Does my renter’s policy apply?
I have my personal renter’s insurance policy, and I’m planning on renting my friend’s airplane this weekend. Although I don’t meet his open pilot warranty, I’m still covered under my renter’s policy, right?
No. Personal non-owned aircraft liability (renter’s insurance) is a secondary coverage, just like most other forms of non-owned coverage. It is excess over and above any other valid and collectible insurance. Therefore, if the pilot is uninsured either by not being named and/or not meeting the open pilot warranty, then he/she has voided the primary coverage. This means the policy on the rented aircraft is no longer valid because the pilot hasn’t met the minimum insurability standards.
If the primary policy is invalidated, so too will be the pilot’s renter policy for that flight. How do you ensure this never happens? 1) Ask the aircraft owner for the open pilot warranty on the aircraft in question. If you meet/exceed the minimums, the primary policy won’t be voided by your piloting. 2) If you don’t meet the open pilot warranty, fill out a pilot form, and have the aircraft owner send it in to his agent. The agent will then have the underwriter review for acceptability and (possible) addition to the policy by name. Depending on experience level, you may incur an additional premium.
In either case, you won’t be voiding the primary coverage, and thus, you won’t be voiding your renter’s policy either.