Aviation Accident vs. Insurance Claim

So, you done your research with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and you have picked out a nice aircraft but wait the insurance companies are now telling you it is not a favorable aircraft to insure.

Have you ever wondered how the NTSB and insurance companies seem to come to a different conclusion? How its it that an airplane that has such a great track record not favorable to the NTSB?

For most people this is a scenario that seems to conflict with the data.

To understand how the NTSB and insurance companies come to such a different conclusion one needs to understand that an accident and a claim are not one in the same. When we understand this, we can begin to unravel why such different positions.

This also helps explain why sometimes the safest airplanes according to the NTSB are also some of the most expensive to insure.

So first let’s look at what the NTSB has to say about accidents.

The definition of an accident as defined by the NTSB in 14 CFR Section 830.2:

“Aircraft accident means an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight and all such persons have disembarked, and in which any person suffers death or serious injury, or in which the aircraft receives substantial damage.

Substantial damage means damage or failure which adversely affects the structural strength, performance, or flight characteristics of the aircraft, and which would normally require major repair or replacement of the affected component.

Engine failure or damage limited to an engine if only one engine fails or is damaged, bent fairings or cowling, dented skin, small punctured holes in the skin or fabric, ground damage to rotor or propeller blades, and damage to landing gear, wheels, tires, flaps, engine accessories, brakes, or wingtips are not considered ``substantial damage’’ for the purpose of this part.”

Now let us look at some insurance claims that are not defined as accidents by the NTSB.

This is just a small sampling of where differences might occur. Understanding the definition of an accident vs. a claim however you can now see the disparity in data between the two. So now you have a better understanding of the data and what the insurance companies and the NTSB are considering and the differences you will now also have a better idea why an aircraft may seem on the surface to have an unreasonably high premium.

Contact us today and one of our highly experienced agents will be happy to listen to your needs and act on your behalf to help you get the right coverage at the right price.

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Author: CS&A Staff

Editor: Lewis Austin