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Make Sure You Are Covered

By Bob Mackey, Falcon Insurance

As a flight instructor, it is important that you consider the type of risks that you open yourself up to by providing flight instruction. After this analysis, you may decide that flight instruction insurance is something that you need or want. This decision may be made based on the type of aircraft you fly, type of instruction you do, or the training environment in which you work. If you find that this is something that you want to consider, NAFI will probably have the most well-rounded and functional plan that you will find. NAFI, in partnership with Falcon Insurance Agency and Global Aerospace, is able to offer its members access to a special flight-instructor insurance plan. This plan has been designed by flight instructors for flight instructors at a discounted price for NAFI members. (NAFI Master Instructors get an even bigger discount!) Ours is by far the most robust plan available on the market. It is also one of the most affordable, which makes for a great combination.—Jason Blair, NAFI Executive Director

I regularly get phone calls or e-mails from airplane owners asking to have a flight instructor added to their aircraft insurance as an approved named pilot. Sometimes, the airplane insurance is for an experimental amateur-built category airplane, and the insurance on these airplanes is issued on a named-pilot basis only, making it important to the airplane owner that the instructor is named.

Other times the insurance is for a standard category airplane, and there’s usually an open pilot warranty, which allows other pilots who meet certain requirements to fly the airplane, and the airplane owner will probably be able to place the instructor under this provision. In any situation, this is potentially a big mistake. If you think that you’ll be insured by having yourself on the airplane owner’s insurance as an approved named pilot or under the open pilot warranty, you may be absolutely wrong.

The fact is that instructors are almost never covered for instruction provision by an owner’s insurance plan. The reason for this is that you are conducting a commercial aviation activity, giving flight instruction.

Why don’t aviation insurance companies change this and make flight instructors an insured√® The main reason is that the aviation insurance companies look at you, the flight instructor, as an aviation professional, and they expect you to have your own insurance. This is either through the flight school you are working for or through your own insurance policy if you are working as an independent instructor.

While adding yourself to the aircraft owner’s policy as a named pilot will cover you to fly the aircraft, it is not designed to cover you when you act as an instructor. The only way you can be sure you are protected is if you have insurance specifically for the provision of flight instruction.

Call about the NAFI Plan today at 1-866-243- 6234 or go online to www.NAFINet.org and click on the NAFI Insurance Plan icon.