TLTR: This article explains the ins and outs of flight insurance. It includes everything in the realm of aviation insurance from drone insurance to flight ticket insurance.
Flying an aircraft, seeing the world from a bird’s eye view, high above the earth, can give you a totally new perspective on life. It’s challenging but rewarding, and as far as hobbies go, it’s unique. Not everyone has the patience or potential to pursue aviation. But for those who are passionate enough, with the right resources and the right flight insurance, the possibilities are endless.
Flight Insurance Types
According to Mototok, there are five basic types of aviation insurance. They are:
Public Liability Insurance
In the simplest terms, public liability insurance covers anything and everything that can be damaged by a plane. But the plane itself or anything or anyone that is inside the plane is not covered. For example, if a plane flies into a rollercoaster, the rollercoaster and rollercoaster riders will be covered and not the plane or the passengers. This is a type of third–party liability, and public liability insurance is mandatory in most states.
Passenger Liability Insurance
As public liability insurance won’t protect passengers, passenger liability insurance is perhaps the most crucial type to buy. As the name implies, passenger liability insurance specifically covers the passengers. Of course, not every plane in the sky carries passengers, so this insurance is only legally mandatory for commercial aircraft. However, if you own a private plane and use it for either business or recreational travel, passenger liability insurance can help you protect the people on board and protect yourself from nasty lawsuits.
Combined Single Limit
Public liability insurance and passenger liability insurance are sometimes combined in a type of insurance called “combined single limit.” Combined single limit insurance covers all types of liability claims for individual accidents, including, for example, cargo legal liability. This is a good insurance plan to own if you run a commercial airline or another type of commercial operation with your own aircraft.
Ground Risk Hull insurance
This type of insurance covers incidents that may happen while the plane is on the ground rather than in flight. Plane accidents tend to occur more frequently on ground level than in the air. For this reason, ground risk hull insurance is very important. There are two types of ground risk hull insurance coverage:
Not in motion: This coverage protects the aircraft when it is either parked or simply on the ground and not moving. Damage caused by natural hazards and disasters like floods, fires, storms, or collapsing hangars are covered by this insurance as well as accidents with uninsured vehicles or other planes.
In motion: On the ground, aircraft still need to move around. Starting up, parking, taxiing to the gate or being towed by an aircraft tug can lead to minor or even major accidents. That’s where the ground risk hull insurance in motion comes in. This coverage protects not only the hull but the whole plane against physical damage.
This insurance covers not only any damage that might occur in-flight but also in every other situation on the ground, whether in motion or not. It basically does the job of all of the above insurance coverage. This also means it’s much more expensive than the other policies.
Recent Increases in Aviation Insurance Costs
Whether you fly an aircraft as a hobby or are in charge of a commercial airline or cargo plane, the recent increases in aviation insurance costs are likely of real concern to you. In 2021, the rates of aviation insurance, particularly for the commercial sector, have reached an all-time high.
The COVID-19 pandemic is the key cause of this. The pandemic has heavily affected the volume of commercial flights, particularly international flights. This means planes are not moving as often as they should. According to Marsh & McLeanan Holdings, an aircraft sitting on the ground for prolonged periods of time is more likely to develop issues. Some of these issues include: A higher likelihood of failing in the air due to maintenance issues.
No longer being deemed “airworthy,”
Pilots losing skill over time, becoming more prone to mistakes.
The airline industry has struggled overall because of this, as well as from reduced ticket sales. Aviation insurance has also accordingly increased.
Flight Ticket Insurance
It’s far more likely that a person will be a passenger on a plane than pilot one. Just because you’re not sitting in the cockpit or at the boardroom of an airline company, it does not mean you’re excluded from the risks that come with flying. An important way for passengers to stay covered, particularly during these unprecedented times, is by buying flight ticket insurance.
Almost every airline now offers some kind of cancellation system. They are often in place to protect the airlines more than the passenger. It might serve you well to look into your own flight ticket insurance plan. A lot of airlines will give you points for cancellation, which can help you when you book the next flight with the same airline. However, if you want your money back or if you want to transfer airlines, you might get stuck. This is why flight ticket insurance is a much better option.
Outside of your standard pilot-maneuvered aircraft, drones have been taking flight now more than ever. If you want to soar the sky and see the world from a bird’s eye view, but aren’t necessarily ready for the commitment of flying an aircraft, a drone may be the solution for you. Both commercial and hobbyist drone fliers can vouch for the thrill drones can bring.
That said, drones can also be very dangerous. They are powerful machines and an inexperienced flyer can easily find themselves in major trouble for the smallest accidents. For the safety of the drone flier and the general public, drone insurance can be crucial.
Types of Drone Insurance
There are two types of drone insurance:
Similar to liability insurance for aircraft, drone liability insurance covers the drone flier (and their victim) in the event of third-party incidents such as injuries or property damage. As anyone who has seen the drone fail compilations on YouTube can tell you, liability insurance is a must.
Hull insurance covers damage to the drone itself. Depending on your policy and provider, hull coverage can also cover you in the event that your drone is stolen. Specific policies vary in the kinds of damage they cover, so be sure to do thorough research and talk to your agent about the type of hull insurance that you need.
Is Drone Insurance Required by Law?
Currently, in the United States, drone insurance is not mandatory. However, there are some exceptions to this case in some states. According to UAV Coach, in Minnesota, drones do require minimum coverage in order to fly certain distances. Whether it’s legally required or not, it’s always wise to keep your drone covered.
How Much Does Drone Insurance Cost?
On-demand providers like SkyWatch can insure your drone for as little as $7 per hour for coverage up to $1 million, or, for frequent droners, an annual plan of $500. It’s definitely worth it if you think of the amount of damage a drone could potentially cause.
Drones are also used commercially, by various industries. They are powerful tools for business and research purposes. They are used for land mapping, studying animals, traffic control and of course, they are most commonly used in the entertainment industry to create beautiful footage. Here’s a short list of the various industries that use drones. Some may surprise you:
Oil & Gas
If you run a business that could use the help of a drone for any of these reasons or more, commercial drone insurance is a must-have. A drone is a huge business asset in 2021 and deserves a strong insurance plan.
Whether you’re soaring the sky in your own aircraft or flying a drone, any type of flying will make you feel like you have superpowers. However, with great power comes great responsibility. You must make sure you are flying responsibly. The key to this is making sure you are insured.
For more information on flight insurance, find an insurance agent near you today. If you have any questions or want to share your flight experiences, please feel free to do so in the comment section below. We love hearing and interacting with our readers.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does Flight Ticket Insurance Cost?
While many things can affect the exact cost, like destination, airlines, and connecting flights, it’s a rule of thumb that the more you pay for your ticket, the higher your insurance costs. Business Insider created this chart to show some example rates that reflect this pattern.
Does Home Insurance Cover Drone Accidents?
You will need liability insurance to cover any type of injury or damage–related drone accident. However, if your drone is stolen from your home, depending on your homeowners insurance coverage, you might be eligible to claim its replacement.
Does A Student Pilot Need Flight Insurance?
Student pilots need insurance, especially if they are not flying their own plane. Minor damage to an aircraft can still be extremely costly. An aircraft renter’s insurance plan can protect the student from all liabilities. Even if you are a student pilot lucky enough to own your own aircraft, insuring the aircraft ensures your own safety as well.
Does the US Military Have Insurance On Their Aircraft?
All U.S. military equipment is paid for by taxpayers and owned by the U.S. Armed Forces. No single person or entity have ownership over any U.S. military aircraft. For this reason, it is not and cannot be insured by any private company.
How Much Would It Cost To Insure A Private Plane?
Most private planes are small aircraft. Under this assumption, according to Investopedia, a private plane would cost anywhere between $1,200 to $2,000 per year to insure. The costs would vary with different coverage and policies.
February 12th, 2023 · 12 mins read
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