Starr Aviation, part of Starr Insurance Companies of New York, New York, has introduced its Starr Gate app tailored for renter pilots. The iPad-based program allows pilots to buy insurance on a month-to-month basis, as well as annually, and they earn discounts for participating in the flight scoring option offered through a partnership with CloudAhoy.
Jim Anderson, a Cirrus pilot based at Deer Valley Airport near Phoenix, and senior vice president of Starr Aviation, saw the opportunity to align a pilot’s current skill set and activity with the coverage they require, using the tools available. “With CloudAhoy data, we can write coverage in high definition. It’s customized insurance that can make you a better pilot,” said Anderson.
The program incorporates a flexibility in coverage previously hard to find—and it comes at a time when general aviation’s total flight hours are down, but important aviation activities—such as flight training and recurrency flights—must continue.
Steve Blakey, president and CEO for Starr Insurance Holdings, commented in a call to brokers in which the company announced the program on the potential resilience of the general aviation segment of the aviation industry—especially when contrasted with that of the commercial aviation market. Continued improvement in light aircraft will make GA safer and more cost effective. So, this may be a good time for growth in this segment of the industry. “Maybe the events will demand a renewed interest in GA,” said Blakey. “Maybe people will want to fly in smaller groups.” He related that he saw from his backyard an airplane towing a banner congratulating a neighbor on a baby shower—there are many applications for innovations that lay ahead.
The app will be available through Starr’s brokerage network, with co-branded websites for brokers to use—so pilots have the option to continue with their current broker relationship by downloading the app on their broker’s site. The app is designed to streamline the insurance application and renewal experience, reducing paperwork in the process. It’s also available on Apple’s App Store, and pilots can use it in concert with CloudAhoy’s app—leveraging its CFI Assistant tool for flight scoring if they choose. By challenging pilots to improve on each flight, Starr Gate is intended to help pilots form better flying habits. Ideally, the app would help drive improvement in segments of flight such as stabilized approaches, and thereby leading to improved statistics in loss-of-control in-flight accidents.