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BasicMed and How it Relates to Aviation Insurance

After decades of working on alternative medical legislation, the aviation alphabet groups were finally able to convince the FAA to reform the third-class medical system. On July 15, 2016, Congress passed the FAA Extension, Safety, Security Act of 2016 (FESSA), which included BasicMed, and FAR Part 68 – Requirements for Operating Certain Small Aircraft Without A Medical Certificate, was born. Bottom line is, BasicMed is an alternate way for pilots to fly without holding an FAA medical certificate, provided of course, that they meet the requirements.

Pilot Requirements

  • Possess a US driver’s license
  • Have held a FAA medical after July 14, 2006
  • Obtain physical exam with state-licensed physician using the Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist
  • Complete a BasicMed medical education course

Aircraft Requirements

  • Any aircraft authorized under federal law to carry not more than six occupants
  • Has a maximum certificated takeoff weight of not more than 6,000 pounds

Operating Requirements

  • Carries not more than five passengers
  • Operates under VFR or IFR, within the United States, at less than 18,000 ft MSL, not exceeding 250 knots
  • Flight not operated for compensation or hire

So how does all this relate to an aviation insurance policy? Generally speaking, aviation insurance policies include a requirement for the pilot operating the insured aircraft to have a FAA medical. An example of such wording is as follows:

‘The pilot must have a current and valid (1) medical certificate, (2) flight review and (3) pilot certificate with necessary ratings, each as required by the FAA for each flight.’

The following example shows how one insurance company wrote BasicMed into the policy wording.

‘When in flight the aircraft will be piloted only by the following pilots, provided each has a valid pilot’s certificate including a current and valid medical certificate appropriate for the flight and aircraft insured. The term Medical Certificate is defined as any valid First-Class, Second-Class, Third-Class, or BasicMed compliance. All medical certificates must be appropriate for the intended flight and in compliance with the FAA’s Codes of Federal Regulations. Pilots operating under BasicMed must be able to provide documentation that demonstrates complete compliance.’

Policy wording varies from insurance company to insurance company. If you intend to operate under BasicMed, we encourage you to reach out to your aviation broker to discuss how BasicMed fits with your policy. Ideally that discussion happens prior to a loss rather than after a loss. As aviation insurance brokers, we have experience dealing with the finer points of the FAR’s and how they relate to insurance coverage. To learn more about the best way to protect yourself on the ground and in the air, visit or contact our team of aerospace specialists, 800.622.2672.

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