FAA regulations vs. insurance, flight schools, and pilots - a question of minimums

My department receives quite a few questions on FAA regulations every day. The one type we always seem to caveat (because we are here to educate, as well as answer questions) are the ones regarding minimum times. The caveat being ‘that’s what FAA says, but you probably should check the insurance policy, the flight school, or your personal limits for something different'.

A few cases in point where the FAA is fairly lenient (all 100% legal by the regulations, mind you) but you or others may have a different opinion:

--A newly minted private pilot with all of his hours in a Cessna 172 can jump into a Piper Archer and take off without any time in type, or a checkout.

--A multi-engine rated flight instructor can give a flight review or a checkout in a Twin Comanche without ever having sat in that make/model.

--The same instructor needs only five hours PIC in that same airplane to train a pilot for a flight test.

--An owner can step into her Grumman Tiger for the first time in 18 months since her flight review and take it around the traffic pattern.

Minimums - FAA has theirs, insurance companies have theirs, flight schools have theirs, and pilots have theirs. Know which ones apply to you before you takeoff.