FAA Requirements vs. Insurance Requirements

One of the most common oversights or misconceptions among operators is the belief that compliance with FAA regulations automatically means compliance with insurance requirements. This is not always the case. For anything larger or more complex than a single-engine, fixed-gear aircraft, there’s almost always an annual insurance training requirement. This could be something as simple as an IPC (instrument proficiency check) or as involved as full motion simulator training. It all depends on the type of aircraft insured, the experience of the pilot(s), and the use of the aircraft.

I can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard operators tell us their pilots “just got checked out” or “are current in the make/model.” That’s all good if there aren’t any further training requirements. However, as mentioned above, there’s usually more to it (from an insurance perspective) than just getting checked out or staying current. If there is and you’re operating under the assumption that FAA compliance means insurance compliance, there’s a potential insurability issue in the event of a claim. The adjuster will go through the pilot’s logbook to verify that the training requirement of the insurance policy has been met.

If they can’t find it, there’s an issue. This is even more prevalent in mixed fleets because, depending on the aircraft involved, there could be specific training requirements for each make/model. Just because training was completed in one aircraft may not always mean you’re in the clear for the remainder of the policy year.

As always, pay special attention to all pilot clauses on your policy, because you don’t want a technicality or an oversight to be the reason a claim isn’t paid. Remember, the FAA doesn’t write claim checks!