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Call Before You Buy

By Bob Mackey, Vice President, Falcon Insurance Agency, Inc.

An EAA member called me the other day asking about insurance for an airplane he planned to buy. This happens all the time-nothing unusual about getting these types of phone calls. However, this particular member was looking at a high-performance, experimental amateur-built seaplane. The member did not have a seaplane rating and, in fact, did not hold a private or commercial pilot's license. Furthermore, the member had already put down several thousand dollars on the aircraft and was committed to make the purchase.

I have to scratch my head in situations like this. At Falcon Insurance Agency, we've been able to insure a lot of different kinds of airplanes for pilots with varied levels of experience through the EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan. However, it would be a major challenge to arrange aircraft insurance in a situation like this. Unfortunately it may turn out we cannot obtain insurance without several conditions and requirements, substantial premium, or both.

It's very important to get all of our ducks in a row from the start; to make sure that when buying or building an airplane, the insurance will be available when needed. For an EAA member, it's simple: Pick up the phone and call the EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan to find out what kind of insurance you're going to need, when it's needed, and what to do to prepare for it.

You would be surprised at how a little bit of preparation and training can get you ready for the airplane you want to buy. If you're moving into a tailwheel airplane and have no tailwheel experience, 15 or 20 hours of training time and a tailwheel endorsement can go a long way toward making sure you're insurable. And getting a seaplane rating and preparing for a purchase ahead of time can make insurance much more readily available and affordable.

It's frustrating when you can't help someone who wants to buy an airplane. Contact the EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan well in advance so that you can find out what aircraft is best for you and get a ballpark idea of what the insurance will cost.

EAA INSURANCE TIPS is a special EAA Member benefit. If you have an insurance related topic you’d like to see addressed or if you have any comments, please email bmackey@falconinsurance.com. If you need an insurance quotation call 866-647-4EAA (4322).

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