Business Travel Accident and AD&D Coverage in the Technology Age

Business Travel News reports a growth in the rise of private jet utilization for business travelers.  As the “Uber’s” of the skies gain increased traction with easy online booking and decreasing costs, what are the implications to corporations and the insurance programs they purchase which benefit their employees?

Policy exclusions under AD&D and BTA coverages often include one (or more of the following):

  • Riding in any aircraft except as a fare-paying passenger in a regularly scheduled or charter airline
  • Riding in any corporate owned, leased, operated or controlled aircraft
  • Riding as a pilot or crew member of any aircraft

While specific policy definitions specify owned and leased aircraft; “operated or controlled” aircraft can be a bit more nebulous.  Some carriers will specifically define controlled aircraft as aircraft for which a company has access to more than 10 straight days or 15 times in a year while others are silent.  General underwriting philosophies have been that one-time charter flights are covered; but, on-going charter arrangements would fall under the owned/leased/operated/controlled aircraft exclusions.

Therefore, utilizing these online jet suppliers could reveal a potential gap in coverage.  Are the companies such as JetSmarter which wishes to “make flying private something accessible to the masses” more akin to a one-time charter and automatically covered or, because there are annual membership dues and unlimited availability more akin to an on-going arrangement and therefore fall under the operated or controlled category in the minds of underwriters.

As on-line technology makes business travel easier, please be sure to ask your clients what type of air travel employees are booking so that the coverage they have will respond as expected or, if necessary, secure policy amendments.