April 9, 2021 By Stuart Hope
The importance of timely and accurate response on aviation insurance renewal forms.
The annual letter arrives from your aviation insurance broker sounding the alarm for another approaching renewal: “Your aircraft insurance policy does not renew automatically, and we will require current and updated information ….” We all know filling out these forms is not fun, but we are also talking about a system designed to protect all that you have worked hard to build. As you are acutely aware, we are facing a historic hard insurance market with soaring premiums, coverage reductions and new underwriting restrictions.
Here’s three ways you might be sabotaging your own insurance program:
Procrastinating the completion of updates. We typically send the renewal update forms to clients 90 days in advance of the policy expiration. We are often required to follow up multiple times for the return of these important documents. If returned promptly, we have current information and more importantly, time to properly market your account with other insurance companies. Currently where many companies are doing the work of 10 employees with 5, getting a response can take weeks, not days. Having someone else complete the forms. Since aviation has its own certain vernacular, giving the form to someone that doesn’t know a Cessna 150 from a Cessna 510, or a N# from the airport ID, virtually assures incorrect or incomplete information will be submitted on your behalf. Missed details are the difference between writing a policy as bulletproof as possible or one that is full of holes. Being vague or leaving questions blank. Many insureds leave questions blank or give half-answers believing if they answer yes to an underwriting question the premium will be higher. The real question to ask is “If there is an incident and I am doing these activities that I did not disclose to the underwriters will I have coverage?” The questions on applications are designed to identify uninsured exposures. If a yes answer to a question identifies an uninsured exposure, wouldn’t you want to know what it would take to plug this gap in your protection? Often coverage can be added at no additional premium. If there is a premium, you can decide whether to pay it, or possibly not engage in the activity. To not address it is a decision, maybe not the
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