AOPA sold their aviation insurance business.

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Challenged, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. Challenged

    Challenged Pattern Altitude

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    I've been using AOPA for my aviation insurance needs since I started flying. I randomly came across this bit of information (haven't received any notice), so thought I'd share: https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media...aerospace-and-aopa-form-strategic-partnership It's interesting that they only sold the aviation portion of their insurance products: "Nonaviation insurance products including Life, AD&D, and Auto will remain with AOPA."

    Also interesting is this quote: "This transaction marks the 34th acquisition for AssuredPartners in 2018." from here: https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/east/2018/12/10/511474.htm
     
  2. JohnWF

    JohnWF Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I was an AOPA member for years. When I reached 80-years of age they said they would not insure me because of my age. I thought that if I was too old for their insurance I was probably too old to be a member also, so I dropped my AOPA membership.
     
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  3. airdale

    airdale Pattern Altitude

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    Interesting. They must have gotten a phenomenal price. I wonder if they'll just add the money to their hoard. Hard to believe that they will give it back to members.
     
  4. Challenged

    Challenged Pattern Altitude

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    Here's a picture of AOPA upper management resting in their office:

    aopa_office.jpg
     
  5. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Rather ironic that a purported aviation organization no longer brokers aviation insurance, but is still flogging Auto, etc.
    Even AARP peddles that other stuff, LOL.
    I usually go out for quotes for my airplane insurance every 3rd year. In the last two rounds the EAA program has won my business.
     
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  6. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And USAA has sold their wealth management business....
     
  7. Walboy

    Walboy Cleared for Takeoff

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    That's funny.

    I have received two emails from AOPA Insurance Agency after Dec 2 reminding me about insurance renewals. One email was as recent as Jan 9.
     
  8. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    AOPA is also going into the hangar bidness. They submitted an RFP at the Frederick, MD airport to build new hangars that will be leased to the public. That sounds a bit fishy to me.....

    Old hangars will be torn down, displacing about 30-40 aircraft for several years....and they will eventually replace them new, fancier, more expensive digs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
  9. TCABM

    TCABM Cleared for Takeoff

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    Not quite. We sold off the mutual fund products and 529 fund to Victory Capital.

    WM, mass affluent and mass market financial advice, service, planning, life, health, banking, property & casualty all remain in house. Other smaller product and service lines are not part of the VC partnership.
     
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  10. Walboy

    Walboy Cleared for Takeoff

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    I've been pretty tolerant of AOPA, but building hangars is unsat if you ask me. Especially if the AOPA home office gang hangar their airplanes there.
     
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  11. Arrow76R

    Arrow76R Pre-Flight

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    John,

    I have a few years to go before age 80 but am concerned because I also have (had) AOPA insurance. Have you found a replacement insurer?

    Jim
     
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  12. JohnAJohnson

    JohnAJohnson Cleared for Takeoff

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    Not sure why AOPA going into the hangar business is a bad thing. Hangar availability is a big problem for many of us. At every place I've lived, I often wondered why the county/city won't build hangars, since they'd obviously be able to rent them. And when they are unwilling to, we wonder why someone with deep pockets or a willingness to accept the risk doesn't build some to rent. To me, AOPA is doing something that'll benefit pilots/owners directly, and if the organization can profit from it, that's great too.

    AOPA, if you are listening, come on down to Gulf Shores and build some hangars here too!
     
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  13. JohnWF

    JohnWF Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Jim,
    Gallagher Risk Management Services, at Chesterfield, MO 855 538 8269.. I carry liability only /John
     
  14. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    AOPA can do whatever they want, to ensure their financial viability as far as I am concerned. As long as I have a huge national organization with a respected presence on the Capitol, I am happy. Because without it, we can probably kiss our flying goodbye.
    Any aviator-adverse action by an insurance company such as age discrimination, is likely not a decision made by AOPA, btw.
     
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  15. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    To a certain extent, yes... However, where I disagree with that is when AOPA starts to compete with GA-centered businesses. IMO, there should not be an AOPA EFB, there should not be AOPA aviation insurance (except maybe specialty insurance to allow otherwise-uninsurable types to remain flying), there should not be an AOPA FBO or hangars. You cannot simultaneously advocate for GA and screw up the free market in GA.
     
  16. tspear

    tspear Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    For the most part, AOPA just sells its name and affinity to a third party for a slice of the profits. AOPA insurance is a perfect example of this. You can see it in the financial statements and when you ask the broker who signs your paycheck it is another company.
    As for hangars, hopefully someone local can provide more details, but back when I was based at GAI, FDK was really short hangar space. However the city could not find a developer, and the demand is there. Also, the city was interested in getting Federal improvement money to expand the airport. Maybe this is all finally coming together.

    Tim

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  17. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    Tim....I'm local.

    I found out thru the grape vine....

    What is disturbing is there are a few folks with money who wanted a shot at the hangars. But, the RFP was released privately and quietly and just "discovered" recently. Time will tell if what they provide are reasonable or provide a low cost solution to the ones that they are replacing (cheap old with no electric). Most all that were in the "old" hangars were there by they're choosing. I was there and the only thing I wanted was electric. I liked being in the south area away from the action. These new ones I fear will be over priced and less affordable than anything on the field. We shall see....

    I do see running a hangar development project as a conflict of interest....and definitely not apropos for a not for profit organization.
     
  18. Blatham489

    Blatham489 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Back to rented mules
    I realized many years ago that there is huge money to be made in a non-profit organization.
     
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  19. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route PoA Supporter

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    They have to spend it somewhere, so why not on big salaries?

    Oh wait, they are building up a warchest so they can... Continue to pay those big salaries after the organization and GA are dead for all intents and purposes.
     
  20. Eric Stoltz

    Eric Stoltz Line Up and Wait

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    I just replaced AOPA with PETA and NRA to see if this thread read the same. It kinda did.

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  21. pmanton

    pmanton Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    I was an AOPA member for years. When I reached 80-years of age they said they would not insure me because of my age. I thought that if I was too old for their insurance I was probably too old to be a member also, so I dropped my AOPA membership.

    Interesting. I too have been an AOPA Member for years. I too am 80. I am insured with AOPA. They just picked up insurance for a second plane for me.
    Paul
    Salome, AZ
     
  22. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    Interesting opinion. I guess I always believed that a free market allowed anyone to compete including associations and coops. Everyone is bitching about FBO fees, maybe AOPA should get in that business.
     
  23. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    "Allowed"? They sure are. Do I have to agree with it? No.

    Basically, they are making it hard for small (insurance brokers/app developers/etc) business in the industry to be successful, competing against a big behemoth like they are. GA would likely be better off if more of those businesses were successful...
     
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  24. danhagan

    danhagan Pattern Altitude

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    So did Hillary:confused::eek:

    I was with AOPA insurance all 10 years with the Tiger. Upon getting the RV, their prices were nearly 4 times higher compared to the Tiger ... found 2 that were slightly higher than the Tiger, then my current insurance which was LESS.
     
  25. Chip Sylverne

    Chip Sylverne En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Fear is the poison of our lives.
    Folks were there because they were cheap, half the price of the new units on the Northwest side. If they wanted to do something worthwhile, they would use their influence and either convert or redevelop the old soaring society clubhouse and hangars. Are those buildings even still there?
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
  26. Chip Sylverne

    Chip Sylverne En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Fear is the poison of our lives.
    if I recall , AOPA insurance agency was started after a falling out with AVEMCO. Everybody and their brother thought AVEMCO and AOPA were one and the same, but it was really AVEMCO making huge advertising and other payments to support the Assn. When that stopped, I think it was under Boyer's admin, AOPA tried to capture some of the market and opened their own shop. They just really could never get their act together and learn how to run an agency, never really developed much of a book of business. They've been trying to get new management for a while, probably better off selling.
     
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  27. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    the buildings are there....but there is no will to get a wavier to use that space.
     
  28. texasclouds

    texasclouds Line Up and Wait

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    i tried to buy some non-owned airplane insurance from them recently and couldn't get the website to check out. Went with Avemco instead and saved some dough.
     
  29. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator En-Route PoA Supporter

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    My issue with AOPA building hangars is that it's not what they were built to do. There has been many a company that ended up taking on a product line that was well outside the scope of their expertise and ending up much worse off (ex: AMF). Occasionally that company stumbles onto something great that was largely unrelated to their mission statement (ex: HASBRO), but most of the time it ends up costing a lot of time and money. AOPA is a lobbying organization, so I would think they would focus their expertise on ways to get private investors/government entities together in order to spur development of hangars rather than get into the business of doing it themselves . . . unless of course they're only doing it to benefit the AOPA top brass that happen to keep their aircraft in MD which is a misuse of AOPA member funds.
     
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  30. airdale

    airdale Pattern Altitude

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    That is the problem with having large pots of money available to unsupervised managers. Mischief is inevitable. A few years ago they were talking about becoming a venture capital firm.

    I just looked at their 2016 and 2017 tax returns. In 2017 Baker took out $1,468,000, a 21% increase from 2016's $1,212,000. That's quite good for a CEO whose previous two or three jobs were running failing businesses.

    At the end of 2017 the hoard was up to $82M.
     
  31. MichiPilot

    MichiPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Prepare for the next dues hike!
     
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  32. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Line Up and Wait

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    I shudder to think what the AOPA FBO's fees would be. They've been very diligent about preserving their financial health.

    After conversations with them on the subject, it's pretty clear to me that they're not interested in the fee issue, they're interested in harvesting the controversy.


    As regards their insurance agency, I didn't know they did their own underwriting. I thought they farmed it out to one of the big aviation insurers and put their stamp of approval on it in exchange for a friendship fee.
     
  33. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    Actually I know of few people who brokered their insurance through AOPA because they got better rates else where. AOPA behemoth-ness was not an unfair advantage, nor did they enjoy a monopoly status.


    Efficiency usually wins the day under a free market.
     
  34. TomHaines

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  35. TomHaines

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    There is no AOPA EFB. AOPA had a brief relationship with the company that sells the FlyQ EFB, but that ended five or six years ago. And now AOPA is out of the aviation insurance business. There is no AOPA FBO and no plans for one.

    As for hangars, after an open bidding process, the city of Frederick selected AOPA to build T and box hangars in three phases. AOPA will use outside funding to build the first phase; the other phases will follow if the demand is there. The project is an effort to educate lending institutions and municipalities about the opportunities for public-private partnerships to help solve the hangar shortage across the country. Municipalities seldom have capital to invest in hangars. This project will explore creative funding strategies to spur hangar development. If it is successful, the hope is that the model can be adapted by other communities.
     
  36. TomHaines

    TomHaines Pre-takeoff checklist

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    As required by law, the RFP was widely advertised and written about several times in the local newspaper. Because of a lack of response, the RFP period was extended a couple of times. In the end only two entities submitted proposals. AOPA was one, and it was the AOPA proposal that the city selected.

    As for the old hangars, where I too am a tenant, the city made the decision years ago to tear those down and to redevelop the south end of the airport. That decision by the city is not related to the hangar project on the north end of the airport.

    Undoubtedly the new hangars will be more expensive than the old ones. They will have concrete floors, electric, electric doors and will be larger than the existing newish hangars on the north end. And individuals will be able to design and build their own hangars and own the building for an extended period of time before they will revert to the city--I believe it is 30 years. If successful, it could be very good for the airport. However, losing the old "cheap" hangars will be a blow to those of us with aircraft there. Perhaps you can approach the city with a plan to develop a cheaper solution elsewhere on the airport.
     
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  37. TomHaines

    TomHaines Pre-takeoff checklist

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    When it was sold to APA a few weeks ago, the AOPA Insurance Agency was the largest pleasure and business aviation insurance brokerage in the country.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
  38. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Good! But I'm still going to be unhappy that they were ever in the business. I think the EFB thing was probably an outgrowth of the fact that AOPA used to always have a web-based flight planner... But I didn't like that AOPA was in that space one bit.

    Cool.

    Tom, thanks for stopping by and bringing some reality to the discussion!
     
  39. ircphoenix

    ircphoenix En-Route

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    Sounds like AOPA brass was losing their hangars so decided to build themselves nicer ones.

    Not shady at all.

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  40. Checkout_my_Six

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    Tom...why did AOPA feel compelled to get into the hangar bidness?

    My beef is with the "misison" of AOPA. Independent of the hangar building project, this appears to be outside the scope of the organization I support.

    I'm sure the new hangars will be way nicer than I could afford....and some will enjoy them. Not I.