Perhaps it is part of our evolution into the modern human, but people love to be insured. Whether it is homeowner’s insurance, auto insurance, or health insurance, we strive to protect ourselves from the unthinkable. While we know we can only do so much to prevent accidents, having insurance helps us feel as though we have everything “under control.”
Aircraft insurance is a fact of life for most aircraft owners, and is a relatively inexpensive way to cover the aircraft, occupants, and potential property damage in the event of an accident or incident. Many Arizona pilots, however, have found that when they have called upon their insurance to cover damage costs after an incident, their insurance company has denied their claim.
Policy Provisions: Are You and Your Aircraft Compliant?
Your aircraft insurance policy likely has several rules and conditions—otherwise known as provisions—that you must follow in order to be covered in the event of an accident. Should you be involved in an accident or incident, your insurance company will do their own sleuthing to determine whether you were abiding by the rules set forth in your policy. Depending on what they find, you may be denied coverage.
One of the most common breaches of policy insurance companies find is that the pilot operating the aircraft during the accident was not covered by the policy. Just like your auto insurance only covers specific drivers, your aircraft policy will also have certain restrictions. Many policies will not force you to name specific pilots, but will require that any pilot operating the plane be current in the conditions that they are flying in and have valid medical and airman certificates. If the pilot was operating your aircraft and did not conform to the above provisions, you may be denied coverage.
Another reason that coverage is often denied is a breach of the airworthiness provision. If an aircraft is involved in a crash and is “out of annual” or has not had the required VFR inspections (or IFR if the plane was operating in IMC), your policy will likely deny your coverage, even if the crash was not caused by something that was missed by a lapse in inspection.
Play by the Policy Rules and Reap the Policy Rewards
In Arizona, it is especially important for aircraft owners to follow their aircraft insurance policy to the letter, as coverage can be denied without a direct relationship between the breach in policy and the accident. If you were in compliance and are still being denied coverage, our Phoenix aviation accident attorneys can help. Call Curry, Pearson & Wooten today at 602-258-1000 to find out how our experience team of aviation lawyers can help you fight for the coverage you deserve.