GOT ME TO THINKING

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by rchamble, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. rchamble

    rchamble Pre-Flight

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    I am in the near future starting my PPC. I have been reading the site for quiet some time and have got a ton of information. Now that I am about to dive in this information is coming much more vital. I have been reading on renters insurance which is all new to me. Is this something that I should have as a student pilot or does this pertain to already pilots that are renting an aircraft from the FBO. I also plan on getting a copy of the flight schools insurance policy and reading over that.

    Any information that you have that I should be checking into and be aware of for a student pilot would be greatly appreciated!!!
     
  2. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member

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    Spike Cutler
    If you have assets worth protecting - if you have something to lose - then you should certainly consider renter's insurance. Most FBOs' insurance policies will *not* protect you from responsibility for losses; the FBO's coverage is intended to protect the FBO from loss, but there is certainly every possibility that the carrier for the FBO's insurance will then come after you in a subrogation claim.

    Ouch!

    There are some flying clubs (RFC Dallas is an example) whose insurance is set up such that the members are "Additional Insureds," which means that you are covered in your own name, and in this case, you're generally liable only for the deductible.

    You can read the policy carried by the FBO- but I doubt you'll find anything in there for *you*!
     
  3. jason

    jason Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    To add to Spike's excellent answer...you won't need renter's insurance until you solo. Until you are the PIC, your instructor is the one who is on the hook were anything to happen to the airplane. So, you should get it while you are still a student, but not until you're nearing your solo.
     
  4. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And prior to purchasing a separate renter's policy, you should ask the FBO where you train if their policy covers you for solo flight. Some do at no extra cost and some do it for a fee and/or if you buy block time. Either way if you are told that you are covered ask to see that in writing, don't just take someone's word for it and make sure you understand what you read.

    There are two kinds of coverage you should have from somewhere (own policy and/or on the FBO's policy). One is liability, which only applies to damages and injuries to others but won't pay for repairs to the airplane you were flying. The other is hull protection which only covers repairs and replacement for the airplane. Liability coverage is reasonably inexpensive and you might want to buy that even if you're certain you'd be covered by the FBO policy. Hull insurance typically costs 1-2% of the hull value per year which can be very pricey, especially if you're training in something fairly new. For example, coverage for a $200k Skyhawk could run you $2-4k per year and for that reason alone it would likely be far more cost effective to pay the FBO something to include you on their policy. Just don't pay them enough up front that you'd take a bath if they closed their doors.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2011
  5. rchamble

    rchamble Pre-Flight

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    Thanks guys for all the great information!!! A lot of valid points I will consider.
     
  6. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I think that you will find that most aviation insurers are very pragmatic when it comes to students...students are expected to make mistakes. It would take an act of gross negligence, something that anyone off the street would see as stupid, for a student to be held accountable by the insurer...something like taking off with insufficient fuel for the planned flight. A hard landing causing damage, on the other hand, would fall under the "just a student" unwritten law.

    Bob Gardner
     
  7. Radio Flyer

    Radio Flyer Filing Flight Plan

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    That has been the case for me. I questioned the flight school on renter's insurance prior to beginning my training. I was told that their insurance would cover any damage caused by me in my training. In February, I lost the front wheel while landing during a short X country, which caused substantial damage to the plane. :hairraise: I have been assured that their insurance will cover the damage because it was expected that the possibility that a student would damage a plane existed. One of those "just a student" things.
     
  8. jmcsherry

    jmcsherry Pre-Flight

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    At the school where I got my training, and at the FBO where I now instruct, the school's policy will cover damage that occurs during dual instruction. Something that happens on a solo flight gets a little touchier; the owner has a sort of "sniff test" in which he judges whether even a student ought to have done better. Usually, the repair is done at no cost to the student - - but there have been exceptions. And if the FBO files a claim on his insurance, you can bet they will subrogate it back at the PIC, even if that is a student pilot.

    I always recommend that anyone taking solo flight have some sort of coverage, even if it's a rich uncle.
     
  9. Radio Flyer

    Radio Flyer Filing Flight Plan

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    Hindsight being 20/20, I am looking into renter's insurance now. But I am also close to my checkride and know that I won't be covered once I have my ticket either. My accident occurred while flying solo, and while it could have been pilot error on my part, the school is leaning toward equipment failure. So that could be why no one has come after me yet. Hopefully they won't. The school did file a claim and they now have a new plane, so I'm assuming that the one I was flying was considered totalled, even though the damage didn't look all that bad. Other than taking me up dual again to make sure my landing technique wasn't a factor, no one has really mentioned it.