"I’m pretty sure we got the best option and are fully protected.” I hear that all the time from business aircraft owners & operators. After talking to them for only a few minutes their response changes to, “Geez. Now I’m not so sure.”
Whether you’ve been with your current broker for decades or just switched to a new one, ask these five questions every year to make sure you’ve got the best insurance coverage for your current situation.
1. Is my broker doing the job we paid him to do?
You pay your broker to fully represent you and your aircraft. If he isn’t licensed with 100% of the carriers and approaching EVERY market for a quote EVERY year, he’s not giving you the best possible service. Additionally, you pay your broker to be available when needed. Your calls and emails shouldn’t go unreturned -- even on nights and weekends.
2. How do I know I have the best option?
Unless you got a market summary showing how every carrier quoted or declined, you don’t know. Too many brokers just show you the “best option,” but one who’s really doing his job will show you ALL the options. There are about 20 aviation insurance carriers (not all will quote every risk), but you need a broker who contracts with each of them to give you maximum leverage and full market coverage.
3. When was the last time my hull value was adjusted?
Hull premiums typically make up about 70%-80% of the annual premium. If you haven’t realigned your aircraft with current market value you may be over-insuring, thus overpaying. We recommend adjusting the hull value to reflect the current resale value of the aircraft every year.
4. Am I carrying enough liability coverage?
Perhaps your typical missions have changed and you’re now carrying 8-10 passengers, up from an average of 3-4 in past years. Recent data shows you can expect a wrongful death to settle for $3-$6 million for aviation related accidents. Review last year’s typical mission and this year’s planned missions to make sure you have proper coverage.
5. Do I anticipate any changes over the next year that can affect my policy?
Perhaps you are considering using your aircraft for some charter to help offset the costs this year. If you anticipate any changes upcoming you want to make sure to ask your broker if the carrier they are quoting will A) approve the change and B) can provide the limits required for that change.
With the unique missions that each of us operates in our aircraft being fully protected is extremely important. Your broker should be explaining all of these important questions to you every year – if not it’s time to ask them yourself!
You can always ask Ryan or Wings Insurance any questions you may have.
Aviation Insurance Consultant at Wings Insurance