Insurer Off the Hook for Claim Because Pilot Skipped Simulator Training

By Jim Sams | July 1, 2019

  • July 11, 2019 at 10:14 am
    Pete Schmitz says:
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    Bravo for XL and the judgement. Irresponsible management decisions driven by greed should be punished. Competition and capacity drive all industries but none as seriously as aviation. Ignoring best practices such as progressive maintenance and simulator based training is a killer in our industry and we have seen it time after time. Fortunately in this case there were only injuries.

    Careful selection of an aircraft operator providing charter services has never been easier given the various safety initiatives driven by industry groups and government regulators. Isn’t your life worth the extra $5,000 or $10,000 for a trip flown by experienced, simulator trained pilots in an aircraft that meets the highest maintenance standards?

    Aviation insurance companies need to draw the line somewhere. Our policies are likely the broadest written policies in the industry. Top insurers, including XL, look to pay claims rather than avoid them. But when there is a blatant disregard of one of the only three policy warrantees, we shouldn’t expect them to pay.

    Our industry has enjoyed a long period of favorable premiums. Year after year, over capacity and competition have driven the rates well below historic levels. As a result, several US and UK based aviation insurance providers have retracted their capacity or ceased writing aviation risks which has driven the rates up. If underwriters are forced to pay claims that are clearly uncovered, the time will come where insurance rates will become excessive for all in our industry. Seemingly unfair to those operators like Clay Lacy, Jet Aviation, NetJets, Executive Jet Management and so many others globally who operate responsibility, train their pilots regularly in simulators, maintain their aircraft on an adequate budget, and procure proper insurance to cover their risks.

    We’re an industry that learns from our unfortunate mistakes, and bad things happen to very good operators. Situations highlighted by the original article can be avoided and if they are not, will continue to smear the reputation of a great industry and quality operators. Be responsible for your actions and don’t expect others to pay for your self inflected wounds.

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