Private Aircraft Insurance is an important investment and a legal requirement if you’re flying an aircraft. However, a private plane is one of the most expensive machines to insure, second only to space shuttles and certain long-distance satellites. Premiums are a function of many different factors, including the insured’s flying experience, flight record, model and use of the aircraft. It’s important to get quotes from multiple companies and aviation insurance professionals to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money.
The type of aircraft insurance you’ll need varies by state and country, with some policies requiring you to have specific levels of public liability coverage in order to comply with local regulations. Some policies also include ground risk hull insurance, which protects the aircraft from incidents that occur while it’s on the ground and not moving. Other optional coverages may include passenger liability coverage, which covers the cost of injured passengers, and a combined single limit (CSI) policy that combines public and passenger liability into one comprehensive claim limit.
A good way to lower your aircraft insurance rates is by having a clean flight record. Insurance companies view experienced pilots as less of a risk and will typically offer a more competitive rate on aircraft insurance. It’s worth it to invest in additional pilot training, too, as the more skills and certifications you have, the better your rates will be.
Other ways to lower your aircraft insurance rates may include storing your plane in a hangar, which helps with rates because the plane is less likely to be damaged or stolen. You can also install security devices on your airplane to deter thieves and vandals, which will further reduce your aircraft insurance rates. Additionally, requesting that charter companies list you as an additional insured on their liability policies can help with rates because it limits the amount of reimbursements the charter company will seek from responsible parties like aircraft owners after a payout.
Finally, if you’re planning on leasing your aircraft out for flight time, consider buying non-owned aircraft insurance. This policy will cover the aircraft in case of damage or loss, but is usually only offered for a set period of time and for flights under a certain number of hours.
It’s also important to be honest with the insurer about your aircraft. It’s tempting to inflate the value of your aircraft to save on premiums, but this can backfire if you suffer substantial damage that the insurer can’t pay for. Be sure to work with an aviation insurance agent who understands the industry and can assess your individual needs and recommend the right plan for you.