Aircraft liability has a medical coverage option. If chosen, this pays regardless of fault. There is no deductible. It is intended to pay medical, surgical, hospital and funeral expenses up to the applicable limit for occupants of the airplane. Crewmembers may be included in this coverage.
Unlike many other forms of insurance, most aviation insurance is negotiated. The price for the contractor´s premium isn´t read off a chart. It is a rate arranged through a broker and underwriter. Insurance coverage is underwritten based on many guidelines, including but not limited to, claims experience, financial stability, length of time in business, length of time with current insurer, size and type of aircraft, etc.
In some cases, an excess limit of aviation liability combined with the proper primary limit can provide higher limits of protection for the contractor. This coverage relies on the underwriting already performed by the primary insurance carrier.
Helicopter insurance is more expensive than fixed-wing aircraft insurance. Helicopters represent only about 8% of the worldwide general aviation fleet, making it difficult for underwriters to "spread the risk." Also, helicopters statistically present a higher number of accidents and fatalities per flight hour than the general aviation fleet as a whole. As a result, a higher premium is required to cover the expected losses from this market segment. Helicopters operate in a unique environment (low altitude VFR with birds, wires and poles), are often used for hazardous missions (law enforcement, news gathering, sling loading) and, arguable, have a greater propensity for human error due to maintenance and flight proficiency issues.
If the limit of aircraft liability has no sub-limits, it is considered a "smooth" limit. A smooth limit is a limit of liability that offers a combined single limit of coverage that applies to all bodily injury and property damage claims. A specified maximum amount can be paid out for a covered occurrence in any combination - passenger bodily injury, or other person´s bodily injury and/or property damage.
When the limit has a sub-limit, the coverage is usually a combined single limit of coverage that applies to all bodily injury and property damage claims. However, a reduced or limited amount of coverage, i.e., a sub-limit, from the combined single limit of coverage is available to pay for claims resulting from passenger bodily injury.