• To qualify for licensing, air carriers must demonstrate they have in place sufficient levels of insurance.

    There are minimum insurance requirements for air carriers and aircraft operators flying within, into,out of, or over the territory of an European Economic Area Member State.

    There are minimum requirements for the separate insurance of passengers, baggage, cargo and third parties, including cover for risks of war and terrorism (‘war risk’).

    Many operators choose to buy insurance on a combined ‘single limit’ basis. When doing so they should ensure that the amount covers the different categories identified below.

    Minimum levels of insurance cover

    Minimum levels of cover are dependent on who or what is being carried and/or the size of the aircraft concerned. Minimum levels are given in Special Drawing Rights (SDR). The SDR is an international currency unit defined by the International Monetary Fund. Exchange rates are published daily in the Financial Times and can be found on the IMF website.

    Passengers

    Minimum cover is 250,000 SDRs per passenger.

    Baggage

    Minimum cover is 1,131 SDRs per passenger.

    Cargo

    Minimum cover is 19 SDRs per kilogram of cargo.

    Third party cover

    The minimum level of third party cover depends on the Maximum Take Off Mass (MTOM) of the aircraft concerned. There are ten categories of aircraft based on MTOM.

    War risk

    The minimum level of war risk cover depends on the MTOM of the aircraft concerned. There are ten categories of aircraft based on MTOM.

    Finding the weight of a specific aircraft

    G-INFO is the CAA’s aircraft register and will provide details of all current aircraft on the UK register and amongst other things the weight of a specific aircraft.

    Calculator

    An insurance calculator is available to help you assess the appropriate level of cover.

    Regulatory background

    The EC Regulation establishing these requirements came into force on 30 April 2005.

    The Regulation does not apply to:

    • State aircraft
    • Model aircraft less than 20kg
    • Foot launched flying machines
    • Captive balloons
    • Kites
    • Parachutes, including parascending parachutes

    Further information

    Your broker should be aware of the minimum requirements and initial queries should be directed to them. However, additional information and FAQs on insurance can be found on our Aircraft Registration pages.

    Please get in touch if you have any queries or require further information.

  • Airline Licensing & Consumer Issues
    Civil Aviation Authority
    CAA House, K3
    45-59 Kingsway
    London WC2B 6TE

    Email: airlinelicensing@caa.co.uk
    Telephone: (020) 7453 6330
    Fax: (020) 7453 6322