Non-Owned Aviation

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Protecting your business and personal operations

If you, or your organization, uses an aircraft that you do not own, you’ll need non-owned aircraft liability protection, even if you’re only a passenger. Non-owned aircraft liability protects you and/or your company, not the aircraft owner. For those who qualify, coverage is generally available for non-commercial uses:

Corporate Non-Owned Aircraft Liability Insurance

Tailored for corporations, provides coverage to companies or individuals that use aircraft that they do not own and that are operated by third parties such as chartered aircraft or permissive use. These exposures are primarily contingent liabilities where the user does not employ the crew and is not directly involved with the operation and maintenance of the aircraft.

Personal Non-Owned Aircraft Liability Insurance

Designed specifically for individual licensed renter pilots, offers protection in case of an aircraft accident or damage caused to a non-owned aircraft during your usage.

Coverage can also be provided for flight instructors, examiners, and student pilots.  It can be tailored to include single-engine, multi-engine, light sport, experimental aircraft, and even piston-powered rotorcraft.

Non-owned claims do occur, averaging about $30,000, and tend to be very complex, especially when interchange or fractional ownership becomes part of the equation. 

At Risk Strategies, our seasoned team of aviation specialists has decades of industry experience protecting charter customers, charter brokers, entertainment, production & filming, renters and instructors, air ambulance, power line and pipeline patrol, aerial survey, and many other operations involving non-owned aircraft or drones.

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What are some examples of non-owned aircraft exposures?

  1. A person or organization that charters an aircraft (pilot furnished by the aircraft owner), whether for personal or for business use.
  2. A person who is a passenger in an aircraft they do not own when a loss occurs, even if accompanied by the aircraft owner/pilot.
  3. An independent professional contract pilot operating an owner's aircraft.
  4. A person or organization with an employee pilot who owns or rents an aircraft for use on company business.
  5. A person or organization that borrows or uses an aircraft, even though an approved user.
  6. A person or organization that employs professional flight personnel that may operate other owners’ aircraft regardless of whether part of their primary employment.

Why wouldn't the aircraft owner's aviation insurance policy protect me?

Most policies extend protection under the liability coverage (bodily injury and property damage) to permissive users, to others in the aircraft, or to entities responsible for the aircraft use. Such extensions generally do not apply to damages to the aircraft but only to bodily injury and other property damage. Protection, however, is not generally extended to persons or business entities in the "aviation" business. Therefore any charter broker, pilot service, or travel department would not be protected under most owners' individual aircraft insurance policies.

How can I know if I am protected under the aircraft owner's insurance policy?

You can't know for sure unless you read and understand the owner's policy. Some policyholders may not be sure about who is and who is not protected in their own policy. Some have confused being a permissive user, customer, or an approved pilot with being included for liability insurance protection. Such may not be the case, especially for persons working in commercial aviation or the business of arranging charter flights on behalf of others.

What is "non-owned hull" insurance?

It is a confusing term that could be misleading. It has been occasionally misunderstood as being physical damage ("Hull") coverage on a non-owned aircraft. It is not. It is provided as an exception to a typical property damage liability exclusion. The exclusion eliminates protection under Property Damage Liability insurance for damage to property belonging to others, but which is damaged while in the care, custody, or control of the insured.

The so-called "non-owned hull" insurance sets aside this exclusion and makes coverage available for property damage liability arising out of damages to a non-owned aircraft. This coverage is more properly referred to as "Liability Coverage for Damage to Non-Owned Aircraft." Since the phrase "non-owned hull" is not as wordy, it is often used when discussing this coverage, even by insurance professionals.

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