Hot Air Balloon Insurance Policy Information
Hot Air Balloon Insurance. Hot air balloons offer many different things to many different people - a romantic get-away, a wonderful way to take pictures from up above, or even a sport.
Balloon operators rent or charter balloons for rides, lessons, tours, and commercial advertising displays. Some balloons remain tethered to the ground, allowing passengers to ascend into the air without traveling at a distance. Balloon operators may participate in contests, competitions, or exhibitions, or be part of a meteorological or scientific research operation.
All pilots must have Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) licensing to operate the balloon. Strict compliance with FAA standards for the maintenance and use of the balloon is important.
Checking weather conditions before the flight is critical. Balloons may veer off course due to high winds and collide mid-air with other balloons or hit power lines. Gusts of wind can cause difficulty during landing, including overturn of the basket containing the pilot and passengers.
As a general rule, drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and hot air balloons do not do well when both are in the air because the potential of physical contact is too great.
Made up of an envelope (the "balloon") filled with propane-heated air and a basket that carries the passengers and the fuel, hot air balloons, in fact, represent the safest and most unique mode of air travel.
Hot air balloon operators make it possible for almost anyone to experience the world as never before, and because many people dream of taking a hot air balloon flight, there is no doubt that hot air balloon operators have a highly rewarding job.
It is also, on the other hand, impossible to escape the fact that hot air balloon operators take on many risks. Whether you already own a company that facilitates hot air balloon flights, or you are currently investigating this possibility, managing those risks is an essential part of being a responsible business owner.
What role can insurance play in protecting your company from financial losses, and what types of hot air balloon insurance should balloon operators carry? Discover more in this brief guide.
Hot air balloon insurance protects balloon operators from lawsuits with rates as low as $87/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Below are some answers to commonly asked hot air balloon operator insurance questions:
- What Is Hot Air Balloon Insurance?
- How Much Does Hot Air Balloon Insurance Cost?
- Why Do Hot Air Balloons Need Insurance?
- What Type Of Insurance Do Hot Air Balloons Need?
- What Does Hot Air Balloon Insurance Cover & Pay For?
What Is Hot Air Balloon Insurance?
Hot air balloon operator insurance is a type of insurance coverage specifically designed for hot air balloon businesses and operators.
This insurance protects the operator from financial losses related to liability, property damage, and other risks associated with hot air balloon operations. It covers various aspects of the business, including equipment and crew, third-party liability, and damage to the balloon itself.
This insurance is crucial for hot air balloon operators as it provides peace of mind and helps protect against unexpected financial losses due to accidents, weather conditions, and other unforeseen events.
How Much Does Hot Air Balloon Insurance Cost?
The average price of a standard $1,000,000/$2,000,000 General Liability Insurance policy for small hot air balloon operations ranges from $87 to $109 per month based on location, size, revenue, claims history and more.
Why Do Hot Air Balloons Need Insurance?
Hot air balloon operators may be in one of the most exciting branches of commerce, but they, like all other businesses, face numerous hazards. Some of the perils you may be confronted with are of a universal nature, while others are unique to hot air ballooning.
Your business premises may be impacted by acts of nature (earthquakes, floods, wildfires, or lightning strikes, for instance), and you could fall victim to criminal acts like vandalism and theft, just like any other commercial venture.
These perils could lead to massive repair or replacement costs while also causing costly business interruptions that could, without the right insurance, prove extremely burdensome.
In addition, despite the fact that hot air balloon flights are generally safe, accidents can happen, and unforeseen circumstances may arise. Your employees and passengers may collide with a power line during a hot air balloon flight, for example, or the envelope may collapse mid-flight. During landing, damage may be caused to third party property. The possible injuries and property damage that may arise from hot air balloon flights can lead to exorbitant liability-related costs.
By arming yourself with the best possible hot air balloon insurance coverage, you don't simply meet your legal obligations and protect third parties - you will also know that you have safeguarded the future of your business, and will as such be able to operate without any worries.
What Type Of Insurance Do Hot Air Balloons Need?
The profile of your unique business influences the insurance coverage you will require - and that includes the jurisdiction where you are based, the number of employees you have, and the size of your operation.
Consulting a skilled commercial insurance broker, who will be able to offer you advice tailored to your circumstances, is therefore essential. Among the types of hot air balloon insurance that balloon operators should always carry to protect their business against the costs of major perils are, however:
- Commercial Property: This type of insurance shields you from the costs that would otherwise be associated with property loss and damage caused by perils such as theft, vandalism, fire, and natural disasters. Business interruption insurance is a related form of coverage that covers a portion of your lost revenue. Your hot air balloons will not, however, fall under these policies.
- Commercial General Liability: This essential form of hot air balloon insurance coverage protects hot air balloon operators in the event of bodily injury or property damage claims related to incidents that occurred on their business premises or as a result of the company's operations. Your legal costs, such as attorney fees and settlement expenses, are covered under this kind of insurance.
- Hot Air Balloon: Niche insurance companies are able to provide specialized insurance coverage for your fleet of hot air balloons, covering repair and replacement costs in case of mishaps.
- Workers' Compensation: This kind of insurance simultaneously protects your company and employees. Were an employee to sustain an occupational injury or illness, it takes care of their medical bills alongside any income they lose to related work absences. In turn, your company is shielded from litigation.
Because balloon operation might also have additional insurance needs, it is imperative to partner with a seasoned commercial insurance specialist, who is able to help you get set up with the hot air balloon insurance coverage your unique company deserves.
Hot Air Balloon Operator's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is limited to the customer waiting area and any pre-flight training for passengers. To prevent trips, slips, and falls, all areas accessible to customers should be well maintained with floor covering in good condition. Customers should not be permitted near any hazardous activity such as fueling. Observers should be kept away from the balloon while it is being loaded and released.
Products exposure is limited unless balloon and equipment repair is handled for customers.
Workers compensation exposures are substantial. Slip and falls, burns from balloon heating equipment, lifting, back injury, hernia, sprain, and strain can occur. Operators may have to work in awkward positions while boarding and disembarking from balloons.
Injuries may result from landing in trees, falls from heights or electrocution from contact with power lines. Driving chase vehicles presents exposure to over-the-road accidents.
Aircraft hull exposure covers the balloon, gondola and heating equipment, which can be damaged due to the tight timeframes required in the event of an emergency. Pilot error, including failure to consider weather conditions, can result in a costly accident.
Pilots must adhere to all FAA regulations, including the need for ongoing physical examinations. All balloons must be maintained according to manufacturers' specifications, and records of such maintenance kept in a central location.
Aircraft liability exposure covers injuries to passengers and damage to property of others which can result from landing at unauthorized locations. In an emergency situation, timely response is critical. Pilots must meet all FAA regulations, including current licensing, for the balloon.
They must participate in regular training activities to maintain skills. Balloons must be maintained and records kept of the maintenance. Crash landings can result in severe injury or death to passengers.
Property exposure includes an office facility and a storage facility for the balloon(s) and its equipment. Fire potential is due to the heating equipment used for hot air balloons and the tanks of gas used for lighter-than-air balloons.
Gas tanks should be stored upright in locked, fireproof cabinets. Smoking should be prohibited. Balloons may be targets for theft or vandalism. The premises should be secure from unauthorized access by others.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty and money and securities. The exposure increases without background checks on all employees. Payment for services may be made with cash. Monetary transactions must be monitored and audited on a regular basis to prevent employee theft.
All billing, ordering, and disbursements should be separated. Regular deposits should be made.
Inland marine exposure includes accounts receivable for billings, communications equipment, computers, and valuable papers and records for customers', regulatory, and suppliers' information. Communications equipment includes the radio and transmitting equipment used during the flight to track and monitor the balloon's progress. There may be bailees exposure for items kept in lockers by customers taking balloon flights.
Business auto exposures come from the service and "chase" vehicles used to monitor, track, and retrieve the balloon and its passengers and crew at the end of the flight. Chase crews should include a driver and a spotter as they may be traveling in remote or unfamiliar areas.
Transport of passengers to and from lift and landing points increases the loss potential. All drivers must have appropriate licenses for the types of vehicles being driven and acceptable MVRs. They must be trained in proper tie-down techniques for the balloon and equipment.
Vehicles must be well maintained with records kept in a central location, and have appropriate safety equipment for passengers.
What Does Hot Air Balloon Insurance Cover & Pay For?
Hot air balloons are used for various purposes, such as recreation, advertising, scientific research, and photography. However, despite the joy and wonder that hot air balloon rides can bring, there are risks involved. Accidents can occur during hot air balloon flights, and when they do, lawsuits may follow. Here are some reasons hot air balloons may be sued and how insurance can protect them:
Accidents resulting in injury or death: Hot air balloons can crash, and when they do, passengers can be injured or even killed. If a passenger is injured or dies during a hot air balloon ride, the operator of the balloon may be sued. In this case, liability insurance can help cover the cost of legal fees and any damages awarded to the injured party.
Property damage: Hot air balloons can also damage property. For example, if a hot air balloon crashes into a person's house, the owner of the house may sue the operator of the balloon for damages. Property damage liability insurance can help cover the cost of legal fees and damages in this scenario.
Breach of contract: Hot air balloon operators are required to provide a certain level of service to their customers. If they fail to do so, customers may sue for breach of contract. For example, if a hot air balloon operator cancels a flight at the last minute without a valid reason, customers may sue for breach of contract. In this case, insurance can help cover the cost of legal fees and damages awarded to the customer.
Advertising and marketing: Hot air balloons are often used for advertising and marketing purposes. If an advertisement displayed on a hot air balloon is found to be misleading or false, the advertiser may be sued. Advertising liability insurance can help cover the cost of legal fees and any damages awarded in this scenario.
In general, hot air balloon operators should carry liability insurance to protect themselves in case of lawsuits. Liability insurance can cover legal fees, settlements, and judgments awarded in lawsuits against the operator. It is important for hot air balloon operators to review their insurance policies carefully to ensure they have adequate coverage for all potential risks associated with hot air balloon operations.
Commercial Insurance And Business Industry Classification
- SIC CODE: 4522 Air Transportation, Nonscheduled, 7999 Amusement and Recreation Services, Not Elsewhere Classified
- NAICS CODE: 487990 Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation, Other
- Suggested ISO General Liability Code(s):
- Suggested Workers Compensation Code(s): 7405 Aviation - Air Carrier - Scheduled, Commuter, or Supplemental - Flying Crew, 7421 Aviation - Transportation of Personnel in Conduct of Employer's Business - Flying Crew, 7422 Aviation - NOC - Other Than Helicopters - Flying Crew, 7431 Aviation - Air Charter or Air Taxi - Flying Crew
Description for 4522: Air Transportation, Nonscheduled
Division E: Transportation, Communications, Electric, Gas, And Sanitary Services | Major Group 45: Transportation By Air | Industry Group 452: Air Transportation, Nonscheduled
4522 Air Transportation, Nonscheduled: Establishments primarily engaged in furnishing nonscheduled air transportation. Also included in this industry are establishments primarily engaged in furnishing airplane sight-seeing services, air taxi services and helicopter passenger transportation services to, from, or between local airports, whether or not scheduled.
- Air cargo carriers, nonscheduled
- Air passenger carriers, nonscheduled
- Air taxi services
- Ambulance services, air
- Flying charter services
- Helicopter carriers
Description for 7999: Amusement and Recreation Services, Not Elsewhere Classified
Division I: Services | Major Group 79: Amusement And Recreation Services | Industry Group 799: Miscellaneous Amusement And Recreation
7999 Amusement and Recreation Services, Not Elsewhere Classified: Establishments primarily engaged in the operation of sports, amusement, and recreation services, not elsewhere classified, such as bathing beaches, swimming pools, riding academies and schools, carnival operation, exposition operation, horse shows, picnic grounds operation, rental of rowboats and canoes, and shooting galleries. Establishments primarily engaged in showing or handling animals at shows or exhibitions are classified in Agricultural Services, Industry Group 075.
- Aerial tramways, amusement or scenic
- Amusement concessions
- Amusement rides
- Animal shows in circuses, fairs, and carnivals
- Archery ranges, operation of
- Baseball instruction schools
- Basketball instruction schools
- Bath houses, independently operated
- Bathing beaches, public
- Betting information services
- Billiard parlors
- Bingo parlors
- Boat rental, pleasure
- Boats, party fishing: operation of
- Bookmakers, race
- Bowling instruction
- Bridge club, nonmembership
- Bridge instruction
- Cable lifts, amusement or scenic: operated separately from lodges
- Canoe rental
- Card rooms
- Carnival operation
- Cave operation
- Circus companies
- Concession operators, amusement devices and rides
- Day camps
- Exhibition operation
- Exposition operation
- Fairs, agricultural: operation of
- Fireworks display service
- Fishing piers ant lakes, operation of
- Fortune tellers
- Gambling establishments not primarily operating coin-operated
- Gambling machines, except coin-operated operation of
- Game parlors, except coin-operated
- Games, teaching of
- Gocart raceway operation
- Gocart rentals
- Golf courses, miniature operation of
- Golf driving ranges
- Golf professionals not operating retail stores
- Golf, pitch-n-putt
- Gymnastics instruction
- Handball courts, except membership club
- Horse shows
- Houseboat rentals
- Hunting guides
- Ice skating rink operation
- Judo instruction
- Karate instruction
- Lifeguard service
- Lotteries, operation of
- Lottery club and ticket sales to individuals
- Moped rental
- Motorcycle rental
- Natural wonders, tourist attraction: commercial
- Observation tower operation
- Off-track betting
- Pack trains for amusement
- Parachute training for pleasure
- Picnic grounds operation
- Ping pong parlors
- Pool parlors
- Racquetball courts, except membership clubs
- Rental of beach chairs and accessories
- Rental of bicycles
- Rental of golf carts
- Rental of rowboats and canoes
- Rental of saddle horses
- Riding academies and schools
- Riding stables
- River rafting, operation of
- Rodeo animal rental
- Rodeos, operation of
- Roller skating rink operation
- Scenic railroads for amusement
- Schools and camps, sports instructional
- Scuba and skin diving instruction
- Shooting galleries
- Shooting ranges, operation of
- Skating instruction, ice or roller
- Skeet shooting facilities, except membership clubs
- Ski instruction
- Ski lifts, cable lifts, and ski tows operated separately from lodges
- Ski rental concessions
- Slot-car racetracks
- Sporting goods rental
- Sports instructors, professional: golf, skiing, swimming, etc.
- Sports professionals
- Swimming instruction
- Swimming pools, except membership
- Tennis clubs, nonmembership
- Tennis courts, outdoor and indoor operation of, nonmembership
- Tennis professionals
- Ticket sales offices for sporting events, contract
- Tourist attractions, natural wonder commercial
- Tourist guides
- Trampoline operation
- Trapshooting facilities, except membership club
- Waterslides, operation of
- Wave pools, operation of
- Wax figure exhibitions
- Yoga instruction
Hot Air Balloon Insurance - The Bottom Line
To protect your operations, employees and the people you serve, having the right hot air balloon insurance coverage is vital. To learn what types of coverage options are available to you and the costs - speak to a reputable commercial insurance broker.
Additional Resources For Aviation Insurance
Learn about aircraft and aviation liability insurance - a specialized form insurance that provides coverage for hull losses as well as liability for passenger injuries, environmental damage and third-party damage caused by aircraft accidents.
- Insurance Aviation Terms Glossary
- Aerial Applicators
- Flight Schools
- Hot Air Balloon
- Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) Drone
- Specialty Aircraft And Airports
The aviation industry requires insurance for a number of reasons
Firstly, it is a highly regulated industry with strict safety standards that must be met. Accidents or incidents can occur despite these measures, and insurance helps to cover any resulting damages or liability.
Secondly, the cost of repairing or replacing aircraft and associated equipment can be extremely high. Insurance helps to mitigate these costs in the event of an accident or damage.
Thirdly, the aviation industry operates on a global scale, with aircraft and personnel often crossing international borders. Insurance helps to protect against any legal issues that may arise in different countries.
Finally, the aviation industry is constantly evolving and facing new risks and challenges. Insurance helps to provide a safety net in the face of these unknown risks.
In summary, insurance is an essential component of the aviation industry as it helps to cover potential damages, liability, and new risks. It allows the industry to operate smoothly and safely, ensuring the safety and well-being of both passengers and crew.
Minimum recommended coverage: Building, Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Accounts Receivable, Communication Equipment Floater, Computers, Contractors’ Equipment, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits, Environmental Impairment, Umbrella, Hired and Non-Owned Auto, Workers Compensation, Aircraft Hull, Aircraft Liability & Hangarkeepers Legal Liability.
Other coverages to consider: Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Flood, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Underground Storage Tank, Business Automobile Liability and Physical Damage and Stop Gap Liability.