Airborne Video Recorders, Cameras, and Systems

Life/Trauma cover price hike for Ag Pilots on the way

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Planner
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Life/Trauma cover price hike for Ag Pilots on the way

Postby Planner » Wed Apr 23 2014, 02:04

As some of you may be aware I have been obtaining life and trauma cover for rotary and fixed wing Ag Pilots/Firebombers over the last couple of years. This morning my insurer called me to advise that they will soon be applying a loading (i.e. hefty premium increase) on future applications or even excluding Ag Flying all together. All other flight duties are still insurable at the usual unloaded premium rate.

However, she also advised that she will leave a small window of opportunity open for me to run a final few applications through over the coming few days. I guess the message is that if you are an Ag Pilot/Firebomber and were sitting on the fence considering getting life and trauma cover then now might be the best time to jump.

Note that this currently only applies to Ag Flying/firebombing and is due to the re-rating of the perceived risk of these operations by the re-insurer. At this stage other flight duties can be written at the low standard rate and without an aviation exclusion.

If you have any questions or want to discuss details then please send me a PM with your name and phone number and I will call you back. Alternatively, contact me directly on 02 6545 2013.

Thanks to those Ag Pilots on here who have already taken up the cover. I would advise you to never cancel it!

Regards,
Michael.
choppermech1986
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Re: Life/Trauma cover price hike for Ag Pilots on the way

Postby choppermech1986 » Wed Apr 23 2014, 04:47

Hi Planner, Do you have any idea why the premiums are going up? It's not like there's anyone still running Dromaders or there has been any more than usual accidents in the last few years. With the newer machinery and less hours flown, it would seem to me that ag/firebombing is only getting safer.
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Planner
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Joined: Feb 2013

Re: Life/Trauma cover price hike for Ag Pilots on the way

Postby Planner » Wed Apr 23 2014, 12:59

I hear what you are saying but they do not justify their revised guidelines to a foot-soldier like me!
The real driver of the change in guideline is the re-insurer and not the actual Australian insurance company that is selling the cover to the public. All major insurers use a re-insurer to manage the risk in their insurance books. This effecitvely allows them to "lay-off" risk to another party much in the way that bookmakers will make bets with other bookmakers at the racetrack to reduce their exposure to a favourite winning a race. However, these re-insurers lay down guidelines as to when they would participate in such a scheme. In this case, it appears as though Ag flying/firebombing has been subject to such a change and they have lost their appetite for this risk.

Who knows what the trigger was as these re-insurers are global companies with the main players here being Swiss Re and Reinsurance Group of America (RGA). The reason for the change might have been excessive claims in Europe, USA or Canada and not necessarily Australia or they may simply want to get out of that type of aviation due to having too much current exposure to Ag flying. In any case, once you have the cover in place, they cannot revoke as long as you pay the premium.

It's a damn shame, it was a great product for these guys. I kind of thought it would have a short shelf life. Just hoping that they don't extend the changes to general aviation. Will keep you posted as they feed me more information.

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