Government Considers Mandatory Insurance for GA

Gary Rosier

Unless you are required by a lender to carry liability insurance for your airplane, you likely don't have to pay for such a policy. Only 11 states require some form of liability insurance for general aviation aircraft operators, according to the Government Accountability Office, unlike automobile owners and commercial airlines, which are federally obligated to be insured.

But this may not be the case much longer. The GAO says there have been GA accidents where parties received no compensation for losses because the airplane operator had no insurance. As a result, Congress recently commissioned the agency to conduct a study to determine the costs of implementing such a mandate.

The GAO does not make any hard recommendations in its report. It claims it is difficult to determine how many cases exist in which affected parties received no compensation. The report makes mention of the increased cost on the GA community, and the complexity of implementing and administering such a mandate. Only 13 of 73 aviation stakeholders who participated in the study predicted that there would be a potential public benefit from a federally mandated insurance requirement.

What Congress will do with the report, if anything at all, remains to be seen.

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Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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