Illegal charters and protest damage lead to insurance coverage challenges

Insurance coverage Challenges - Airplane

Experts are encouraging business aviation professionals to think about indemnity liability policies.

With a growing number of protests and illegal charters leading to expensive damage, insurance coverage concerns have been on the rise among business aviation professionals.

The industry is continuing to struggle to determine what type of effect these events will have on cost.

Last June, anti-private aviation protestors broke into the Sylt Airport in Germany, coating a Cessna Citation Mustang in orange paint. The damage caused by the vandalism was valued at more than $1 million, meaning that the insurance coverage for the plane labeled it as a write-off.

Insurance Coverage - Image of Business Jet - Cessna Citation

According to a recent AIN report, executives from the insurance industry are continuing to struggle to determine just how much of an impact these types of protest events will have on what policies will cost.

Attacks from so-called eco-warriors are also causing questions to be raised regarding liability. That could end up leading to resolution requirements through civil lawsuits against both the protestors behind the damage and, potentially, service providers such as FBOs and aircraft operators.

“I don’t expect to see private jet owners suing environmentalists,” said an executive with a broker based in London, who was anonymously cited in the AIN report. “Billionaires going after jobless green protestors isn’t a good look.”

This trend is also leading to considerations regarding the necessary levels of insurance coverage.

These issues have brought a number of important questions to the surface, and not only regarding aircraft hull policies. They also have to do with company and individual professional liability within the aviation industry.

“Some people don’t fully understand their exposure, and think that everything is covered by policies on the aircraft themselves,” explained not-for-profit organization International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) senior aviation underwriter Melanie Daglish. Her advice to her clients is to give the risks careful consideration and to look into what might not be included in hull insurance coverage. For instance, determining whether a pilot is adequately qualified for a flight, which might impact those responsible for operations aspects, or even the flight crew managers.

Daglish also underscored that “gray” (illegal) charter flights are also a serious issue, as was spotlighted by the aftermath of the 2019 crash in which soccer player Emiliano Sala was killed.

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