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 . . .

Everything here is from the references shown below, with a few comments in an alternate color.

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Aeronautical Information Publications (AIPs)

Theoretically, you should be able to find everything about a country's insurance requirements in their Aeronautical Information Publication, and that should be in section GEN 1.2 ENTRY, TRANSIT AND DEPARTURE OF AIRCRAFT. Here is sampling:

  • Australia Example: [Australia AIP. GEN 1.2, ¶1.17.2] Commercial passenger transport operations are required to maintain appropriate insurance arrangements in accordance with the requirements of the Act and the operator’s licence(s).
  • Hong Kong Example: [Hong Kong AIP. GEN 1.2, ¶2.1] Under the Civil Aviation (Insurance) Order (Cap. 448 sub. leg. F), all civil aircraft, whether operating commercial or non-revenue flights, are required to have a Combined Single Limit (CSL) insurance meeting the following requirements: a) Subject to para c) below, the CSL should cover the operators' liabilities in respect of third party, passenger, baggage, cargo and mail. b) It may include other liability items except the liability in respect of damage to the hull of the operators' aircraft. c) If an operator declares in writing that the aircraft does not carry any passenger, baggage, cargo or mail, as the case may be, they will be allowed not to include those items in the CSL. d) The insurance cover must be on a per occurrence basis. [. . . ] Any aircraft not complying with these insurance requirements will not be allowed to land or take off in Hong Kong. However, this does not apply to an aircraft in emergency.

This would be helpful if every country (a) listed their insurance requirements in their AIPs and (b) had their AIPs readily available. But that isn't always the case:

  • United Kingdom Example: We are told flight to a United Kingdom civil/military airport requires a Crown Indemnity Waiver, but that information is absent from their AIP.
  • Mexico Example: We know from experience that Mexico requires a standard worldwide insurance policy and a Mexican insurance policy drawn on a Mexican insurance company. But we cannot get the Mexican AIP without a paid subscription which gives us a mailed copy on a CD-ROM.

So the AIP is not always available and doesn't always include critical insurance information.


The Jeppesen "State" pages are generally good about positing insurance requirements in the "Aircraft Entry Requirements" section. For example:

  • Mexico Entry Requirements: [Jeppesen, Mexico, Entry Requirements] [...] The applicant has proof of insurance policies in accordance with the Varsovia Convention, or has contracted insurance with Mexican companies authorized to practice liability and transport insurance, or has coverage with a foreign subsidiary company authorized to operate in Mexico.
  • Experience and/or Contacts

    Asking about insurance requirements should be one of your Checklist items whenever setting up an international trip. If you don't have an in-country handler or contact with anyone who has recent experience, you should phone contacts at the airport.

    Documentation of Insurance

    [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."

    [EASA Rules o Air Operations, AMC2 CATR.GEN.MPA.141(b)] The following EFB application should be considered type A EFB applications: [...] the third-party liability insurance certificate(s).

    Most countries will accept a look at an insurance policy on an iPad but not all. Mexico, for example, requires a hard copy in color. (They have in the past required an original policy, but have gradually accepted copies that "look original."

    War Risk Insurance

    ["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.

    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.

    See Also:

    Aeronautical Information Publication Australia, Airservices Australia, 05 NOV 2020

    Aeronautical Information Publication Hong Kong, 30 JAN 2020

    EASA Air Ops Annex 1 to VIII, European Aviation Safety Agency, October 2019

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

    McLaren, Grant, Insurance Considerations For Overseas Missions, Professional Pilot, December 2012

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

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