Aviation Insurance in Massachusetts

What is Aviation Insurance?

Aviation insurance is like auto insurance or boat insurance, except it insures planes rather than automobiles or watercraft. Like auto and boat policies, aviation policies include several coverages that can be customized to meet a particular pilot’s needs.

Who Needs Aircraft Insurance?

Most Massachusetts residents who own or fly a plane need to have an aviation policy that at least meets the state’s minimum liability requirements. While many states don’t have requirements regarding aviation insurance, Massachusetts does.

Without a policy that at least meets the state’s requirements, pilots could face legal consequences and will likely be held personally responsible for any incidents that occur while they’re flying. They also may have trouble finding an airport that will let them take off or land.

People who are flying into one of Massachusetts' airports, such as one of the airports near Boston, Worcester, or Westfield, MA, may also need coverage. Pilots should contact an official at the airport they want to land at before taking off to find out whether there are any coverage requirements.

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What Kind of Aviation Policy Do New Flight School Students Need?

Students who are just learning to fly and don’t own an airplane may need a non-owners or aircraft renters liability insurance policy. Such a policy generally offers liability protection for damage or injury that a pilot causes, but they often don't cover incidents that a student isn’t responsible for, like theft or hangar fires.

What Factors Affect Aircraft Policies’ Premiums?

As is the case with auto insurance and boat insurance policies, many factors affect aircraft policies’ premiums. Some considerations that insurers take into account include:

  • The aircraft a pilot owns or flies
  • Where a pilot flies
  • How much time a pilot spends flying
  • How experienced a pilot is

Do Airplane Owners Need Aircraft Insurance When They Aren’t Flying?

Few airplane owners are willing to leave their aircraft completely uninsured, as it would be expensive to replace or repair a plane that was damaged or stolen. Pilots who won’t be flying their plane for an extended period of time, however, may be able to save on aircraft insurance by reducing coverages when their plane is in storage.

For example, pilots may be able to reduce their liability coverages while their plane isn’t in use. Liability coverages account for a significant portion of a policy’s premiums, so reducing them for even just a few months could provide sizeable savings.

This can be an especially effective strategy for airplane owners who don’t fly during the winter, when snow and ice make conditions more perilous. Pilots simply must remember to reinstate their coverages before taking their first flight in the following season.

How Can Pilots Owners Get Aircraft Insurance?

Pilots can get help comparing aviation insurance policies by contacting an independent insurance agent who’s familiar with Massachusetts’ aircraft insurance requirements. An independent agent will be able to explain coverage options, request quotes and help a pilot choose a policy.

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