Over the past several months AOPA Australia has received reports from members, concerned with the rising costs of public liability inclusions within their aircraft insurance policies, with privatised airports demanding higher public liability coverage than in previous years. Frustrated aircraft owners have called on AOPA Australia to reach out to airport operators, with a view towards seeking an industry standard for public liability coverage.
AOPA Australia has reached out the Australian Airports Association, speaking with National Policy Manager Ms Samantha Leighton, inviting the association to work with AOPA Australia and the Australian General Aviation Alliance in developing a national benchmark for public liability coverage. An invitation has also been extended to the Recreational Aviation Australia seeking their participation.
“We are seeing a general trend towards higher limts on public liabilty with $20-$30 million becoming the norm. This is impacting both aircraft owners and hangar owner/keepers, with policies dramatically increasing in value to reflect the greater public liability coverage, ” Aaron Stephenson, Director of AvCover Australia.
“The increases in public liability requirements do not appear to be following any demonstratable trend in public liability claims or payouts. It appears that recent increases are well in excess of what may be operationally required,” he said.
“AOPA Australia is hopeful that we can work towards an industry benchmark that can deliver meaningful savings for general aviation and recreational aircraft owners and operators, we are looking forward to meeting with the Airports Association in the coming weeks to start this dialogue, ” Executive Director Benjamin Morgan.
“It is not in the interests of airports to impose excessive public liability requirements, which will result in fewer aircraft using their airport and facilities into the future. A sustainable level of public liability must be established to help safeguard both the aircraft ownership and airport communities,” he said.