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Flight School - Insurance FAQ


While I am a student in the airplane with a CFI. Am I responsible for aircraft damage?

As a student it would be very hard to make you responsible.  The CFi is the PIC so my opinion no.  Now after primary training I think it’s a gray area as who is the PIC, the pilot or CFI.  In this case I think as a student you will not be unless you did something intentional and the both of you lived and the CFI could tell the tail. 

Or am I only responsible for damage when I am the only person in the plane?

Insurance carriers reserve the right to subrogate which means they could come after you for damage to the aircraft.  Have I seen it.  Not often unless again it was something very negligent and stupid.  Recently a commercial student came back on a cross country and ran off the runway.  About $30K worth of damage and nothing was done to the renter. So again not very often but they could.

Or as a student am I not responsible for damage to the plane while in solo flight? 

You would be responsible, however refer to the above remarks.

While I am a student in training, do I need to purchase my own insurance policy from AOPA? 

I would recommend it.  Remember the policy that Aviation Tech is for them not for you.  There is some liability coverage but it is capped.  As a pilot you will get sued for 3rd party bodily and property damage.  I would recommend it.

If I am supposed to purchase renter insurance. What is the amount the insurance needs to cover? Does it need to only cover your existing insurance deductible and loss of use of the plane?

Or does it need to cover the entire airplane cost?

You do not need to have it but I would.  What is your risk tolerance verse of what you have?  It just limit homeowners and car insurance.  You are protecting your estate.  As for damage to the plane.  Remember the carrier can come after you but we do not see if often.  Get what you can afford.  Some is better than none.