Aircraft Fleet Managers and Their Critical Role in Procuring and Maintaining Aviation Insurance
An Aircraft Fleet Manager is directly responsible for all items relevant to the administration and quality control of the fleet. They must supervise and manage the day-to-day activities including aircraft maintenance, flight crews, training, scheduling, dispatch and compliance with regulations.
In addition, and equally important to the above, is that Aircraft Fleet Managers need to procure and maintain the insurance on all aircraft under management. Insurance industry best practices recommend that the Aircraft Manager, or FAR Part 135 Air Carrier Certificate holder, be the point person on this critical component. Very simply, it’s not a sound risk management practice to rely on a third party’s insurance policy to protect the aircraft management company.
For instance, if the aircraft owner obtains the aircraft insurance, then the Aircraft Manager’s appointed insurance agent or broker will not have any authority to manage the critical function of claims. Claims by their very nature are problematic and aircraft owner and underwriter expectations need to be managed carefully to have a satisfactory result that leave both relationships intact for the Aircraft Manager.
In most cases, the Aircraft Manager has valuable experience negotiating fleet insurance programs. They work with commercial aviation insurance brokers. They know their underwriters and have relationships that, in many cases, span several years. Most importantly, they understand the claim handling process from experience.
The Aircraft Manager can have Peace of Mind that every time an aircraft is dispatched he has insurance coverage with standardized pilot warranties/training requirements, territories, limits of liability and purpose of use.
The Advantages Are Clear
Aircraft Managers who are given this task are empowered to more effectively manage and perform their task. This arrangement ensures the elimination of the following:
- Eliminates the need to “chase” each aircraft owner for adequate proof of insurance. This includes very precise additional insured and waiver of subrogation language that have to be tracked and reviewed for compliance.
- Eliminates duplication of certificates of insurance for interested parties, which can be literally hundreds with all the charter brokers, customers and other interested parties.
Potential Objections & Obstacles
Aircraft owner resistance to insuring their aircraft under the Aircraft Managers Fleet Policy generally fall into these areas:
- They want control over the insurance.
- They already have an existing insurance policy and broker relationship.
- Perception that the Aircraft Manager may be over charging for the cost of the insurance.
- Some feel they can get a cheaper price – and they may, depending on a number of individual factors.
- Concern over not being covered in the event the Aircraft Manager voids the coverage.
At Air-Sur, our knowledgeable and highly experienced team can provide you with key insights that can address any of the above “objections” and help you make informed decisions that are best for you and your business. Please contact us today and let’s get started.