Eddie Sez:

The days when you can hop in the jet and cross another country off your list of places to go with little advance preparation are gone. The price of being unprepared these days can be impoundment and even a spell in a foreign jail. It really pays to either have a very good international trip planner or at least a working relationship with somebody who has gone many times before you. And it all begins with having your aircraft insurance documents in order . . .

What follows are quotes from the references listed below, with comments shown in blue.

Documentation of Insurance

[AC 91-70A, ¶3-1.d.] Operators should ensure that all required entry documents are available for presentation upon arrival and may need multiple copies of the following documents:

[Insurance Considerations For Overseas Missions] A copy or a certified copy of your policy is usually sufficient, but not always.

[Dealing With the New Rules of Worldwide Documentation] Insurance requirements can be persnickety at some locations. The European Union (EU) has special insurance mandates, liability limits and formats that must be followed. Mexico, in most cases, requires liability policies from providers in Mexico and these documents must be in Spanish. Hong Kong is particularly obsessive in terms of insurance requirements, liability limits and specific wording/format of policies. "We had a case of a Hong Kong landing permit request denied because one comma was missing on the insurance policy."

You will sometimes find airport-specific insurance requirements in a country's Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP). The United Kingdom AIP, for example, lists insurance minimums for Belfast International, Blackpool Airport, Chichester/Goodwood, and Norwich. So where do you find what insurance is required at your international destinations and what kind of proof do you need? There is no "go to" source, you need to ask a handling agent with local and recent knowledge.

Worldwide Coverage

[Insurance Considerations For Overseas Missions] You can't always get by with standard worldwide coverage. Examples:

EU Requirements

[EU OPS 1, ¶OPS 1.125 (a)] An operator shall ensure that the following documents or copies thereof are carried on each flight:

  1. The Certificate of Registration;

  2. The Certificate of Airworthiness;

  3. The original or a copy of the Noise Certificate (if applicable), including an English translation, where one has been provided by the Authority responsible for issuing the noise certificate;

  4. The original or a copy of the Air Operator Certificate;

  5. The Aircraft Radio Licence; and

  6. The original or a copy of the Third party liability Insurance Certificate(s).

["Flying to Europe? Think Again"] European Union Regulation 785-2004 of the European Parliament sets out mandatory liability limits (inclusive of war risk) in respect of passengers, cargo, baggage and third parties and will affect almost all aircraft carriers and operators, both commercial and private, operating flights within, into, out of, or over the territory of an EU Member State. The regulation sets out minimum coverage requirements for personal and third-party liability. Each EU member state has the right to inspect aircraft landing in that state, and may require verification of compliance with the new insurance regulation. A current insurance certificate showing the necessary coverages should be carried on board the aircraft in order to evidence compliance and avoid unexpected and expensive delays and possible refusal of the right to land in EU territory.

War Risk Insurance

The insurance mandated by European Union Regulation 785-2004 must include coverage for war, terrorism, hijacking, sabotage, unlawful seizure of aircraft, and civil commotion. In addition, the third party element of the cover must be on an ‘each accident, each and every aircraft’ basis.

["Flying to Europe? Think Again"] There are no war risk insurance requirements in the United States but if you fly internationally you need to check. For example, Germany requires €60,000,000, China (Hong Kong) requires $200,000,000, and Poland requires €60,000,000.

Book Notes

Portions of this page can be found in the book International Flight Operations, Part VIII, Chapter 24.


Advisory Circular 91-70A, Oceanic and International Operations, 8/12/10, U.S. Department of Transportation

Dealing With the New Rules of Worldwide Documentation, Professional Pilot, July 2013

European Union Regulation 785-2004, Official Journal of the European Union, 30.4.2004

European Union Regulation No 859/2008, Technical requirements and administrative procedures applicable to commercial transportation by aeroplane, 20 August 2008

"Flying to Europe? Think Again" National Business Aviation Association, April 4, 2005

Insurance Considerations For Overseas Missions, Professional Pilot, December 2012

United Kingdom AIP, AIRAC 10/2012