Aviation Insurance Claims Process
This information has been prepared to answer some routine questions that often come up during the claims process.
Your policy is the sole determination of coverage and the insurance carrier’s obligations in the event of a loss. Nothing in this document changes your policy in any manner.
Once contact has been established with the adjustor, you will normally be asked to complete a company loss report and document several items including aircraft registration, airworthiness certificate, and applicable information from the aircraft and/or engine logbook(s) to include confirmation of a current annual inspection. You will also be required to fully document pilot credentials, including logged hours, specific confirmation of any required training and/or checkout requirements and verification of a current FAA medical certificate and flight review. The adjustor may or may not physically inspect the aircraft, depending on the degree of damage. Often you will be asked to provide photographs of the damage, including a complete photo of the aircraft to document the registration number.
Once the insurance company is reasonably satisfied the claim is covered under the policy, they typically request estimates to repair the damage. Often more than one estimate is required and this may be difficult, depending on the circumstances of the loss. The aircraft owner is ultimately responsible for authorizing any work order, however the adjustor will want to have an opportunity to review the estimates and discuss the repairs with you before you commission the work.
Engine Inspections due to Prop Strike, FOD, etc:
If it becomes necessary to disassemble your engine as a result of the occurrence, some insurance companies routinely reimburse for the cost to remove, disassemble, inspect and reassemble the engine. Other companies may not necessarily cover the disassembly if no applicable damage is discovered, depending on the circumstances of the claim. Any components damaged as a result of the occurrence are covered. Sometimes however, parts may be discovered that are unairworthy for reasons of wear and tear or causes unrelated to the occurrence. The insurance company cannot reimburse the cost of repairing or replacing such parts therefore they become the owner's responsibility.
Windshield damage claims often result in the use of independent laboratory testing to ascertain whether the damage arose out of an occurrence or over time due to wear and tear. These lab reports are typically ordered and paid for by the insurance company.
Betterment - Depreciation of Propellers and Time Life Components:
In many cases when propellers and limited-life components are damaged and repaired or replaced, they are returned in a "zero-time" condition. Since manufacturers routinely recommend a time limit between overhauls on these items, insurance companies calculate prorated depreciation based on an estimated flat rate overhaul cost of the propeller or component part had it not been damaged. For example, a $1,000 propeller damaged at "mid-time" would result in $500 reimbursement, if replaced.
Occasionally during the repair process, other repairs are elected, equipment upgraded or appearance enhanced. In these cases, obviously only the repairs associated with the damage will be reimbursed by the insurance company. For example, a damaged component may require painting to match but not warrant an entire painting of the aircraft. If a complete painting is desired, the cost will be prorated.
Forwarding Repair Invoices:
When corresponding with the insurance company, always reference the Named Insured, the date of the occurrence along with the claim number assigned by the company, if available.
Please request your repair facility to exclude non-damage work on the repair invoice. Any work unrelated to the damage repairs should be performed on a separate work order. Insurance companies prefer not to receive faxed invoices. Please send itemized originals or copies that are readable to avoid unnecessary delays.
If your repair facility sends components such as engines to others for repair, the insurance company will typically need an itemized repair invoice and condition report, if applicable, from the subcontractor to be included with the primary contractor’s invoices. If your repair includes several invoices from different repair facilities and associated expenses, please include a note describing what is being sent.
Claims for other expenses should be submitted in a logical format that completely describes what type of reimbursement is being presented for consideration. Keep in mind there are some expenses an insurance policy will not cover such as your time in working through the claims process.
Payment of Your Claim:
Most insurance companies require a properly executed Proof of Loss form (signed and notarized) in their office prior to claim payment. Claim drafts are typically made payable to the Policyholder and other documented parties and must be endorsed by signature prior to presenting for payment (company stamps are not accepted). If you have a lienholder or owner/lessor listed on your policy as a loss payee, their name will appear on any claim draft/check issued for a physical damage (hull) loss. Arrangements should be made with these interested third parties for their endorsement of the draft/check.
During the process of handling the loss, insurance companies frequently will order a title report from FAA records. If the Named Insured and the registered owner of the aircraft are not the same, be prepared to provide the insurance company with acceptable proof that the Named Insured has an insurable interest in the aircraft.
What We do for You:
Our aviation claims team will make sure all of your needs are addressed throughout the entire claims process - from management to advocacy - and will be with you ever step of the way, working for a fair and equitable settlement.
Like us, Versant is an AssuredPartners Company with a dedicated team of experienced aviation professionals ready to serve you with rapid response, integrity and clear communications. The reward is greater resilience, lower insurance costs, and better bottom-line performance.