By BOB MACKEY
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just call up any aviation insurance broker and simply tell them how much you want to spend and then they would arrange aircraft insurance for that amount?
It would be simple, easy, and you could go on about the more important things in life and stop wasting your time trying to make sure you have the right aircraft insurance at the best price.There’s only one problem. Those ads you see on TV where you can pick your own price don’t tell you how much insurance coverage you get.
Those ads also play on the common underlying thing about insurance: People don’t like insurance and they also don’t like insurance people.
There is an online survey that shows which professions people regard as highly respected and those professions people have little or no respect for. While the ranking for insurance broker isn’t at the very bottom — car salesperson is — the insurance broker is only one step up!
When I mentioned this to my daughter, she asked why I would choose a profession nobody respects. I told her because I believe I can make a difference.
Aviation insurance encompasses everything from non-owner (renters) insurance to airport insurance, aircraft insurance to instructor insurance, accidental death insurance to hangar insurance, and drone insurance to general liability insurance.
Let’s talk about how you can save money on whatever kind of aviation insurance you need and still be confident you are getting the right insurance, or at least buying the coverage you need and not the coverage you may not need.
Find an aviation insurance agency that has people who know what they are doing and have the necessary contacts in the aviation insurance community to find the insurance you need.
There are several ways to find the right insurance agency. Talk to other aviators at your airport, in your local EAA chapter, or talk to the owner or someone with knowledge at the FBO.
If you are part of a type club with a connection to a specific agency, see if that agency has any information on its website about their experience.You may also check out the website for aviation associations like EAA to see if there is information on their website that will give some ideas.
You don’t need to start calling every aviation insurance agency asking for quotes. This will not accomplish anything. In fact it will only create confusion.
Once you have selected an agency, you work with them to see what they can do. You can always make a change later before you place an order for insurance.
Does the broker at the agency listen to you or are they trying to tell you what you need?
Every aviator has different concerns about what they want to insure and how much coverage they are comfortable with. A good broker will make suggestions and they should always look into options for you, even if you didn’t ask for them.
A good broker also should explain important issues, such as making sure your aircraft is insured for the proper amount, your uses of the aircraft are in compliance with the approved uses on the insurance policy, and where your policy applies and does not apply (geographic territory).
In addition, a good broker is going to make sure you understand who is approved to fly your aircraft and how you can add or delete pilots if necessary.
Does the broker and agency have a good reputation? As I mentioned, some people do not think much of insurance people. Well, there is a reason for this. If you have questions and they are not getting answered or the answers don’t make sense, then you may be talking to the wrong broker or agency.
If possible, make a point to check out the aviation brokers and agencies at aviation events. AirVenture and SUN ’n FUN are great places to meet and talk one-on-one with brokers. You can ask questions, get recommendations, and take away information to get a quote.
If you decide you want to change insurance, you should start the process about 60 days before your current insurance comes up for renewal. If you need insurance sooner, you can leave your information or send it over when you get home. The important point is you can size up the broker and agency.
Bob Mackey is senior vice president with Falcon Insurance Agency, the official administrators of EAA Insurance Solutions. He has been involved in the aviation insurance industry for over 35 years. He is a commercial pilot with an instrument rating. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org