Do I need insurance?
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Joined 02/04/2019 - 13 Posts
Answered By AOPA
Do I need insurance?
1 Replies
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Joined 01/30/2020 - 8 Posts
AOPA Staff Answer
Probably yes: once a student has soloed, flying as PIC will have ‘some’ level of risk exposure. An FBO’s insurance covers the aircraft and the FBO, but not necessarily the renter pilot. Read your rental contract to determine the deductible damage amount that you might be responsible for (typically, $5,000 as a maximum). Also, unlike automotive or homeowners policies that the student/pilot may be familiar with that have a lot of ‘no-fault’ coverage these days, aviation coverage is different because of the ‘rental’--- the pilot-in-command could be responsible to fully pay back the insurance company if the insurance company pays-out any amount of liability claim. (i.e. the pilot that causes the damage is ultimately responsible for the damage in the end.) Thus, renter’s/non-owner’s insurance is indeed desirable.

Aircraft owner’s insurance is typical, as, most mid-sized airports do require liability coverage from tenants based at their airports. Owners certainly also want to protect their investments; rates do depend upon pilot experience and aircraft value covered. A sample rate for a private pilot with a $40,000 fixed-gear aircraft & $1million liability coverage might be $1600- year. Also, as the insurance policy ‘owner’, no pay-back to the insurance company (subrogation) is a factor unlike the rental situation above.