Liability Insurance for Rental Pilots (i.e., How to Protect My Personal Assets/Home)
I currently rent from my flying club and plan to purchase aircraft renters’ insurance. That would cover bodily injury, property damage and aircraft damage liability. I have a personal umbrella policy which excludes aircraft renal/use/etc. This appears to be the practice among all the major insurance carriers and they will not offer coverage for aircraft use (I called GEICO, Amica and checked a few others on line). I am wondering how other pilots are protecting their personal assets from law suits if someone (passenger perhaps) decides to sue. Obviously, a major accident which results in injury or death opens up the pilot to potential legal action claiming negligence, but even a friend of a friend walking into a flap and cutting their head could turn litigious.  What's the best way for pilots to protect themselves? 
13 Replies
Ronald Levy
1407 Posts

Regular refresher training, religious adherence to safe practices, quality maintenance, and making good go/no-go decisions.

Or putting all your assets in your spouse's name.  'Course, there are some downsides to that one…

:o) I am with you on all those, and I considered the last one but it seemed a little drastic lol

In that 23 years that I've owned my 1986 Maule MX-7-180 I've had insurance coverage from AVEMCO, AOPA and AIG. Before that I had renters policies. All of them had at least $1M of liability coverage, sometimes more when I was doing commercial air tours in my airplane. Your best defense against lawsuits claiming negligence is regular currency training, making sure that you and your airplane meet all FAA currency requirements, providing a safety briefing to your passengers before each flight and knowing your limitations. FBOs that rent aircraft typically have their own insurance policies to protect them from liability and aircraft damage but then their insurance company can come after you as the pilot (“subrogation”). Renters insurance protects you. I wouldn't fly a rental aircraft without it.

Of i am a named pilot on a friend’s airplane that I regularly fly, do i need tenters  insurance

Does AOPA have the horsepower and interest to help establish an independent Pilots Insurance CO-OP ( PIC ) for all including AOPA pilots and aircraft owners operators? 
J Killian
43 Posts

What about in a Community Property State - don't think putting assets in spouse's name would change anything.