Chauncey Crail, an FAA-Certified Flying Instructor, explains the benefits of Skywatch’s new, innovative aviation insurance for student renters.
Working as an FAA-Certified Flight Instructor offers many rewards, but few compare to sitting beside new pilots experiencing lift-off for the first time. Sharing the anticipation, excitement, and joy my students feel when piloting an aircraft makes flight instructing an immensely gratifying line of work.
Sharing my passion for and addiction to aviation may actually be the best part of the job, but explaining the financial costs of flying and learning to fly can often feel like the worst. Like a too-slow uncoordinated turn from base to final, it often seems like I’ve tail-spun someone’s hopes and dreams when I deliver a price tag.
With the cost of aviation insurance continuing what feels like an expedited, unrestricted climb, at least now there’s finally a way to help students save on premiums: with SkyWatch, my students only pay for the coverage duration they need: daily, weekly, monthly or annual coverage options can save pilots unnecessary expense.
The Sky-High Cost of Flying
There’s no way around (or over) some of the larger expenses of aviation: airplanes aren’t cheap and fuel prices only ever seem to go up and drag our wallets down. Whether a student pilot buys a stack of textbooks and pays testing fees or a 35,000-hour expert aviator hiring an instructor and paying for fuel for a 61.56 Flight Review in a personal plane, the financial cost associated with flying will always result in more drag than any of us would like.
As any flight instructor should, I do everything I can to help save my student’s money. Insurance remains among the initial costs a student pilot—or any pilot—must pay. Many, if not most flight schools or flying clubs require students to carry renter’s insurance before solo—this traditionally means a pre-solo student often must pay several hundred dollars in premium for a year’s aircraft rental coverage—no matter how long they’ll actually be flying. With Skywatch’s coverage term options, this changes.
Aviation Insurance on Demand
For renters of general aviation aircraft, SkyWatch provides daily, weekly, monthly, or annual light aircraft rental insurance. Pilots can pay only for the duration of coverage required—potentially saving hundreds in annual premiums. And it’s not only pre-solo students who benefit: SkyWatch’s on-demand aircraft rental insurance makes sense for students and aviators all over the field.
Affordable Aviation Insurance ideal for Students
For students with hardly the first page filled out in their logbooks who pass the pre-solo written test, paying a year’s premium to be able to solo doesn’t always make sense. Not all students at the solo stage commit to finishing training and many others accelerate training to finish within a few months only to fly rarely because of high costs. Others achieve solo, then take a break to find additional funding to continue. For many students, a year’s worth of insurance after only a week or two of training is unnecessary and unnecessarily costly.
For casual students only soloing occasionally, daily coverage may end up being cheaper than coverage for the duration of training. Since schools or instructors generally ensure instructional flights, students only need to personally ensure solo flights.
For students accelerating training and flying nearly every day for a few months because it’s the only time off from busy work or school, coverage may only be necessary for those months. After that, obtaining daily coverage only when needed may make more financial sense. With Skywatch’s flexible, on-demand coverage, students can save on bulky premiums by paying only for the days, weeks or months actually spent without an instructor on board.
If you're a student, or have students that can benefit from SkyWatch, you can get your rental aircraft insurance here.
Note: insurance alone isn’t enough to permit student solo flight and each school maintains its own policies regarding required insurance coverage. Student solo is subject to terms and requirements of specific schools and instructors, but also of the FAA. Talk to your flight instructor to determine what else is required before you fly alone as a student pilot. Talk to your flight school about when you’re required to be covered and what coverage requirements exist.