Pilot Training: Your Bi-Monthly Reminder
If it’s one thing I’ll keep revisiting with borderline annoying frequency, it’s pilot training — mainly because of its increasing importance to underwriting/claims these days. A year ago I started talking about a hard market and how it was quickly approaching.
Anyone who’s purchased insurance in the past 18 months knows first-hand that we are in the midst of one (and probably will be for the next 18 months). In the beginning, it was more of a warning on rate hikes. Now, it’s not only rate hikes but also reduced coverage capacity and stricter training requirements. The latter of the two has become much more of an insurance decision factor than it ever has been. In fact, in certain cases, training requirements have taken precedence over premium!
As crazy as that sounds, it’s training requirements—and by direct correlation—training budgets that have now taken the spotlight in insurance discussions. As training requirements become tighter, operators are forced to make buying decisions based on the more favorable operating budget, not just the more favorable insurance premium. For example, an operator has 10 pilots and they’ve historically been allowed to train with non-sim providers. At renewal, they’ve been told their premium won’t change as long as they move to sim training. Operationally, that may double or triple the training budget, not to mention take pilots away for three to seven days.
If there’s an alternate option that allows the operator to keep using approved non-sim trainers, even at the expense of 15–25% more premium, that may be the option they take. In any case, the overriding theme here is that pilot training has never been more at the forefront in insurance underwriting than it is now. Regardless of your take on it, it’s going to be a part of nearly every insurance policy in some fashion. During this hard market, all you can do is embrace it, acknowledge there is no getting out of it, and make sure you’re 100% compliant with whatever your requirement may be.