Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Dream Big: Buy A Plane

Financing and insurance are the first steps in making your ownership dream come true

"Smooth" coverage is more expensive but extends the per-passenger amount to the policy limit. In the previous scenario, smooth coverage would mean that the accident would result in the insurance company paying up to $1,000,000 to that one passenger. If two passengers were involved, smooth coverage would pay $500,000 each.

Because insurance can be a complex subject, we also spoke to Jon Harder from Aviation Resources, another large insurer of general aviation aircraft. One of the bits of insurance advice he offered was compelling owners to also purchase non-owned ("renter's") insurance. According to Harder, such insurance helps cover the "gap" between your normal policy's deductible and the insured amount. "Even if they buy non-owned insurance for the liability coverage, it's worth it," said Harder. "For the price of an hour with an attorney, a pilot could get a non-owned policy that could be critical in the event of a claim against the standard policy."

There's much more to the aircraft- buying game and prospective owners would be well-advised to research all they can, prior to making a purchase. Some additional areas to investigate are pre-qualification calculators to help you determine how much aircraft you can really afford, the pre-buy inspection that's a key task in buying a used aircraft, consideration of partnerships and fractional ownership, and—as AOPA has been promoting—the idea of purchasing an aircraft for use in a flying club. They're all factors to consider in fulfilling your dream of finally owning an aircraft. Trust me, there's nothing like it.


Finance and Insurance are both areas where rate and services can vary widely. It's important to note that some companies specialize in a certain market (e.g. jumbo loans or higher-risk aircraft). The trick is to find the right company to finance or insure your particular aircraft. Most underwriters agree that half of the battle of purchasing aircraft insurance is working with the right agent or broker and valuing your aircraft correctly. There are a few companies that have established reputations, and we have listed those below. For a more comprehensive list of finance companies that specialize in aircraft purchases, start at National Aircraft Finance Association at


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