Insurance For Old Ones

Well, I figured I would confirm what Aviation Consumer has been telling all of us for a while. I recently renewed the insurance on my Beech V35B. I’m currently 77 years old and about to make 78. A week after I submitted my payment (which doubled from last year), I received a certified letter from my insurance company, which is brokered by AOPA, saying that my insurance is now in the non-renewal category as of August 2021. I guess they were shocked that I renewed after the bump in cost.

I have been flying over 50 years. In the time I was a U.S. Air Force Command Pilot, a test pilot, I hold an ATP, flew two tours in Vietnam, I’m active in the Civil Air Patrol and I’m still in good health. After retiring from the Air Force, I worked as a test pilot for North American Rockwell, which later was bought by the Boeing. I retired a few years ago. 

Your articles have made good points, but aviators over the magic age of whatever won’t always fit into points made for the inexperienced. I continue to train as a professional, and have never had an accident. Still, insurers must feel that I’m not the right guy to be insured. I guess I’ve entered the dark side as you described in the insurance for experimentals in the September 2020 Aviation Consumer article. It’s wonderful to see new pilots enter the bliss of aviation, and it’s hard for experienced aviators to retire. 

I’m one fortunate guy. I can afford my flying habit, I can’t express how much I love my Bonanza and I’m in the process of major updates and look forward to my new instrumentation. I too have experienced Larry Anglisano’s points from his commentary in the September 2020 issue about realistic downtime. My avionics shop is doing a great job, but I have experienced delays. I stay positive and realize it’s best to get it right the first time.

I guess I’ll be one of those guys who tries to find a new insurance company, maybe with only liability coverage, since I know that I’ll still be slipping the surly bonds of earth and dancing the skies on laughter-silvered wings as long as my health holds.  

Thanks for a great magazine. I always look forward to a wonderful read.

B. Ford – Henderson, Tennessee

Thanks for sharing your story. This insurance woe, and others like it, may be more about the airplane than the pilot. We’ve heard of other non-renewal notices sent for policies of older-vintage Bonanzas. Liability-only coverage may be the solution. As we’ve mentioned in the past, renewing when you are above the age of 70 is all about the relationship with the insurance company, and if the company you have the long relationship with suddenly realizes that they are losing on a particular airplane and are determined to bail out of them, there may be no options. About all you can do is ask your broker for as many different options as possible. 

We’re preparing a summary of our recent insurance virtual roundtable discussion for the next issue of Aviation Consumer. 


In the Garmin vs. Garmin article in the August 2020 Aviation Consumer where you compared the purchase and install costs of Garmin’s GI 275 versus the G3X Touch, why didn’t you consider the G5 displays? 

These are less expensive than GI 275s, and are good no-cut replacements, just like the GI 275. Thanks for a great magazine and valuable articles.

Ed Loskill – via email

The Garmin G5 displays were a consideration, but the pair of GI 275s won for display quality and overall growth potential. Plus, the shop didn’t have to cut the plastic panel overlays—they fit exactly like the round-gauge instruments did. Overall, the GI 275s simply have more capability, for a price premium. Overall we’re pleased with the IFR capability. Here’s a photo of the finished install. 

Editor in Chief Larry Anglisano has been a staple at Aviation Consumer since 1995. An active land, sea and glider pilot, Larry has over 30 years’ experience as an avionics repairman and flight test pilot. He’s the editorial director overseeing sister publications Aviation Safety magazine, IFR magazine and is a regular contributor to KITPLANES magazine with his Avionics Bootcamp column.