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EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan Helps Coordinate Claims in Wake of Storm

April 4, 2011 — At about 10 a.m. Thursday, Bob Mackey, Falcon Insurance Agency’s representative for the EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan, was in Room 8 at the new Central Florida Aerospace Academy building at Sun ’n Fun in Lakeland, Florida, presenting a forum titled, “Don’t Waste Money on Airplane Insurance.” Not to be taken literally, the forum advised aircraft owners to get the right aircraft insurance for the best price through EAA’s member program.

Shortly after 11 a.m. Mackey was back at the Falcon exhibit in Building B meeting with EAA members and within the hour, the storm hit Lakeland Linder Regional Airport. By the time it was over, dozens of aircraft were damaged, many owned by EAA members insured through the EAA program, and Mackey and the Falcon team sprang into action. As of early Friday afternoon, about 15 claims had been made most settled, Mackey said.

As wrecked planes were being carted to the “Crash Corral,” Mackey was busy contacting representatives from all the insurance companies who provide policies through the EAA program, such as Global Aerospace, Chartis, Star Aviation, U.S. Specialty Insurance Company, Specialty Aviation Underwriters, and others, making sure he had contact information to facilitate processing claims that were sure to come in.

Paul Martin, of Global Aerospace, was in Dallas at the time of the storm, and Mackey called him immediately to inform him about the storm and the resulting catastrophic damage. Martin was soon on a plane heading for Tampa and arrived there about 6 p.m., Mackey said.

“Paul was able to contact about four or five local independent claims adjusters with experience in aviation and we were helping people with claims almost immediately” Mackey said. “In many cases, claims were settled on the spot.” Some then purchased back the aircraft as salvage with plans to restore them.

Also Jim Stewart, Claims Manager at Falcon HQ in Kerrville, Texas, prepared the department on what they could anticipate, so everyone was prepared.

 “At times like this, people really pull together and that was the case here,” Mackey explained. “When people learned their planes were damaged or totaled, they were not happy. But they were a lot happier today knowing their situations were handled.”  

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