Cirrus Insurance

My job at a small engineering company requires a lot of travel to out-of-the-way destinations within the eastern US - perfect for a GA airplane! We are interested in using a rental SR22 for a several months before making a decision to purchase an aircraft or not, i.e. “try before we buy”. The problem I am having regards insurance. It appears the maximum non-owners liability insurance that can be purchased for a Cirrus SR22 is $1 million, per person limit of $200K and my employer as an additional named insured, but that just isn’t enough for a business ($3-5M seems more reasonable). I am an 1100 hr commercial pilot + CFII and willing to take the transition course and any other recommended currency training - but that does not seem to be the issue. Would love to hear from anyone that might have a similar experience or suggestions for obtaining higher liability limits. Thank you!


It is difficult to obtain personal non-owned for the limits you describe however it may be possible for the company to obtain a corporate non-owned liability policy for their exposure.

Feel free to call me at the office on Wednesday if you want to discuss further. 952-890-1124

If Justin can’t do it, no one can. He is a fantastic agent. He charges me too much, but I understand why. [:P][;)]

Thanks Joe! Speaking of charging too much when are you going to buy another aircraft? Christmas is nearly upon us and the kids stockings are a little bare.

I tried, but the deal on my sale fell through. Back to the drawing board. Hopefully the dealer gets mine sold soon so I can get the other one purchased…

From what I have read there isn’t anyway to get more then $1M coverage. You may be able to get an Umbrella Insurance policy that would give you more coverage.

That is not true. For the last few years, I have had the option of increasing to $2M for a slightly higher premium. You should consult an expert like Justin Wulf (my agent) agent or Dave McCoy.

I’ve had 2 million smooth coverage for several years, although the plane is owned and operated by an individual (me) rather than a company.

Most umbrella policies do not cover aviation, so, if you have assets, it’s important to get adequate coverage on the aviation policy.

Does anyone have data on potential settlements in the case of an accident?

The reason I ask is that when I looked into increasing my umbrella from $5M to $10M there was a question of why anyone would need such liability insurance. This may sound morbid, but even multi-fatality auto accidents are settled for under $5M. I am curious of the actual settlements in aircraft accidents. There are other ways to protect assets but liability insurance is by far the most straightforward. I definitely want to make sure I am properly insured.


I don’t know the specific answer to your specific question but I suspect there are very few. I do know that many physicians try to carry as little liability as possible because it’s very rare for a judgment to be for higher than policy limits. Lawyers don’t want YOUR money, they want any money they can get. So they use multiple defendants figuring that way they can collect lots while staying within everyone’s individual policies. In fact that’s why most hospitals require any doctor who practices there to carry a minimum of (usually) $1,000,000 liability insurance. If the doctor doesn’t have it, the hospital ends up paying.

If multi fatality auto accidents are settled for over 5 million, you can bet that there were multiple defendants including the auto manufacturer, possible the tire manufacturer, possibly the local governments (road conditions) etc. Lawyers see to it that the pain is shared. They are, after all, very caring people.

In an aviation accident for example it would be common for the manufacturer of the aircraft to be named after an accident. Whether or not they had anything to do with the accident the lawyers will argue they did because the manufacturer has deep pockets and therefore is an attractive target. If there are any questions about ATC services or weather briefings then the government (FAA) gets named. The manufacturer of the engine and any other equipment on the plane that the lawyer can speculate may have played some role gets named. My point is that if there is an accident with a potential large dollar settlement, the lawyers will go after anyone remotely involved. So if you have an accident and are named in a suit, you probably will have lots of company.

What many people do is structure their assets in a way that they are protected from a lawsuit directed at the individual.

I carry insurance not so much to protect my assets (I’m now retired and most of what I have is in IRA accounts which in Illinois are protected anyway) but because I believe that if I injure someone I have a moral responsibility to provide some sort of compensation to that individual or his family. My $2,000,000 smooth policy should be more than enough for my conscience to remain clear.