The aviation insurance market provides coverage for private and commercial airplanes, helicopters and antique airplanes. Aviation insurers also cover airport operators, aviation manufacturers and aircraft hangar businesses. Finally, flight schools, flying clubs and aircraft fleet operators can also be insured, notes Southwest Aviation Insurance Group. Just as each insurer has its own underwriting requirements, so does the company specify criteria for aviation insurance agents. Several common skills provide a general pathway to success.
Study aircraft configurations and uses carefully, along with their respective risks and loss histories. Obtain a well-rounded aircraft knowledge base. Aviation insurance agents are expected to be well versed in single- and multi-engine aircraft, commercial aircraft and helicopters. Homebuilt and experimental aircraft, antique airplanes and non-powered gliders are also active market components.
Study all aspects of the aviation business so you can identify trends that may impact customers. Learn about airport and facility construction trends, new aircraft safety requirements and proposed pilot regulations, as well as state-specific aviation restrictions. Subscribe to print or online trade publications to keep apprised of aviation industry developments.
Research aviation insurance companies’ products. Learn about each insurer’s product lines. For example, Bob Mackey of Falcon Insurance Agency states that some insurers cover homebuilt airplanes, while other companies do not. Other insurers may require proof of pilot training to insure more sophisticated aircraft.
Earn a state Property and Casualty license. Each state issues its own insurance licenses (See Resources). Some insurers may require the Property and Casualty license as a condition of hire, while other companies allow you to pursue the certification while you are employed.
Contact aviation insurance companies. Identify aviation insurers that meet your geographic and professional parameters, and ask about existing and upcoming opportunities. Evaluate your options, and select the company that best meets your needs (See Resources).
Demonstrate your aviation insurance knowledge by achieving the Certified Aviation Insurance Professional designation, issued by the Aviation Insurance Association. Achieve this professional milestone after five years of work in the aviation insurance industry and completion of five industry-specific courses.