Expert Offers Way To Reduce Bizjet Insurance Premiums

 - January 31, 2020, 9:55 AM
Aero Data Science founder Michael McConnell thinks providing insurers with flight operations quality assurance data can lower the cost of premiums for business jet operators. (Photo: Amy Laboda)

It’s a new year, a new decade in aviation, and insurance companies have consolidated, again. The result, according to Aero Data Science founder Michael McConnell, is that owner-operated business aircraft are about to get hit with double-digit insurance premium increases.

At yesterday's NBAA Regional Conference in West Palm Beach, Florida, McConnell told attendees at his session that he thinks the reason owner-operators are getting hit hard is a lack of safety data proving that an operator can and does deserve that insurance premium break.

“FOQA [flight operations quality assurance] is what the great majority of airlines use to collect flight ops data,” says McConnell. “And it is mandated outside of the United States.” FOQA is a data-collecting system that can show how aircraft are flown throughout a range of normal, everyday operations. The data collecting can be handled with hardware, such as the diminutive MiniQAR MkIII produced by Avionica, or software-driven, recording from CloudAhoy or ADS-B tracking products from, ForeFlight or Flightaware, among others.

McConnell explained to the group how he had appealed to underwriters in London with aggregated anonymous data from a group of business jet operators that proved the safety of their everyday operations over a significant period of time. “I was able to secure a 38 percent reduction in these operators’ insurance premiums going forward,” he said.

He encouraged the operators in the group to fight back against rising insurance premiums with data and at the same time use the operations data to tweak the safety of their flights through non-punitive education for pilots.