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Renters / Non-Owned Aircraft Insurance

Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question about Avemco's Renters & Borrowers aircraft insurance? Browse through our list of frequently asked questions below. If you still can't find the answer you're looking for, contact us at (888) 241 7891 (M-F 9:00 am to 6:00 pm Eastern). One of our aviation underwriters will be glad to assist you.

  1. What is non-owned liability coverage?
  2. What is subrogation?
  3. What about the rental agreement I signed? I thought I only had to pay the deductible?
  4. Will a non-owned policy provide coverage for a borrowed aircraft that doesn't have insurance?
  5. What type of aircraft am I permitted to use if I purchase a non-owned liability policy?
  6. Does your company offer any type of insurance for rotorcraft or seaplane rentals?
  7. Does your company offer non-owned insurance for multi-engine aircraft rentals?
  8. What limits of Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability should I carry?
  9. What limits of Aircraft Damage Liability should I carry?
  10. Do my immediate family or I have protection if we're injured?
  11. Is there a deductible on the Aircraft Damage Liability coverage?
  12. What effect does pilot experience have on non-owned insurance premiums?
  13. Who should purchase a non-owned policy?
  14. When should I purchase a non-owned policy?
  15. I want to borrow a friend's aircraft. My friend said it would raise his insurance premium too much to add me as an approved pilot. Am I covered if I purchase a non-owned policy to fly his aircraft even though I'm not an approved pilot on his insurance policy?
  16. Will a non-owned policy protect me if I use a non-owned aircraft for other than my own pleasure and business use?
  17. If I rent a non-owned aircraft for an incidental business trip, how can I protect my employer?
  18. What payment plans are available?
  19. How do I report a claim?
  20. What is an A.M. Best rating?
  21. How can I recognize the differences in non-owned insurance policies?
  22. If I have a non-owned policy and I later decide to purchase my own aircraft, can I cancel my non-owned policy?
  23. My FBO told me that I'm covered under his insurance policy when I rent his aircraft. Why do I still need renter's insurance?
  24. Does your non-owned aircraft policy include "loss of use" coverage?
  25. Does a non-owned policy provide coverage for losses in excess of the limits on our flying club's policy?
  26. Does your policy have any exclusion against landing on a private grass strip?
  27. Why are residents of Kentucky unable to purchase non-owned insurance online?
  28. I travel overseas a lot…does the non-owned policy give me coverage if I rent an aircraft outside of the United States?
  29. How do I purchase coverage?

  1. Q: What is non-owned liability coverage?
    A: It is a liability insurance policy that protects you as a non-owned pilot against claims arising from Bodily Injury or damage you may have caused to others or to their property when using a non-owned aircraft. Your insurance company's commitment is to defend you if you are sued, and if you are at fault, to pay for the damages according to the terms of the policy. This coverage is not medical or life insurance, but rather, liability coverage for claims made against you by third parties for which the law holds you legally liable. This includes damage to the non-owned aircraft you are operating if you purchase optional Aircraft Damage Liability coverage.


  2. Q: What is subrogation?
    A: It is the right of an insurance company to recover from a legally responsible third party, such as a non-owned pilot, for the payment of a covered claim to its policyholder, such as a flight school. This right to "subrogate" is found in almost every insurance policy and upon payment of a claim entitles the insurance company to all of the policyholder's legal rights of action against responsible third parties for the loss paid. It is common practice for insurers of flight schools to "subrogate" against renter pilots to recover their payment for damage over the deductible.


  3. Q: What about the rental agreement I signed? I thought I only had to pay the deductible?
    A: Yes, you probably will be responsible for the deductible. If you purchased Aircraft Damage Liability coverage from Avemco, the policy will pay up to $1,000 of the owner's deductible regardless of fault. However, it is not the only thing you may be responsible for. Some owner/FBO's hold their renters responsible for loss of income during the time the aircraft is down for repairs and depreciation of the aircraft's value due to its damage history. In addition, if the owner/FBO's insurance company pays for the damage above your deductible they can subrogate against you for the cost of the damages they paid.


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  5. Q: Will a non-owned policy provide coverage for a borrowed aircraft that doesn't have insurance?
    A: Our non-owned aircraft policy will provide you with liability coverage while using someone else's aircraft. If, however, there were an accident or loss not caused by your negligence (such as mechanical failure, hail, struck by another aircraft, etc.), we would defend you against any claims by the owner on the basis that you were not liable. Your non-owned coverage is not a substitute for the aircraft owner buying their own coverage to protect their interests.


  6. Q: What type of aircraft am I permitted to use if I purchase a non-owned liability policy?
    A: The standard Avemco policy covers non-owned aircraft that have a standard airworthiness certificate, or are certified in the Special Light Sport Category, single engine with no more than 450 horsepower, United States registration, fixed wings, no more than 7 seats, and not having a turbine engine. Optional coverage is available at an additional charge to cover multi-engine aircraft. Be aware, the maximum engine horsepower and aircraft's seating capacity vary significantly among insurance companies.


  7. Q: Does your company offer any type of insurance for rotorcraft or seaplane rentals?
    A: No, not at this time.


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  9. Q: Does your company offer non-owned insurance for multi-engine aircraft rentals?
    A: Yes, for an additional fee Avemco offers coverage for multi-engine aircraft rentals.


  10. Q: What limits of Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability should I carry?
    A: Because different people have different needs, there is no standard recommended amount of liability coverage you should carry. You need to consider factors such as your personal assets, earnings, the liability limits you carry on your other insurance policies such as auto or homeowners, whom you carry as passengers, how the aircraft is used, and how much insurance you can afford or that is available, among others. Obviously, buying the most coverage you can reasonably afford and that is available is your safest bet.

    Also remember that as important as the limit of liability is the ability of your insurance company to resolve claims within those policy limits. You want to be sure that the company defending you has a proven track record of success in the complex world of aviation litigation.


  11. Q: What limits of Aircraft Damage Liability should I carry?
    A: A guideline in the selection of your Aircraft Damage Liability policy limit would be the value of the non-owned aircraft you usually fly. Buying coverage for the highest value non-owned aircraft you fly is your safest bet.


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  13. Q: Do my immediate family or I have protection if we're injured?
    A: Yes. We will pay for Bodily Injury to your spouse, parent or child caused by an accident resulting from your use of a non-owned aircraft, up to the policy limit for which you are legally liable. Included in the Bodily Injury limit we will pay up to $5,000 for necessary medical expenses, including $100 a day of in-patient hospital care, occurring within one year of the accident for injuries to you, your spouse, parent or child.


  14. Q: Is there a deductible on the Aircraft Damage Liability coverage?
    A: This may vary among companies. Avemco does not have a deductible on its Aircraft Damage Liability coverage.


  15. Q: What effect does pilot experience have on non-owned insurance premiums?
    A: Generally none. Premiums are based on the limits of coverage you select.


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  17. Q: Who should purchase a non-owned policy?
    A: Any pilot who rents or borrows someone else's aircraft should purchase a non-owned policy. Even if you are receiving dual flight instruction and not acting as pilot in command in a non-owned aircraft, you may be held responsible for any damages or injuries arising from your negligence. Do not make the common mistake of assuming that you are covered under the owner's or FBO's insurance policy, or that not being pilot in command relieves you of liability if you contribute to the cause of an accident, or that you won't be sued in any event.


  18. Q: When should I purchase a non-owned policy?
    A: We recommend you purchase a non-owned policy when you first start your flying lessons. Again, keep in mind that the aircraft owner's insurance policy is designed to protect them in the event of a claim and you may be held legally liable for any losses that may occur. While their policy may protect them, the insurance company would have the right to subrogate against you to recover any claims paid.


  19. Q: I want to borrow a friend's aircraft. My friend said it would raise his insurance premium too much to add me as an approved pilot. Am I covered if I purchase a non-owned policy to fly his aircraft even though I'm not an approved pilot on his insurance policy?


    A: Yes. You have liability coverage from your non-owned aircraft insurance policy. However, your friend will have no coverage under his insurance, because you were not an approved pilot on that policy. Although your friend wasn't flying his aircraft at the time of the accident, he may still be sued and will have to pay all his legal costs and any judgment out of his own pocket. Therefore, while you are protected under your policy, for your friend's sake you should still either be a named pilot on his policy or meet the qualifications of his open pilot clause, if the policy has one.


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  21. Q: Will a non-owned policy protect me if I use a non-owned aircraft for other than my own pleasure and business use?
    A: Generally, no. Renter's policies are meant to be for non-commercial activities; however, if you are a Certificated Flight Instructor you can purchase an endorsement that provides coverage while you give others dual flight instruction, flight reviews and check rides. The policy does not provide coverage if you use a rented aircraft for any activity for which you get money or other benefits, the exception being for CFIs as noted above. There is no coverage for carrying passengers or cargo for hire, rental, aerial photography, or any special uses like parachute jumping, banner towing, maintenance test flights and traffic patrol.


  22. Q: If I rent a non-owned aircraft for an incidental business trip, how can I protect my employer?
    A: For an additional premium, most insurance companies like Avemco can add your employer to your policy as an additional insured. Your employer cannot be named if it is an aviation business. In that instance your employer should have its own aviation-related commercial business coverages.


  23. Q: What payment plans are available?
    A: We require annual payment at the time the policy is bound. You may use a credit card or check with your completed application.


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  25. Q: How do I report a claim?
    A: Claims are administered by the Avemco Claims Department. The claims department can be reached by calling (800) 874 9124 during regular business hours of M-F 9:00 am to 6:00 pm Eastern or anytime in the event of an emergency at (888) 635 4303.

    After a claim is reported, a field adjuster should contact you within 24 to 48 hours. The field adjuster will identify themselves as contacting you on Avemco’s behalf. To assist in the claim process have a copy of the following documents to give to the adjuster:
    1. A copy of the aircraft registration.
    2. A copy of the aircraft and engine log book pages showing the date of the last annual inspection.
    3. If your loss was in-flight, the pilot will need to give us copies of his/her license, medical certificate and the page from their log book showing the date of the last BFR.


  26. Q: What is an A.M. Best rating?
    A: The A.M. Best rating reflects an insurance company's financial strength and its ability to meet its obligations to policyholders. The rating categories range from A++ and A+ (Superior) to F (in liquidation). Avemco maintains an A+ rating and specializes in general aviation insurance making it the right choice for peace of mind in aviation insurance.


  27. Q: How can I recognize the differences in non-owned insurance policies?
    A: Ask for a sample policy and review it to understand what is and is not covered. When in doubt, ask your insurance provider to clarify. Since every renter pilot has different coverage needs, be aware that the least expensive policy may not provide the best protection to meet your particular needs. Also be aware that policies with the same "limits" may not provide the same coverage due to differences in policy wording. Click here to view Avemco's Non-Owned Policy Jacket.


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  29. Q: If I have a non-owned policy and I later decide to purchase my own aircraft, can I cancel my non-owned policy?
    A: Yes. If your non-owned policy is with Avemco and you insure an aircraft you purchased with Avemco, you can cancel your non-owned policy with no penalty for early cancellation. We will pro-rate your cancellation and transfer your credit to your owner policy. Additionally, a claims free history will be applied to your owned aircraft premium, and that could save you hundreds of dollars. Depending upon several factors when you insure your owned aircraft with Avemco your new policy may provide automatic non-owned liability coverage and also coverage for damage to a non-owned aircraft; both to the extent of the coverage you have purchased for your aircraft. To confirm what non-owned coverage may be included in your owned aircraft insurance policy contact an Avemco Aviation Underwriter.


  30. Q: My FBO told me that I'm covered under his insurance policy when I rent his aircraft. Why do I still need renter's insurance?
    A: How do you really know if you are covered? It is not safe to just ask the FBO about its coverage. Experience has shown that an FBO may not fully understand or realize that its insurance coverage does not generally extend to renter pilots. The only way to determine if coverage is provided by the FBO's policy is to read and understand that policy. You also have to either rely upon the FBO or contact its insurance company directly every time you fly to verify coverage is still in force and has not been canceled for some reason, such as failure to pay the premium. Even if you live in one of the few states that require the FBO to carry renter's liability coverage, there is a chance that the FBO may not be fully aware of the law, or the coverage may be inadequate for your needs. It is not prudent to rely on someone else's insurance to protect your own assets. A non-owned aircraft liability policy is an easy, inexpensive way to give you peace of mind when dealing with the unknown hazards confronting the non-owned pilot.


  31. Q: Does your non-owned aircraft policy include "loss of use" coverage?
    A: Yes, up to the limit of liability purchased.


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  33. Q: Does a non-owned policy provide coverage for losses in excess of the limits on our flying club's policy?
    A: Yes. If the aircraft meets the definition of a "non-owned aircraft" (see policy), our non-owned aircraft insurance policy will provide coverage once any other available coverage is exhausted. This insurance is excess insurance. If there is other insurance available to you, it will apply first.


  34. Q: Does your policy have any exclusion against landing on a private grass strip?
    A: In most cases, NO. However, the policy does exclude coverage when the non-owned aircraft is operated into, on or from a landing area that is not designed, maintained and used as an airport. This exclusion will not apply to a forced landing due to emergency flight conditions.


  35. Q: Why are residents of Kentucky unable to purchase non-owned insurance online?
    A: The state of Kentucky requires an additional tax for property and casualty insurance policies. These taxes are based on the county and municipality in which you reside and are not the same for all Kentucky residents so they must be individually calculated and added to your policy premium.


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  37. Q: I travel overseas a lot…does the non-owned policy give me coverage if I rent an aircraft outside of the United States?
    A: You are covered anywhere within the policy territory. This means the Western Hemisphere between 13º & 67º North Latitude & between 52º West Longitude & the International Date Line. It does not include Bermuda, Central America or Cuba. Click here for a look at our policy territory map.


  38. Q: How do I purchase coverage?
    A: Avemco makes it simple to purchase non-owned coverage. You can either buy online anytime through our secure web site 24/7 (click here for application), or, you can call Avemco toll-free at (888) 241 7891 and any Aviation Underwriter can assist you and bind coverage over the telephone with an approved credit card.


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These FAQs and answers are general in nature and are not intended to address the specific requirements of an individual's policy. These should be discussed directly with one of Avemco's trained staff. In all cases, the terms, conditions of the policy and policy endorsements will determine the outcome of a specific situation.