Did you know that the aviation insurance market extends beyond international airports and covers many entities and activities within the sector?

"There are many classes of business that fall under aviation, offering agents an opportunity to boost their book of business in the segment," explains Jessica Andel, RPS Aviation underwriter/broker.

"General aviation includes private and recreational aircraft and smaller commercial operators," says Andel. "The segment also encompasses corporate-style charter planes with multiple planes, pilots and corporate jets."

In fact, according to The Wall Street Journal, "Companies in the S&P 500 spent $65 million for executives to use corporate jets for personal travel in 2022, up about 50% from pre-pandemic levels three years earlier."*

Other classes of business in the aviation market include:

  • Municipal airports
  • Aircraft hangars
  • Aircraft manufacturers
  • Maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities
  • Aviation service providers, such as ground handlers, fuel providers, aircraft cleaning services and catering services
  • Warehouses that store aviation equipment
  • Helicopters
  • Drones

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's a Drone!

"Personal [private hobbyist] and commercial drone usage is an increasingly large market in the aviation segment," says Andel.

Contractors use drones to capture topographic data of construction sites and create high-resolution maps of the sites. They also use drones to monitor and inspect sites, keep tabs on construction progress and help access hard-to-reach or hazardous areas to inspect structures, roofs and other components. Safety audits via drones help identify potential hazards and assist in compliance with safety regulations.

"Drone usage in agriculture has gained tremendous traction over the last several years, including in the areas of crop monitoring, assessment and spraying," says Andel. "Drones equipped with cameras and sensors capture high-resolution imagery of crops. This imagery monitors crop health, identifies diseases, detects nutrient deficiencies and assesses overall plant conditions. Drones also carry liquid payloads for crop spraying, which helps reduce chemical usage, minimize environmental impact and improve efficiency."

The Sky's the Limit for Aviation Coverages

An array of coverages is available to protect the various classes of businesses within the aviation segment, including

  • Hull insurance for physical loss or damage to the aircraft
  • Liability insurance for third-party bodily injury or property damage claims
  • Product Liability for manufacturers of aircraft parts
  • Hangar Keepers Liability for damage to or destruction of the aircraft of others while in the insured's custody for storage, repair or safekeeping
  • Grounding coverage to provide loss of income coverage if the aircraft is grounded
  • Non-Owned Aircraft Liability for coverage extended to individuals or companies using non-owned aircraft, such as rented or borrowed planes

"Personal Injury insurance is also available to provide coverage if drone usage violates someone's privacy," says Andel. "There must be risk-management procedures in place to mitigate privacy violations to obtain coverage."

RPS's Aviation practice provides various coverage solutions for a broad range of classes in the aviation segment.

"Agents look to us for access to premier markets and our depth and breadth of industry knowledge," says Andel. "We can write complex accounts and help expand our agency partners' footprint in the aviation segment."


*Francis, Theo. "The $65 Million Perk for CEOs: Personal Use of the Corporate Jet Has Soared," The Wall Street Journal, 16 Jan 2024. Audio.

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