Protection from big disasters

Bob Mackey, Vice President of Falcon Insurance Agency (the official insurance agency for the EAA's Aircraft Insurance Plan), has graciously agreed to moderate this forum and answer your aircraft insurance questions. Thanks Bob!

Moderators: drseti, Bob Mackey

Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:11 pm
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Protection from big disasters

Postby Lindenberg » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:31 pm

Recently a plane crashed near Tehachapi, California, and the ensuing forest fire destroyed 12 homes. I'm sure all the insurance companies involved will eventually come knocking on the door of the pilot's wife. Is there anyway to protect your assets from an accident like this where your renter's insurance policy doesn't cover all the losses?

Jack Tyler
Posts: 1380
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:49 pm
Location: Jacksonville, FL

Postby Jack Tyler » Sat Sep 10, 2011 5:42 am

Lindenburg, yours is a good question...and it's easy to see why it would occur to you given the dry, widespread natural growth in your part of California. It's the kind of question that all of us should be posing to insurance brokers and researching with carriers before we choose a policy. But of course we usually don't, instead shopping on price, accepting standard language in policies (with or without fully understanding them) and enduring an insurance industry that displays a never-ending, large advertising budget but scant transparency when it comes to claims histories - the one relevant issue that actually justifies one's premium.

Sadly, this forum's ability to foster some dialogue with brokers & others in the industry appears to have disappeared. Bob Mackay's last post was in 2009 and the site isn't being actively managed & developed, since the site's owner has explained he only has time to keep a For Sale sign posted. One might think aviation insurance broker's would be hungry enough these days to seek out and participate in forums like this one, creating good will and some additional visibility for their brokerage. Not so.

Three thoughts:
-- Some co-ownership agreements are written under the organizational protection of an LLC - limited liability corporation - for the purpose of limiting liability. That may be worth exploring for an individually owned aircraft, as well.
-- For the cost of one restaurant lunch, any AOPA member can receive legal advice for one year from an aviation-oriented lawyer or paralegal (depending on the topic) by subscribing to AOPA's legal services program. Asking for a legal review on the liability limitations and exclusions section of an insurance policy would be a very good use of that service.
-- There's always a fair bit of emphasis on safety in aviation. We tend to overlook the reality that one of the benefits of this is that the accident which is prevented avoids the liability claims which quite often follow. Concern for safety doesn't just extend to one's passengers and oneself, but to one's life partner or estate executor as well.
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