Insurance Claims

Straight Flight has seen all types of damaged aircraft over the decades. From the wrath of Mother Nature to an aircraft-off-field incident caused by a failed system, every repair project is unique in its own right – and customers should expect a repair process that is centered around technical repair data and replacement materials support. Having dealt with almost all of today’s active insurance carriers and third party aviation insurance claims administrators, we can assist in the unique questions arising with your claim. Please take a few moments to review the sub-pages below to better understand the process and lingo commonly used in our industry.

The claims process can have its fair share of hazards. Below are some of the more common mistakes the insured may encounter:

  • Thinking the insurance adjuster chooses the repair facility: It is the adjuster’s responsibility to select a facility that is qualified and submit a thorough estimate. But it is the insured’s decision as to which facility will repair the damaged aircraft. Ultimately, the best situation is when both the insured and the adjuster mutually agree on the same facility.
  • Not reading or understanding your insurance policy: There are many details in the policy that can affect a claim. As the insured, you must understand your policy and be aware of its limitations. It’s better to educate yourself now, than when you’re trying to process a claim.
  • Not paying attention to dates: An insurance company can deny coverage if your medical is expired or biennial review is not current. Another area is non-compliance with the aircraft maintenance program such as the airframe/propeller/engine – open A.D.s, expired ELT batteries, etc. This might seem minor, but it is a violation of the policy and your insurance claim could be denied.
  • Over-insuring your aircraft: At some point, you will not want your aircraft repaired – damaged beyond your comfort level. There have been many owners who were required to restore an aircraft that they preferred be a “Constructive Total Loss” (CTL) due to over-estimation of value. It is a good rule of thumb to insure your aircraft at a value equal to the market value of your equipment.
  • Under-insuring your aircraft: It can be quite frustrating when the insured discovers the aircraft will be a CTL when your expectation was repair. When the owner modifies or upgrades his/her aircraft a visit with the insured’s broker should be completed to verify correct coverage limits.

Aerospace Insurance Managers

  • Founded in 1999
  • Headquarters: Dallas, TX
  • Target Risks: Transition Pilots, Flight Schools, Charter and Airport Liability.


  • Founded in 1919
  • Headquarters: Atlanta, GA
  • Offering Aviation Insurance for 70+ years
  • Largest Aviation Insurance Company in the U.S.
  • Target Risks: General Aviation, Airline Insurance, Airports and Aerospace Products Liability


  • Founded in 2002
  • Headquarters: New York, NY
  • Target Market: General Aviation, Airport Liability, Commercial Drone insurance.

Global Aerospace

  • Founded in 1924
  • Headquarters: Parsippany, NJ
  • Target Risks: Airline, Helicopter, Aerospace Manufacturer, General Aviation Insurance

Great American

  • Founded in 1872
  • Headquarters: Cincinnati, OH
  • Target Risks: General and Commercial Aircraft Insurance, Helicopter Insurance, Product Liability, Excess Liability, Drone Hull and Liability

London Aviation

  • Founded in 1980
  • Headquarters: Federal Way, WA
  • Target Risks: Aviation Insurance in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, Transition Pilots, Cirrus Aircraft Insurance, Helicopters

Old Republic

  • Founded in 1923
  • Headquarters: Kennesaw, GA
  • Target Risks: Agriculture, Airlines, Airport Insurance, General Aircraft including Personal and Commercial, Drone, Workers Compensation

Starr Insurance Companies

  • Founded in 1919
  • Headquarters: Atlanta, GA
  • Target Risks: General Aviation, Airports, Helipads, Fixed Based Operators, Corporate Jet, Aerial Applicators, Personal Non-Owned, Aircraft Products

USSIC Aviation

  • Founded in 1959
  • Headquarters: Plano, TX
  • Target Risks: Rotor Wing, General Aviation Insurance, Agriculture, Airport Insurance, Warbird and Racing Aircraft Insurance


  • Founded in 1928
  • Headquarters: New York, NY
  • Target Risks: Airline Insurance, Airport, Aviation Products Liability, Drones, General Aviation including: Helicopters, Commercial and Personal Aviation Insurance

If it should happen, referencing the steps below will help smooth out the insurance process:

  • Contact broker and report the event.
  • Broker should contact insurance company and start the claims process.
  • Insurance company will assign an adjuster to process the insured’s claim. Some insurance companies do not have staff to process your claim and will utilize a third-party claims administrator. These are separate standalone companies with independent experts on staff that will gather the required data and review your damage claim for the underwriter.
  • Adjuster can perform an on-site inspection of the aircraft if he/she feels it is warranted.
  • Assigned adjuster should contact the insured for information related to the claim such as:
    • Location of loss
    • Explanation of event
    • Review of aircraft records for validation of airworthiness
    • Request of pilot’s information (medical, biennial) if in-motion loss
  • Adjuster should contact a repair facility/facilities to obtain an estimate to restore the aircraft.
  • Insured may also contact a facility of their own choice to obtain an estimate.
  • The adjuster should evaluate all viable repair estimates to determine the best solution.
  • The recommended facility is communicated to the insured; often times it is the owner’s preference.
  • The owner ultimately decides which facility will repair his/her aircraft.

Note: If there is a higher cost between the recommended facility and the insured’s choice, the difference in cost will be made up by the insured.

  • The insured must authorize the repair facility directly to commence repairs on his/her aircraft.
  • The financial liability of the repair is the insured’s responsibility. The insurance company will pay the insured for the repairs, less deductibles and betterment, after receipt of a signed “Final Proof of Loss.”
  • The insurance company will issue payment to the insured for the value based on the “Final Proof of Loss.” This check can have all parties named on the policy including additional insured and the repair facility.
  • Betterment: This term relates to the aircraft’s restoration into better condition than prior to the damage event. For example, replacing an 1800 TTSN/TTSOH propeller that has a 2,000 hour TBO with a new or zero time propeller. A calculated percentage is subtracted from the average cost to overhaul the same propeller. In this case 1,800/2,000 or 90% of the overhaul cost of the original propeller is deducted from the insurance claim.
  • Constructive Total Loss (CTL): Most of the time, this is where the cost of repair plus the aircraft salvage value exceeds the insured’s policy limits. In the aviation industry there is no exact method or formula used and this value is determined by both the insured’s policy and the adjuster. There have been cases where an aircraft is repaired up to the policy value.
  • Final Proof of Loss: When all repairs are completed the repair facility should submit a copy to the adjuster for review. Once the review is complete, the adjuster will send a document detailing the incident coverage to the insured. This document shows deductibles, non-related items and betterment deductions from the final repair invoice. The insured must process this document for funds to be released.
  • Subrogation: This term is used if the insurance company is trying to mitigate its loss from another party. For example: The insured’s aircraft was damaged by another party. The insured’s hull insurance would pay to restore the aircraft and then pursue the responsible party or their insurance carrier to recover damages.