Product liability insurance isn’t your everyday policy. “Without experience in aviation law, regulations and coverages, generalist insurers don’t understand the risks,” explained Jaime Benthusen, product liability director for NationAir Aviation Insurance (Booth No. 5105). Benthusen was on hand at Heli-Expo 2014 to introduce the company’s product liability coverage and risk assessments for rotor-wing aftermarket parts firms.
Bill Snead, president of Wichita-based AOPA Insurance (Booth No. C10424)–a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association–put it most succinctly when he presented the company’s new options to members at NBAA 2013. “FBOs are our primary targets with our new commercial insurance offering. Beyond that, we are ready to insure corporate flight departments to a very high limit of liability,” he told AIN. “We know we can offer competitive rates, and that’s exciting.”
Aviation Alliance Insurance Risk Retention Group (AAIRRG), an entity that provides product liability insurance exclusively for Arsa member repair stations, will be able to offer that coverage at well below market rates, according to the group.
The Aeronautical Repair Station’s efforts to create a risk-retention group to provide commercial liability insurance for its members is closer to fruition. In late June, the Aviation Alliance Insurance Risk Retention Group (AAIRRG), established by ARSA and Polaris Enterprise Group, received its certificate of authority (insurance license) from the state of Montana.
The Aviation Alliance Insurance Risk Retention Group (AAIRRG), developed by the Alexandria, Virginia-based Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) and Polaris Enterprise Group, received its certificate of authority (insurance license) this week from the state of Montana. AAIRRG will provide product-liability insurance exclusively to repair stations that are ARSA members.
There was no such thing as aviation insurance when Shakespeare penned, in Henry VI, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” If there had been, the quote might have been a bit longer, according to many in the industry. Next to lawyers, everyone loves to hate insurance agents and underwriters.
With regard to liability insurance, answers to the question of “How much is enough?” have always been something of a mystery. But for shareholders in a fractional program, the answers are compounded by the concept of shared ownership.
Following last September 11, aircraft owners and operators began bracing for massive hikes in insurance coverage and changes in the limits of that coverage. Now, a year later, their fears are being realized. But while rates have risen, sometimes triple those before September 11, the increases are not without some justification. The question is, just how much is justified?
Operators flying within, to, from or over the 25-nation European Union (EU) need to check their insurance policies to ensure that they meet the new minimum liability requirements that will take effect on April 30. Failure to do so could result in the prohibition of flights, the withdrawal of operating licenses and, potentially, criminal prosecution.
A little over one year has passed since the European Union introduced higher minimum liability insurance requirements for aircraft registered within the EU, and those of foreign registry flying into or over its 25 member states.
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