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INSURANCE RATES ON THE INCREASE! by J.T. Helms
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2/2/2001 - I donít think the title is news for any of you.  The aviation insurance rate increases and changes in companies have affected almost everyone in the industry within the past year.  There has been plenty of bad news.  There are, however, a few rays of hope.

In general aviation, one insurance company (Great American) stopped writing new business December 1, and others are offering as high as 20% increases.  Both companies that wrote renters (non-owners) insurance stopped writing new business late last year.  Another company started writing this coverage again in January 2001.  However, their prices were a little higher and their options were a bit more limited.

Some commercial operators like small FBOís and flight instruction operations are being hit even harder.  Many are being forced out of business due to rate increases.  These increases were caused by several companies eliminating that type of business this past year and other companies quoting 50% increases and even more in some cases.  Fewer businesses to compete for your business coupled with higher costs for insurance for those companies that remain will probably mean higher costs for everyone in general aviation.    

The good news is that the VanGuard Insurance Programís rates have the same basic rates as when the program was introduced at Oshkosh í99.  The insurance company shows no signs of increasing them in the near future.  New discounts have been added to the program since it began.  RV time and total time milestones trigger two of these for the pilots, and one is incremental just for being with the program accident free!

Since the VanGuard Program was introduced, other insurance companies have lowered their rates to compete.  In most cases, however, the program is the most competitive.  NationAir can provide you with all of these quotes.

More good news for RV pilots is that two more insurance companies are now writing coverage for homebuilts, including RVís!  They arenít extremely competitive yet, but this should help keep the RV insurance rates competitive in the future. 

If you have any questions, you can look at some Frequently Asked Questions about the VanGuard Program or post a question directly to me.  Both can be found under my advertisement at the unofficial Vanís website www.vansaircraft.net.

J.T. answers all insurance questions posed to him in the 'Ask J.T. at NationAir' discussion board.
J.T. also maintains a 'Frequently Asked Questions' file on all aspects of RV insurance.