Charter flight companies face unique insurance risks. Not only can they face liability if a passenger is injured, they can face millions in repair and replacement costs if their property is lost due to a natural disaster. Attorney Bill Voss explores vital insurance coverages for owners of charter flight companies, small planes, helicopters, or airfields, including precautions to take against tornado damage.
Tornado Insurance Considerations for Charter Flight Companies
Property damage insurance for an aircraft is known as hull damage coverage. Hull coverage can be used to protect helicopters, light jets and turbo jets, experimental aircrafts, seaplanes, and other commercial or private aircrafts. Much like commercial auto insurance, each form of hull insurance offers coverage under specific conditions at varying compensation levels. Ground only coverage, the least expensive option, pays for physical damage to an airplane when it is on the ground and not in motion. Taxiing coverage insures against damage to planes that are grounded as well as those that are taxiing to and from gates (or otherwise in motion on wheels). All risk coverage is the most expensive property damage insurance, but it provides payment for damage that occurs when the plane is on the ground, taxiing, or in any stage of flight.
In addition to hull damage coverage, your commercial flight insurance policy may need a few endorsements to protect against tornado damage, including:
- Agricultural aviation coverage. Large-scale farming operations may require planes and helicopters to perform cattle herding, seed fields, apply chemicals and fertilizer, and monitor growth patterns from the air. Owners should ensure that their policies cover both engine and hull damage for their agricultural aircraft, as well as any specialized equipment and inventory onboard.
- Antique aircraft expenses. If an antique aircraft is damaged, owners may require casting of special parts to restore the engine or replace riveted, fabric, or wooden wings. Extra expense coverage can be invaluable in these cases, allowing the integrity of the aircraft to be preserved.
- Inland marine insurance. Aircrafts may be constantly on the move even when they are not carrying passengers. Owners of restored warbirds and WWII aircraft may be hired to perform flyovers or stunts for crowds at air shows, fairs, or other events. Inland marine insurance protects aircrafts when they are away from the insured location, such as on display at a museum or while flying in a formation display.
- Helicopter coverage. If your business offers sightseeing tours, cattle herding, fire fighting, cargo loading, search and rescue, or emergency medical services via helicopter, these aircraft will need to be insured separately from planes or must be specifically named on a commercial aircraft policy.
- Hangar insurance. Hangar insurance provides property damage coverage for your hangar and its contents, including mechanics tools, spare parts, and mobile equipment. However, if your hangar or airport building is located on the Texas coast, your insurance provider may exclude wind damage as a covered peril on your commercial policy. Owners may have to purchase a policy through the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) in order to recover these costs.
- Rental plane coverage. If you do not own all of the planes in your charter, you will need to secure an aircraft physical damage policy to cover the replacement value of each rented craft.
- Seasonal business insurance. If your company does most of its business at a particular time, seasonal business insurance offers extra protection against profit losses for certain days or weeks of the year, continuing lost income to a single quarter.
- Business income loss. Business income (or business interruption) insurance is a vital form of coverage for all commercial enterprises, and can pay for ongoing operating expenses for months after a tornado strikes. Common costs that can be recovered are employee salaries, opening a temporary location, renting alternate aircrafts while yours are under repair, or out-of-pocket expenses.
If you need help getting payment for your losses after a tornado, our commercial insurance claim attorneys can work to get you full and fair compensation to make repairs and reopen your doors. Please contact the Voss Law Firm at 1-888-991-3212 or simply fill out the form on this page today to get answers to your questions.