International Aviation Insurance Requirements: Part 1 – Local Requirements
While standard worldwide insurance will cover most business aircraft operators in most parts of the world, there are regions and countries that mandate specific additional insurance requirements. Without this specific coverage, landing permits may be denied, and operations will be delayed.
The following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. Specific country requirements differ from standard worldwide insurance
A worldwide insurance policy is usually standard with a somewhat generic coverage; however, country-specific requirements often differ in terms of minimum liability coverage for aircraft, passengers, and baggage. These policy requirements also specify currency or currencies that coverage must be denoted in – usually USD, Euros, or Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). Common insurance policy issues for international operators include lack of clear currency notation or a currency notation not acceptable to the appropriate Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). If your liability coverage is for 250 million, be sure to list this on the policy as "$250 million USD."
Italy has specific insurance requirements for charter (non-scheduled commercial) operators, and a special format must be used. These specific coverage requirements have been in place for the past few years and can change at any moment. Insurance documentation must be submitted with the charter landing permits applications; otherwise, permits will not be processed. Note that policies must indicate specific start and end dates; clearly identify the aircraft tail number; and include year, make, and model of airplane. Also, it’s very important that the operator name matches the covered entity in the policy.
Germany has different insurance requirements for charter operators. Policies must specifically state that Germany is covered. Operator name must match the covered entity, and policies must have precise start and end dates. If your policy does not indicate an expiration date, it will not be accepted for the permit application. Liability coverage must meet minimum limits in SDR units. Policies must identify aircraft tail number with year, make, and model, and they must contain the Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW) and passenger capacity of the aircraft.
Insurance requirements specific to Mexico apply to both private non-revenue and charter operations. All policies must be in Spanish. Coverage limits differ between private non-revenue and charter operations, with higher coverage limits required for charter. Each policy must specifically indicate whether the operation is private or charter (commercial), and the policy must be aircraft-specific – not just a fleet policy. This policy must be submitted with the landing permit requests, and the original policy must always be kept onboard. Be aware that you also need to have worldwide insurance, and this must be submitted to Direccion General de Aeronautica Civil, along with the Mexican insurance policy for landing permit consideration.
5. Hong Kong
For Hong Kong specific insurance requirements exist for both private non-revenue and charter operations; however, actual insurance requirements are the same for both types of flights. Hong Kong insurance requirements stipulate coverage limits based on MTOW. Policies must indicate the currency unit, specific operator name along with verbiage including coverage for 3rd-party liability, war risk, and allied perils. Note that specific verbiage is also required for baggage and cargo. Hong Kong CAA will request revisions to insurance documents that do not meet these requirements, and permits will not be processed if the documentation doesn’t contain all the required verbiage. We’ve seen cases of landing permits denied because insurance currency units are not included (and in one case simply because a comma happened to be missing), so be careful.
Specific insurance coverage is required for all private and charter operations to and within the European Union (EU) – as covered under EU regulation 785/2004. This is separate from worldwide insurance, which must also be carried onboard the aircraft, and coverage limits need to be denoted in SDRs. Note that EU regulations stipulate appropriate minimum bodily injury coverage – usually 250,000 SDR – for each passenger. EU policies differ from standard worldwide insurance coverage, both in terms of minimum liability limits, territory covered, currency units, and specific required verbiage. Accepted currency units typically include USD or Euros of SDRs; however, this may change depending on where you’re operating. Note that many EU countries perform ramp checks, and authorities will want to see evidence of insurance coverage.
Work with your 3rd-party provider and do your due diligence – with regard to insurance requirements – whenever operating internationally.
If you have any questions about this article, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.