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Insurance companies, premiums, exclusions, etc

I've been with a couple of insurers over the last 3-4 years and noticing (as with car and household insurances), that the list of things 'not included' is rising, i.e. fewer risks covered - but for seemingly the same premiums . . .

Am I alone in noticing this?


Hi there

I've been with CSP (formerly RFIB) for about 15 years now. Yes, the premiums have risen slightly over the years since I maxed out on my NCB, but they're a sound bunch and I can't recommend them highly enough.

Shopping around to save £100 is a fruitless task long term. Believe me. Get a good one, negotiate each renewal, and stick with them.

Private Strip

I've been with Haywards since 2002.

They have been very fair, I think.

I got a prop strike (pothole, with an instructor in the RHS ) which was £20k and they paid out instantly. Well, instantly after the broker who took the premium and sat on it passed the money to them No insurer will pay out until they have received the premium for the applicable period, I gather.

My premiums have gone down and down but have more or less levelled out - largely because I think after ~500hrs there is little further discount to be had, especially if one has just got the IR and no more. In fact I am not sure a CPL/IR makes much difference.

I have not noticed extra exclusions.

Car insurers, I have found, do some atrocious tricks, like not covering driving to work. I reckon millions of people have such policies while being totally unaware of such a gotcha. I haven't seen such trickery in aviation. In fact in aviation you can insure for "agreed value" which you can't ever do with a (normal) car.

What I have seen in aviation is that shopping around is not encouraged. When I started, I requested quotes from about 30 brokers or companies. But I didn't know there are only 4-5 actual insurers in the UK (back then, 4 x Lloyds, and AAIB) and if one of these gets a request for a quote for a particular reg # from two or more brokers, the 1st one gets the quote and the other is barred from the market for 30 days. If the insurer gets a request for a quote from say 4 brokers, he might just blacklist you totally. In one case, a quote was revoked and replaced with one 3x higher, in an apparent "revenge" for asking too many people to quote. A few brokers then told me, diplomatically, that treating aviation insurance like car insurance is not a smart thing to do So I would suggest getting just 2 or 3 quotes and before doing that make sure the brokers all use different insurers.

Currently the market is quite soft and competitive as a result - so long as you are "clean".

Conversely, the pilot community is not large and it's not hard to pick up a record of claims if one is a bit reckless on e.g. breaking off one's nosegear when landing, at £20k a pop.

When I was renting out my TB20, I asked to put one named pilot on the policy but they refused because they knew him by his first name, for having engine failures and ending up having to be extracted from fields, etc. He used to fly a clapped out old plane, engine way past TBO, etc.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I used to be with Emery Little, always found to have good service and very fair and low premium, much less than Howard. Once I got passed the 1000h the cost was further reduced.


We're currently with Hayward. Next year's quote is about 30% LESS, probably because our low hours group member has done 40+ hours. It used to be Europe and North Africa. Next year will be Europe only - but excluding Faroes, Iceland, Greenland, and Svalbard. Nobody in the group has ever taken the Jodel 1050 farther than France and Ireland. We had 2 write-off payouts, and 2 accident repairs in the past 22 years. PS They also arrange my annual travel insurance to include flying light aircraft - a problem if you're over 70.

EGPE, United Kingdom

We had a quote from Hayward's recently. Is £4 million Sterling cover really sufficient for 3rd Party liability, pax etc.?

Looks a bit light to me, if one clips a Citation on the taxiway and/or someone gets hurt, could be a case of finding a few quid more....

Swanborough Farm (UK), Shoreham EGKA, Soysambu (Kenya), Kenya

I have been with CSP and their predecessor for many years now and have always found them very helpful. One of our syndicate members had a main gear collapse that caused considerable damage, CSP were both prompt and helpful. Taken with the fact that the premium was very competive and has dropped as syndicate members experiance has grown I am very satisfied.

Looks a bit light to me, if one clips a Citation on the taxiway and/or someone gets hurt, could be a case of finding a few quid more....

4M should be enough for any ground damage unless, I guess, you set fire to something...

It could easily not be enough for passenger liability.

This is why one uses limited companies for syndicates or rentals. The pilot cannot avoid liability anyway, but Member X, sitting on the ground, doesn't want to be liable for Member Y doing a lot of damage somewhere, and a syndicate is by default a partnership and thus all members are liable for each others' actions.

Having the plane owned by a limited company, with all members being shareholders, protects the others. One can also set up an LLP (which sidesteps the Benefit in Kind issue) but, from vague memory, you then lose the G-reg concession to maintain the plane to the "Private" standard.

Clipping a Citation cannot cost 4M to fix. You can buy a whole Citation for less than that.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Based upon the outcome and low hassle factor for CLAIMS YOU'VE ACTUALLY MADE (rather than simply the price of premiums - which is relatively easy to compare), what insurer would you recommend?

And do you know what loss adjuster company each insurer tends to go with?


EuropaBoy, I so agree with you. I have made a claim with H and it looks like Ombudsman will settle it, so certainly a lot of hassle

United Kingdom
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