What Kind of Insurance Do I Need
I'm pre-solo student pilot, and in my flight school's rental agreement, the following language appears:

As a Renter of an aircraft, the Operator hereby provides notice that:

⦁    <FLIGHT SCHOOL>. represents that it is insured for liability and hull damage with a deductible of $1,000.00 for damages occurring to its fixed gear single-engine aircraft, $2,500.00 for damages occurring to its single-engine retractable gear aircraft, and $5,000.00 for its multi-engine aircraft.
⦁    The renter shall be responsible for payment of any deductible or any part thereof, for any damages incurred while the renter is operating the aircraft.  The renter shall make payment of the appropriate deductible within 15 days of damage occurrence.
⦁    AIRCRAFT PHYSICAL DAMAGE INSURANCE IN FAVOR OF THE CUSTOMER IS NOT MAINTAINED. The customer is therefore encouraged to purchase an “Aircraft Renter Insurance Policy” from an insurance company (eg. www.aopaia.com, www.avemco.com, www.falconinsurance.com) to protect him/herself in situations where they may be found to be negligent and responsible for damages.

I'm a lawyer, so I'm used to arcane and seemingly contradictory language, but this seems to be directly contradictory.  I know I need at least liability insurance, which is fine.  That's like $150 per year, but the policy says it has hull damage coverage and that I'll need to pay a $1k deductible, which is fine, but then immediately below it, it says that there is no physical damage insurance in favor of the customer.  Does that mean that there really is no hull damage policy I can use if I bend up the aircraft, or does physical damage refer only to property I damage (other than the aircraft) if I'm negligent?  I'm thinking it's the latter, but I want to know, so I buy the right policy.
1 Replies
1037 Posts
Basically, what it means is regardless of what happened, you'll have to pay the $1K deductible for any damage to the aircraft, but if you're found negligent or otherwise responsible for what happened, the school's insurer may subrogate against you for whatever they paid out to the school for the damage to the aircraft.  So you'd better get hull coverage in addition to liability before you solo.