4 Things to Know About Non-Owned Aircraft Insurance
Non-owned insurance protects you in scenarios where you are operating a vehicle that you do not own and in some other circumstances, such as chartering. In the case of non-owned aircraft insurance, it can cover airplanes, helicopters and even drones. There is a lot to know about non-owned insurance, and in the steps ahead, we will cover four important points.
1. Coverage of borrowed aircraft must be explicit.
There is a big difference between aircraft you borrow and aircraft you rent, lease or otherwise pay for. You cannot assume that a non-owned aircraft insurance policy protects you when piloting a borrowed aircraft because many do not. The policy must be explicitly state such coverage. You may expect the owner’s insurance to cover any liabilities, but if that insurance company can show that you were negligent, then without proper insurance, that would result in out-of-pocket responsibilities.
2. Such insurance may be needed even when chartering.
As alluded to in the introduction, you can incur liabilities concerning non-owned aircraft even if you are not operating the craft. Consider a scenario presented by the NBAA in which the corporate jet is not available and so the company must charter an airplane to accommodate clients. An accident occurs, and the charter company’s insurance policy is not extensive enough to cover the claims. At that point, the liabilities can actually be passed on to the business that chartered the plane.
3. Non-owned aircraft insurance is needed for flying lessons.
A fact that surprises many people is that you are actually advised to have non-owned aircraft insurance as a student pilot. Even if a training school were not to require it of you, if you damage the plane even as a student and were negligent, you can be held accountable. Something else to consider is that you may need new coverage or expanded coverage when going for a new endorsement or a higher rating of a current endorsement. Even if you have insurance, it may not cover you for the new endeavor as is.
4. A policyholder will generally defend you against errant claims of negligence.
Possessing non-owned aircraft insurance does not mean an assumption of liability. You are only liable if you are negligent. A big benefit of such policies is that your insurer will defend you against claims because it benefits them as well.
These are four important points to understand about non-owned aircraft insurance, but they really are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. If you believe that you need such coverage, then it is in your best interest to hire a broker. A broker cannot only help you shop around for the best price, he or she can answer your questions and help you choose a policy appropriate to your circumstances.