In case there were ever a doubt for those living along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, hurricane season is upon us with a vengeance. In recent years, several insurance companies began offering “hurricane relocation expense” endorsements to incentivize their clients to get insured aircraft out of harm’s way.
When offered, this coverage typically reimburses up to a stated amount for reasonable expense incurred from flying a plane well outside the hurricane watch or warning area.
The aircraft must of course have hull coverage in effect to begin with and there are other specific parameters around which reimbursement applies, all of which vary from company to company. Insurance carriers will want original documentation and receipts promptly submitted (many have a specified timeframe) before they will provide reimbursement.
An interesting element to the process is that these reimbursements are handled via the insurance company claims departments. Does that mean you’ve now suffered a “claim” and, if so, will it affect your future rates? Well, yes and no. While hurricane reimbursement is technically logged as a claim expense item, the underwriters we’ve talked to state they would not typically view this as a claim in the traditional underwriting sense.
So, what happens if you don’t move your aircraft and it is subsequently damaged by the wind, rain or flood from a hurricane? Nearly all aircraft policies are known as “all-risk” policies meaning that, unless the occurrence is excluded, there is coverage. The vast majority of general aviation aircraft policies do not have a “wind/rain/flood” exclusion so hurricane damage to the aircraft itself is generally covered.
Fly safe and, when needed, batten down the hatches!
Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.