insurance company would and would not approve to fly an aircraft. Just because the FAA says I’m legal to fly it, it doesn’t mean the insurance carrier will cover you for it. With the tightening insurance industry, this problem is becoming more and more prevalent.
When I was signed off for my complex aircraft rating, I figured I could hop in any single engine piston aircraft with retractable gear and be on my merry way. According to the FAA, yes, that’s perfectly fine. But with the insurance company, it’s a different story. Think about it this way, you have your airplane, it’s your baby, you would never let anything happen to it. Would you let a newly complex endorsed pilot with 10 hours in a Cessna Cutlass fly your Bonanza? Or would you choose the pilot with considerable retract time in his or her logbook which included some experience in that make and model? My bet would be on the latter, and that is exactly the way the insurance carrier is thinking, too.
Now, just because you don’t have much experience does not mean you cannot be approved on your own or another individual’s policy. The policy would simply be underwritten at a higher rate due to your lower experience. Often, there is a minimum requirement for training and a checkout from a CFI required before you would be allowed to solo. As you gain experience, the premiums should become more reasonable over time.
By having an insurance broker, like Aviation Insurance Resources (AIR), that shops all the markets for your aviation risk you can be sure that you are getting the best rates and the broadest coverage during your transition to a complex aircraft. To receive an aircraft insurance quote for your transition call 301-682-6200 or request a quote online today!