By Avemco Insurance Company

September 2021

There is a special place in heaven for aircraft owners who generously lend their cherished possession to another pilot. Obviously, it requires more critical thought than tossing the keys of your Chevy Malibu to a buddy for an afternoon joyride (even if it is a classic 1965 Malibu 396 SS). And like that classic auto, you are not going to lend your plane to anyone you do not think will take good care of it and fly it safely, as things can go wrong. If you want to make sure your investment will be protected under your insurance policy when you are not at the controls, there are some things you need to know. All insurance policies are different, so we can only speak for an Avemco Insurance Company policy. If you do not have Avemco, make sure you read your policy carefully.


All insurance policies will require that the pilot either meets the criteria of the Open Pilot Warranty (OPW), if there is one, or is named as an Approved Pilot on the policy.


Make sure you carefully review the information on your policy that deals with approved pilots or the description of whom, according to the terms of your policy, can fly your plane. Avemco addresses approved pilots on the policy data page or by endorsement, including descriptions of the basic pilot experience required. In general, the pilot is required to meet one of the following criteria:


1. The pilot meets the OPW stated on the data page of your policy. The OPW is a list of minimum pilot experience necessary for the policy to be in force when that pilot operates the aircraft.  The specific requirements will depend on the type of airplane you own. For example, a tailwheel airplane’s policy will require a certain amount of tailwheel experience, while a retractable gear (RG) airplane will list a minimum amount of RG time.  The OPW will also require a specific number of hours logged in the same make and model as your airplane.  If you are required to attend type-specific recurrent training because of the complexity of your aircraft or the level of coverage you carry, the OPW usually will require it as well.  A pilot flying under the OPW must have enough experience that he or she will not need a checkout in type.


2. If the pilot does not meet the OPW minimum requirements for coverage to apply they will have to be named as an Approved Pilot. Based on that pilot’s flying experience there may be an increase in the cost of your policy—the price of the Avemco policy is based on the least-experienced pilot named to fly your airplane. You will be asked to have the pilot complete a pilot history form before being added to the policy. They may have to obtain a stated amount of flight instruction in the same make and model airplane before being covered when operating your aircraft. It may be possible for the pilot to take this training in your airplane after being named on the policy.


If you have any questions about other pilots flying your airplane, call or email Avemco.  We want to make sure you are protected regardless of whether you are in the left seat or sitting at home.


We would love to know what you think of this PIREP. Please email us at [email protected] and let us know.


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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.