Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Non-Airline Forums > Private Flying
Reload this Page >

Passenger liability

Private Flying LAA/BMAA/BGA/BPA The sheer pleasure of flight.

Passenger liability

Old 30th Sep 2013, 19:25
  #21 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Daventry
Posts: 349
Life insurance

When I started flying my life cover company said as the policy was already established no problem but they wouldn't have taken me as a new client
modelman is offline  
Old 30th Sep 2013, 21:57
  #22 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: kent
Posts: 211
This a bit of a concern
Echo Romeo - It is indeed a concern as 125,000 limit of indemnity for passenger liability is totally inadequate and the insurance broker that sold you such a limit is very unprofessional unless he explained the inadequacy and you accepted it.

A placard such as you describe would have no legal effect at all.
Jodelman is offline  
Old 30th Sep 2013, 22:13
  #23 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 148

if you had fixed a placard in front of the righthand seat worded
appropriately, but basically stating... if you fly in this aircraft you do so at
your own risk, so therefore anyone flying would be deemed to have accepted those

What is deemed negligent? For example, you suffer engine failure
due to mechanical failure then in the ensuing forced landing run into power
lines and kill your pax, would you in those circumstances be liable to a claim
against you?
Despite frequent signs that may suggest otherwise, English law does not allow you to exclude liability for causing death or personal injury through negligence.

IN answer to your second question, negligence is basically a combination of two things: 1) owing a duty of care to someone and 2) failing to discharge that duty of care. Whether or not you owe a duty of care to someone is largely a matter if law. You will owe a duty of care to passengers and pretty much anyone who is foreseeably affected by your actions. Whether you fail to discharge that duty is partly a question of fact and begins with an assessment of the standard of care required. Having an accident (even if it kills or injures someone) does not in itself equate automatically to negligence. To use an example, a freak weather event causing a CFIT beyond anyone's ability to control it, is not evidence of your negligence. There is a big grey area though. Your actual example would require closer examination. One would need to consider, for example, whether hitting the power lines was caused by a failure to use the skill expected of a PPL holder when executing a forced landing.
CharlieDeltaUK is offline  
Old 1st Oct 2013, 09:12
  #24 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Dublin
Posts: 2,547
This a bit of a concern, my passenger liability cover is 125k, now if I was to kill, lets say, a young professional with a family in a flying accident, that amount of cover is not going to be nearly enough.
Woudl the passenger not be claiming off the third party part of your policy, which would be much more than that?
dublinpilot is offline  
Old 1st Oct 2013, 09:33
  #25 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: New Zealand
Age: 66
Posts: 73
Fortunately here in New Zealand we have an accident compensation scheme that automatically pays for medical costs etc in the event of an accident irrespective of the cause or fault, and it removes the right to sue in these cases.

However I think we need to look at the conditions of a PPL as opposed to a CPL. A PPL may not carry passengers for hire or reward, so the same degree of duty of care does not apply. That doesn't mean the pilot has no duty of care, just that it is not formed as part of a contract. I believe that for a case to be successfull against a PPL there would have to more than simple negligence, it would almost have to be culpable negligence or some deliberate act on the part of the pilot. ( I have no legal training, so this opinion is worth exactly what you paid for it).

Last edited by Ka6crpe; 1st Oct 2013 at 09:33.
Ka6crpe is offline  
Old 1st Oct 2013, 12:15
  #26 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: England
Posts: 241
Jodelman, the insurers I am with are probably the biggest providers to light GA in the country, all my friends who own aircraft use them and have the same level of cover as myself.

dublinpilot, I don't know, I am going look into this more thoroughly !

CharlieDeltaUK, Thank you for explaining that, there is indeed food for thought, I think I'll seek clarification from my insurers.
Echo Romeo is offline  
Old 1st Oct 2013, 15:39
  #27 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Dorset
Posts: 42
Echo Romeo

I created a thread on this subject a few weeks back (here), and I would really recommend reading the article in the LAA magazine for which I provided a link (same piece as referred to earlier in this thread).

As the article shows, 125k for passenger liability seems very low in the context of the types of compensation claims which are now being paid out on.

However a bigger question is whether you should even be arranging separate passenger liability cover and whether it might not be better to arrange cover based on a combined single limit (CSL) to encompass both the third party and passenger liability limits. This subject is again explained in the article.

While there are no absolute rules, I believe that CSL is often a better approach for light aircraft owners. The article suggests CSL is the norm amongst owners in the UK although your post suggests otherwise.

Bob Bevan is offline  
Old 2nd Oct 2013, 16:28
  #28 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: England
Posts: 122
Protecting yourselves and Insurance

The Combined Single Limit approach is better for protecting the Pilot, or his Estate, from pax and third party claims.

There are minimum insurance limits imposed by EU law - enter the reg of a UK aircraft into G-INFO and see them displayed.

I have a 7m+ CSL when flying, which for 4 pax seats in a turbine helicopter could easily fall short of the mark in the event of multiple death or catastrophic injuries. Were i routinely flying 5 up, then I would seek top up cover - known as Risk Excess.

Interestingly, in the US, there are no minimum insurance requirements in GA private flying, and the insurers rarely provide more than $100k per seat of liability cover. That may partially explain why more product liability claims are brought - the so called deep pocket theory.

Also, so-called disclaimers are rarely valid in the GA sector.
Swiss Cheese is offline  
Old 3rd Oct 2013, 23:00
  #29 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: adelaide australia
Posts: 268
If you place a placard on the panel you may be advising that there is risk, but not limiting your liability. I believe it has been argued that if you have a "Beware of the Dog" notice on your property, then you are aware that the dog is dangerous and that INCREASES your Duty of Care!

The EXPERIMENTAL placard on some types is a warning notice of the passengers accepting the associated risk.

Lawyers being what they are, the defining factor in any argument will always be the equity and wealth (if any)held by the defendant, as long as that remains you'll always have litigation.
gileraguy is offline  
Old 4th Oct 2013, 03:09
  #30 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Savannah GA & Portsmouth UK
Posts: 1,784
As many things are in joint names the net result is your relatives end up penniless and homeless anyhow.
Errmmm...... My understanding is that a property that is held jointly as a joint tenancy (most commonly husband and wife) passes in its entirety to the surviving tenant(s) on death and does not form part of your estate. I don't know whether the same applies to other joint assets such as a bank account in joint names. Tenancy in common is different, if you are tenants in common then my understanding is that your share of the property does form part of your estate. Perhaps some legally qualified beagle can say whether I am right or wrong.
Mike Cross is offline  
Old 4th Oct 2013, 10:24
  #31 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Dorset
Posts: 42

I think you are right that there are circumstances in which your estate might be protected depending on the structure of holdings.

That said, there is more general point of the moral obligation to ensure that third parties or passengers are properly protected from the consequences of our actions. I think I would feel pretty guilty if I caused an accident that led to an innocent person being badly injured. However I would feel a hell of a lot more guilty if they went uncompensated because I had saved a few quid on my insurance and then relied on a technicality to avoid my responsibilities.
Bob Bevan is offline  
Old 4th Oct 2013, 14:53
  #32 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: England
Posts: 241
Ok, so all it will cost to convert my policy to 3.25 mil Indemnity CSL is 80 extra a year. Why I wasn't offered the choice in the first place, god only knows!

Above that level the premium ramps up dramatically, so I guess it's a case of risk assessment, I only have 1 pax seat I'll consider carefully who I offer it to.
Echo Romeo is offline  
Old 4th Oct 2013, 15:05
  #33 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: kent
Posts: 211
Why I wasn't offered the choice in the first place
Good question! Do you really want to stay with such a broker?
Jodelman is offline  
Old 4th Oct 2013, 15:50
  #34 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Dorset
Posts: 42
Hi Echo,

Glad to hear you have got it sorted and that it has not cost that much more, although as you say, it does make you wonder why they did not offer CSL in the first instance.

To be honest though, they should not be ramping up the liability premium that much if you increase the level of liability cover. Liability risk does not increase in a linear fashion as the higher the limit the less likely that the insurer will have to pay out the the full amount of cover provided. For this reason increasing the limit from 3.5m to 7m (i.e. 100% increase in cover) should, depending on other rating factors, only result in an increase of about 40% in liability premium.

The mods (moderator that is, not skinheads on lambrettas ) will beat me up if I mention my online aircraft insurance service by name, but as Jodelman says, maybe a bit of shopping around come renewal might be in order!
Bob Bevan is offline  
Old 4th Oct 2013, 16:28
  #35 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: England
Posts: 241
I have 5 Months to run I will then seek a couple more quotes.

But one thing I will say, is that In the last 3 years I have known 2 people, one of whom is a close friend who have had their aircraft written off, the latter in an arson attack.

Both were insured with who I am, and in both cases their claims were settled very quickly and to the complete satisfaction of the claimants. So on balance unless there is a massive difference in premiums come renewal time I shall probably stay with them.
Echo Romeo is offline  
Old 4th Oct 2013, 17:50
  #36 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Savannah GA & Portsmouth UK
Posts: 1,784
Just out of interest do you worrry about the liability limit on your car insurance?
Mike Cross is offline  
Old 4th Oct 2013, 18:03
  #37 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Surrey
Posts: 1,220
Originally Posted by Mike Cross View Post
Just out of interest do you worrry about the liability limit on your car insurance?
Yes. Unless you are just buying the minimum to be legal, I would have thought most people should buy an amount of insurance that was sensible given their personal circumstances (how much they have to lose, the risk of creating the liability, and how much they can afford to insure against that liability). If one think they have bought 5m in liability cover and then discovers there are a bunch of sub limits that means only 100 grand is available, that would be 'unfortunate'.
mm_flynn is offline  
Old 4th Oct 2013, 18:11
  #38 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Savannah GA & Portsmouth UK
Posts: 1,784
Not sure I follow your logic. Shirley it's not your own circumstances but those of the people you are contemplating slaughtering that determine the amount of cover you require?

At the end of the day Insurance is a gamble. You insure against those things that would be a disaster for you to a level that you are comfortable with considering your own opinion on the likelihood of disaster striking.

I know people who are so risk averse (or gullible) that they insure thir iPhones, iPads, Dishwashers and Boilers. It's a bet where the dice are heavily loaded in favour of the insurers. Sure you may get unlucky and be glad of the cover but at the end of the day none of them would wipe me out so I'm happy to carry the risk myself.
Mike Cross is offline  
Old 4th Oct 2013, 18:12
  #39 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: kent
Posts: 211
Just out of interest do you worrry about the liability limit on your car insurance?
No need to worry - third party and passenger liability limits on UK private motor policies is unlimited! - Road Traffic Act requires it to be so.

Not so in other parts of the world. You might be worried if you realised the limit on many rental cars in the USA.
Jodelman is offline  
Old 4th Oct 2013, 18:42
  #40 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Savannah GA & Portsmouth UK
Posts: 1,784
Indeed, the limits on my car insurance in the US are $100,000 for Liability, $300,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 for property damage.

To add to the confusion if I drive a couple of miles north and have an accident I'm in South Carolina where the law is different. If I actually moved house a couple of miles north I'd have to re-register my car, turn in my Georgia Drivers license and get a South Carolina one.

So my driver's license is a State one and my Pilots license is a Federal one - go figure. As neither the licenses or the vehicles they cover were invented when the Constitution was written it's all a bit of a mystery to me (a non-resident alien who is nevertheless legally residing in the US and is a US taxpayer).
Mike Cross is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.