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Avemco PIREP

Speaking the Language

Jonathan "JJ" Greenway, President

January 2012
A big hurdle for many new pilots is learning what to say on the radio–and understanding what's being said back to them. With experience, however, you learn there's a common language used on aviation radio. Know and use that language and communication becomes crystal clear.

The same thing goes for talking to your Avemco® underwriter. Like flying, aviation insurance has a language of its own. Part of the challenge is learning how to "talk insurance" so you get your questions answered and understand the best options for the type of flying you do.

To help you speak the language of insurance even better, take a look at the following aviation insurance terms we use here at Avemco:

Sublimits. A liability sublimit is the maximum the policy will cover for injury or loss to an individual party. For instance, if you purchase $1 million liability subject to $100,000 per person sublimit, then your policy will pay up to $100,000 for any one person's legal action against you over a covered loss, with a total of $1 million for the combination of all claims over a single covered event.

Medical expenses. Also referred to as "additional medical" or "medical payments," is an amount your policy will pay to cover minor medical expenses to a passenger. For instance, if a passenger injures (slams their hand in the door, hits their head on the wing, etc) themselves while getting into your airplane, additional medical coverage will pay up to the coverage amount without the injured party having to prove your negligence to recover minor medical expenses.

Premises liability. Your basic policy covers you for liability directly associated with your airplane, whereas premises liability extends your bubble of liability protection to cover the immediate airport grounds around your aircraft, whether at your home-base airport or another airport while your airplane is located there. Say a person is meeting you at your hangar or tie down spot, they slip and fall, suffering injury as a result. The premises liability covers you if that person files a claim against you for their injuries.

Exclusions. Aircraft insurance policies cover all risks excepting those specifically excluded by the policy wording. Any such exclusions are specifically stated in your policy. Put another way, as long as your premium is paid and you meet the policy requirements, your situation is covered unless the policy specifically says it is not.

Similarly, our underwriters need to speak your language, the language of flying. Avemco works hard to hold up our end of the communication bargain by supporting all of our underwriters' interest in aviation. It makes us better at serving you. We take the need for clear two way communication seriously. Recently we implemented a program where our underwriters fly professionally written decision-making and risk management scenarios in a simulator. These scenarios mirror real-world accident histories, many with input from Dr. Bill Rhodes' industry-acclaimed Aviation Education Research Initiative (AERI).

This makes our underwriters even better at mentoring you through the aviation insurance education process in order to be a partner in your personal safety and risk management plan, not just an insurance agent you communicate with once a year.

The description of policy terms and coverages is for information purposes only. Actual coverages will vary based on local law requirements and the terms and conditions of the policy issued. The information described herein does not amend, or otherwise affect, the terms and conditions of any insurance policy issued by Avemco. In the event that a policy is inconsistent with the information described herein, the language of the policy will take precedence.


Avemco® does not provide technical or legal advice, and is not affiliated with companies whose products and services are highlighted, advertised, or discussed in content contained herein. Content is for general information and discussion only, and is not a full analysis of the matters presented. The information provided may not be applicable in all situations, and readers should always seek specific advice from the FAA and/or appropriate technical and legal experts (including the most current applicable guidelines) before taking any action with respect to any matters discussed herein. In addition, columns and articles solely reflect the views of their respective authors, and should also not be regarded as technical or legal advice.