Topic Author
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Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2000 5:31 am

Aircraft Rental Insurance

Fri Jun 27, 2003 5:14 am

I wasn't really sure what forum to post this in...it's aviation related but not exactly tech-ops either. Anyway, I'd like to know more about aircraft rental insurance in the U.S.

I've done all my flying so far at the place where I got my private pilot license. Now I'm looking to rent a 172 in my area. I'm a member of the AOPA and they recently put and article in AOPA Pilot magazine about insurance. What I still don't know is whether or not I should get insurance for renting a plane a few times this summer or not.

AOPA Insurance Agency offers coverage so I've been looking at that. To be insured for property damage and personal injury up to $250,000 per occurence and up to $25,000 per passenger, it would cost $125 a year. This coverage is required. An additional but optional choice is coverage for the rental airplane, $125 a year would cover $5,000 worth of damage.

I only plan on flying 3-4 times before September, and then it would be another 7 months until I flew at home again.

I think it is a good idea to have it. Like the last line in the article says, "Like a smoke detector or a life jacket, you hope you never have to use renter's insurance, but most would agree it's a lifesaver when you need it."

Hopefully some of you will have some good advice for me.

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Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2001 4:57 pm

RE: Aircraft Rental Insurance

Fri Jun 27, 2003 6:55 am

Check the deductible of the place you are renting from. If you asked me renters insurance is an overkill. Yes, the insurance company of the flight school can come after you, but the possibility of that is much lower compared to the money you will be saving.

Insurance has been really bad since Avemco pulled out of commercial GA insurance and Sept. 11. If you are going to rent it 3-4 times , it is not worth it..

This is my personal opinion though, not a legal consultation  Smile
Earthbound misfit I
Topic Author
Posts: 2476
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2000 5:31 am

RE: Aircraft Rental Insurance

Fri Jun 27, 2003 12:08 pm

Thanks Bahadir. I'm going to PNE tomorrow so I'll ask the folks at Hortman Aviation about that. I'll try to get a few different opinions on it and post it back here.

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RE: Aircraft Rental Insurance

Sat Jun 28, 2003 6:56 am

At the place where I rent, I've signed a rental agreement which says that I must pay a $3000 deductible if I'm involved in an accident. Of course, this doesn't include bodily injury and whatever else I might be sued for.
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.

RE: Aircraft Rental Insurance

Sat Jun 28, 2003 8:40 am

Rental insurance is something that you ought to consider. Of course, there are some pros and cons; but if you are flying a rented, borrowed, or flying club aircraft make sure you understand your insurance and liability status.

You need to verify that YOU, personally, are covered while you are flying the aircraft. In the event of an accident, if you are not personally covered, you may find yourself in a position where the insurance company covers the aircraft and aircraft owner (FBO) but not the pilot (you). In these cases, the insurance company will pay the owner for his covered losses according to the limits and terms of his policy and then go after the pilot (you) to recover the money that they had to pay out. This is called subrogation and it doesn't matter if you pay the insured's deductable or not - they're the ones covered, not you. Do insurance companies really go after rental pilots? You bet they do and they do it all of the time. Needless to say, this could be financially devastating. Fortunately, there are very reasonably priced “non-owner” aircraft insurance policies.

Can you get by without it? Who knows? Does it matter? Could you afford to buy the airplane that you're renting? It's really no different that driving without insurance. Just my personal opinion.

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RE: Aircraft Rental Insurance

Sun Jun 29, 2003 12:18 am

"Do insurance companies really go after rental pilots? You bet they do and they do it all of the time."

I've been wondering about this. Have you seen an article or personal experience to back it up. I wonder if there are any aircraft insurance agents here. Not doubting what you are saying but I'd like to learn more about it.

I'm starting a small flight school with my 152. Full coverage was very expensive ($4500 a year on a 30K airplane), so I went with liability only. I don't mind self insuring most of the hull but have decided to require renters (students) to have either their own insurance. For $150 for six months, a student can have his own insurance up to 10K on the hull, I'll self insure above that. This covers them for damage they cause to the aircraft that is their fault (pilot error). I can keep the rental rates lower this way and will give them the plane for the checkride for free...that should almost pay for their insurance costs.
Topic Author
Posts: 2476
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2000 5:31 am

RE: Aircraft Rental Insurance

Sun Jun 29, 2003 2:38 am

Thanks for the information guys.

I went to the airport and got checked out this morning in the 172. The rental agreement I signed had a deductible of $2,500. So in the event of damage that's my fault, I'd pay that and they're supposed to pay the rest.

I'll look into the AOPA insurance offered because it seems like a very reasonable price. I'd really like to just get it for the next few months. I wouldn't even need a year of coverage. If it works like car insurance, hopefully I'll be able to just get the coverage time I'll need.

Again, thanks for the tips.


RE: Aircraft Rental Insurance

Mon Jun 30, 2003 1:09 pm

Sorry to take so long to get back to you. This week I'm doing some contract flying with an aviation attorney/part-time FlightSafety Instructor/FAA Designated Examiner. I asked him about the frequency of subrogation claims and his opinion of non-owner insurance. His comments were along the line of he sees it all of the time and, personally, he would never fly a rental airplane without some type of personal coverage. He compared flying with out the insurance to driving a $100,000 automobile without insurance. Just because you get away with it a few times means nothing. You've got to ask yourself if you could afford to pay for any damage or the loss of the aircraft while it was in your posesion. This in addition to the legal expenses that you would incur in defending yourself. Chances are you'll never need it, but if you do it will be the best money you ever spent.

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