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GAO Releases Study on GA Liability Insurance

September 10, 2015 - This week, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released the final report of a study it conducted on liability insurance coverage in the general aviation community.

It was commissioned by members of Congress, including Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Florida) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), to look into the current status of GA liability insurance coverage and to examine the feasibility of federally mandating such coverage for GA. Members of the EAA government advocacy team as well as EAA Legal Advisory Council Chairman Alan Farkas were interviewed by the GAO to provide a general aviation stakeholder’s perspective.

EAA continues to assert that federally mandated aircraft liability insurance would drive up costs, placing increased financial burdens on GA pilots struggling to remain flying. Additionally, EAA feels that many GA pilots have already acted in their own best interest and covered their aircraft without being mandated to do so by the federal government.

Though the GAO report does not explicitly recommend a mandate, it also does not refute the need for one. The report cites the arguments of aviation stakeholders such as EAA, and compares them to those of attorneys and other groups who believe much of the GA community is either underinsured or not insured at all. The GAO admits that it is difficult to obtain accurate statistics on the number of insured GA aircraft. As a result, the report does not delve into data related to compensation from aircraft accidents and does not quantify the need for such a mandate.

The EAA government advocacy team continues to thoroughly review the report to determine its potential impact on GA. EAA will also closely monitor the reaction to the report from Capitol Hill and advocate for a positive outcome on behalf of its members.

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