Resources & Insights

On a Charter Flight for Business? Best Get Coverage for That

January 30, 2018

No matter what anyone tells you, flying is still the safest way to send your CEO or sales executives for a client visit. In fact, the National Center for Health Statistics estimates the average person’s odds of dying in a plane crash at 1 in 11 million. We’re much more likely be struck by lightning or die in a car accident.

charter flight insurance
CCIG’s Jeff Parent.

That said, even highly trained pilots will make mistakes. It doesn’t help that Colorado’s mountains pose extra hazards that can surprise even experienced pilots.

It’s obviously a good idea to make sure you’re flying with the most reputable charter companies. How can you tell? For starters, make sure they have rigorous training and rest requirements for their pilots.

You’ll also want to know whether the operator has any accidents or incidents in its history. Ask how long the operator been in business under its current name. Ask about its fleet size and scale and scope of its operations. Ask how frequently safety inspections are conducted, and how many were failed in recent years. And you’ll want to know whether the operator or its flight crew ever received an FAA Enforcement Action or Letter of Correction.

Because accidents do happen, a charter plane owner typically buys aircraft hull coverage, liability and medical expense coverage for passengers.

But that’s often not enough coverage. That’s why there’s another type of insurance policy that any corporate travel department should consider if members of its C-suite or business-development team regularly (or even irregularly) rely on charters to see prospects or customers.

Known as Corporate Non-Owned Aircraft Liability, these policies provide coverage when the charter operator’s own coverage falls short.

The liability limits on such policies are up to $100 million, higher than most charter operator’s policy limits.

Non-owned policies can cover non-owned fixed-wing or rotor-wing aircraft, piston or turbine-powered.

Typical non-owned aircraft liability policies provide bodily injury, property damage and medical expense coverage.

Non-owned aircraft coverage also makes sense even if your company never charters aircraft.

Why? Well, imagine you have an employee who happens to be a licensed pilot and who (with or without your knowledge) decides to rent an aircraft and fly it on company business. Your company could easily be sued after that employee damages the plane in a crash.

Beyond purchasing a non-owned policy, you’ll want to determine two more important items:

  • Whether the charter operator will name you as an additional insured because it never hurts to have as much coverage as possible.
  • Whether the charter operator will provide you with a waiver of subrogation and a certificate of insurance confirming the coverage and aircraft that will be used for the flight. The waiver helps keep the liability where it belongs in case of a lawsuit, while the certificate ensures you’re actually flying in the aircraft named in any specific policy.

Jeff Parent is a CCIG Insurance Advisor. Reach him at or 720-330-7918. CCIG’s Aviation Practice specializes in providing risk management and insurance solutions to a wide range of businesses with aviation exposures.

CCIG is a Denver-area insurance brokerage with the full-service capabilities of a national brokerage. We do more than make sure you have the right policy. We also help you manage your long-term cost of insurance with our risk and claims management expertise and a commitment to service excellence.

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