What if a Plane Crashes into my Home?

imageMost homeowners know that the home insurance policy is careful to exclude most issues relating to automobiles because those are covered on the auto policy. However, did you know that the home insurance policy may have some coverage for issues arising out of aircraft? The coverage is limited to certain types of losses so you should read through your policy carefully before you go out and purchase an airplane without any additional insurance.

Most homeowners today have what’s known as a special form or all-risk home insurance policy. This means that damage to your house or its contents is covered except when caused by certain perils. Older, less comprehensive policy forms were known as named peril policies and they only covered damage caused by specified perils. The current all-risk forms provide better coverage because of the broader range of perils that are included. Of course, the nice thing is that in either of these policy forms, damage from aircraft is always covered. The dwelling and personal property sections of the standard home insurance policy always provide coverage for damage as a result of aircraft, including spacecraft!

When you think about it, this is not terribly strange or unusual. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), approximately 7,000 aircraft are flying over the U.S. at any given time throughout the day. It’s also believed that more than 1,000 satellites are currently orbiting the planet. This translates into a lot of machinery and equipment flying over your home on a constant basis. As a result, it’s important that your home insurance policy covers you for damage caused by an aircraft or spacecraft. As recently as 2011, NASA was warning of the possibility of space debris from a research satellite, according to the Wall Street Journal.

On the other hand, there are some exceptions for aircraft-related issues on the home insurance policy. For example, the policy will not cover damage to an owned aircraft and its related parts. Much like automobiles, aircraft have their own insurance policies, and it is the intent of the various insurance policies to minimize any overlap or confusion in coverage. Because it’s more appropriately covered on a dedicated aircraft policy, damage to your plane and its parts will not be covered under your home insurance policy. If you find yourself in possession of an airplane or are a pilot, you will need to insure any damage to the plane on a separate policy.

Similar to the exclusion for property damage to aircraft, the home insurance policy will not cover liability arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of an aircraft. The aircraft policy will cover the potential liability that arises out of your plane and you should not look to your home insurance policy to provide this type of coverage. As with automobiles, even property damage and bodily injury arising out of the loading and unloading of an aircraft is excluded from the home insurance policy. You might consider this activity to be different since it’s not really in the operation of the airplane. However, the insurance policies tend to look at them as activities that are inherent to the operation of the airplane and wish to draw a clean line such that the exposure does not fall onto the home insurance policy.

As you can see, it might seem unlikely, but you could potentially have some coverage on your home insurance policy for damage arising out of an aircraft.

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