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Passenger liability

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Passenger liability

Old 29th Sep 2013, 21:44
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Passenger liability

When renting from from a FTO and you have a spot of bad luck and wipe out yourself and pax, what is the situation regarding pax's dependants claiming compo from your surviving estate/wife/ kids etc. assume all the aircraft paperwork, inspections etc are up to date.
Can you indemnify yourself against this?
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 07:40
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Can you indemnify yourself against this?
Er, no, since you'd be dead... And I don't see how they could make a claim against surviving relatives since it wouldn't have been them that had been negligent, if any negligence was to be shown.

(this is an opinion only and is worth what you paid for it, as folk say on t'internet)
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 07:51
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The difficulties faced by Colin McRae's estate would suggest that if the paperwork is not all in order, then the lawyers will have a feast.
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 08:30
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And I don't see how they could make a claim against surviving relatives since it wouldn't have been them that had been negligent, if any negligence was to be shown.
The claim would be against your estate, which would include any life insurance, property in your name etc etc. As many things are in joint names the net result is your relatives end up penniless and homeless anyhow. Equally, if you have survived, the claim may be directly against you.

There was a great article recently (September issue LAA mag here ) where aviation solicitor Tim Scorer outlined some of the likely claims from injured pax. Some running to many millions. (think lifetime care for someone seriously disabled.)

Frankly it has been something troubling me as I rent GA.

Last edited by Daysleeper; 30th Sep 2013 at 08:31. Reason: Add commas
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 08:35
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Ideally you should take the appropriate action to raise your handling skills and decision making to a level where " do I feel lucky" is no longer in your pre flight checks.
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 09:15
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As has been stated in earlier posts, passengers and their families would have a claim against you or your estate. The obvious remedy to this is to be sure you are covered by insurance.

As a first step, you should review the insurance cover of the people who are renting the plane to you. If it doesn't provide adequate cover, I suggest you contact a broker such as Haywards who should be able to provide a suitable policy.
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 09:21
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the obvious remedy is to get over big noting yourself and dont carry passengers. I don't.
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 09:29
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Slight tangent, but I've recently started learning (6 hrs in) and I've been wondering if I need to notify my existing life insurers, and my company from a Death in Service perspective?

I can't see anything in the paperwork I've got, but this may not be the specific contract wording.

A general view would be helpful.

Thanks,
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 09:34
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groundbased you will find that private pilots will not be offered life insurance.

it is something to do with the mortality rate.
(all the pilots I know of, most died of old age.)

whenever the sales guys think they are on to a certainty I tell them that I have been a private pilot for 40 years. for some reason they all promptly vanish.
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 09:40
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groundbased you will find that private pilots will not be offered life insurance.
Poppycock!!
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 09:47
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I can assure you that in australia being a private pilot means no life insurance.

I suggest you read the exclusions in your own policy before telling me about your family jewels.
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 09:49
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The OP and Groundbased are in the UK not Australia.

Last edited by Jodelman; 30th Sep 2013 at 09:50.
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 09:52
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I suggest you read the exclusions in your own policy
you might just get a little surprise.
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 10:44
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Aren't most life insurance policies fixed on whatever you do when the policy is taken out?
Mine was loaded (slightly) for the flying I was doing when I took it out (long form fill in) , couple of years later I got asked to do some test flying ( post maintenance type) called the insurers up who said it made no odds now as the policy was in force.
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 11:06
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When renting from from a FTO and you have a spot of bad luck and wipe out yourself and pax, what is the situation regarding pax's dependants claiming compo from your surviving estate/wife/ kids etc. assume all the aircraft paperwork, inspections etc are up to date.
Can you indemnify yourself against this?
Wouldnt the FTO's insurance cover this, or is it so wildly different everywhere that passanger liability is not covered?
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 12:21
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The injury / death in service / health cover provided through my employer doesn't have a private pilot exclusion. At least it better not - I asked our HR department to check...

Personal life insurance cover might be different, however, as it is more personally tailored. I would expect a slightly higher premium or an add-on required (on the same lines if you regularly went skiing) but not a straight exclusion.

However you should check.
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 12:30
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A few things being slightly mixed up here.

First, the issue is not really one about indemnification. It's about liability (whether it exists) and insurance (whether you have cover for the liability if it exists).

Second, I don't see that it really makes much difference whether you rent or own, unless it transpires that the cause of the accident was a problem with the aeroplane rather than the pilot.

Third, I don't think it makes any difference (as regards liability) whether or not you are fatally injured. A big claim could affect your family finances whether you survive or not.

Fourth, there's no point limiting the issue to passengers. Same issue applies if you kill some poor soul on the ground or in another aircraft.

In fact, it doesn't really make sense to limit the issue to aircraft. Same issues apply if you drive your car negligently; ski negligently or whatever.

Sensible insurance; try your human best to take care; understand that imaginative lawyers can always think of liability scenarios which buy them attention, column inches in the press or fees; and, then live life with a sense of mortality for you and others.
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 13:10
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groundbased you will find that private pilots will not be offered life insurance.
I can assure you this most certainly isn't the case in the UK. Some policies may exclude it by default so if you have a policy and didn't disclose that you're a pilot it's certainly worth checking.

However dependant on the type of flying you do and that it's openly declared during application, a lot will not specify it as an exclusion.

I have recently taken out a policy via Stein Pilot Insurance who are a broker specialising in (surprisingly) insurance for pilots. As a basic PPL I fly around 50 hours per year, and this was accepted by a main stream insurer without any increase to the premiums.
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 14:27
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HR at my company have confirmed there is no issue with the DIS. I am notifying the insurers for my personally held life insurance, so will update when I get a reply from them.
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 18:21
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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.

So where would you stand legally in the event of an accident, 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 terms!

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?
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