I think I need more context before I make a judgement. In the motor trade you always leave your car at the garage at your own risk. I know of a Mercedes that was parked in a Mercedes dealer's forecourt and vandals set light to it. Dealer told the customer, "you're car's been destroyed but it's nothing to do with us, please come and remove it."
I think I need more context before I make a judgement
The context is just that. The plane in a hangar of the firm, for an Annual.
They said this clause is almost universal.
I checked with my insurer (UK's biggest firm) and the top man there said he has never seen it before. He said I would still be covered under my ground risk insurance, but if the plane got damaged I would lost my no claim discount.
I have made other arrangements after this but I wondered how many others are signing such terms, perhaps without being aware. I did apparently sign such a contract the previous year, without reading the small print properly.
I would definitely NOT accept this and either arrange something else or move somewhere else.
In the motor trade you always leave your car at the garage at your own risk.
Not in my part of the world. Not with cars and not with aeroplanes. If they break something, they fix it at their cost. I have had one case with an aeroplane and one with a car. No problems, they usually have an insurance for that kind of stuff.
Silly condition of course, quite unacceptable. But I think that when push comes to shove that maintenance company would not enforce it, would they? They would immediately have lost a customer and, worse, that customer would go on a site like this and create havoc..
On a different note: The article says 'whilst on the premises'. I am not a lawyer, but does that not imply that they ARE responsible for any CONSEQUENTIAL damage caused as a result of some mistake they made during maintenance? That is where their real worry should be in my opinion.. Someone leaving a wrench in the engine compartment that creates an issue just after take-off is going to be a real bleeder. Anything on that in the small print?
The firm showed me a Cessna Citation service centre contract which contained the same clause.
As I said, one would be covered by one's own ground risks insurance (if say a piece of the roof fell down and smashed your €50k composite roof, and yes this does happen in GA hangars) but not only would you lose your no claim discount but also the insurer would not be able to recover what they paid out because you signed away their rights to do that.
Someone leaving a wrench in the engine compartment that creates an issue just after take-off is going to be a real bleeder. Anything on that in the small print?
Not that I recall and anyway it seems inconceivable that such a clause would stand up in a court.
In fact I don't think the above one would stand up if the client was a private person (unfair contract terms Act, etc) but in a business to business contract almost anything will stand up, and a lot of private planes are owned by some business entiry.
I think it's referring to damage caused by events outside their control rather than damage caused by poor workmanship. A claim where a duty of care has not been met will likely succeed. If the hanger roof (eg) collapsed because of snow (as has happened) then it is your insurers who will carry that burden, not the maintenance company. However, if the roof collapsed because your maintenance company had borrowed a couple of bolts out of it then that would be a different matter. At least, that's how I see it. Nearly all garages have a sign up saying "all vehicles left at customer's risk" or something along those lines.
This is normal at all maint. organisations that I know of. The other option is to add another £5/h on your bill.