Hot air ballooning is perhaps one of the most breathtaking experiences you could ever enjoy. Soaring above the treetops, or anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 feet above the ground, the view is nothing short of spectacular. New Mexico is one of the most famous places in the U.S. for hot air ballooning. Every October, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta boasts as many as 500 balloons.
Statistically, hot air balloons are a safe method of travel, but accidents do happen. Excessive speed when landing, a collapse of the parachute-like balloon, coming into contact with power lines, and poor weather decisions by the pilot can lead to injury and death. In 1989, 13 people were killed as two hot air balloons collided in Australia. In 2013, 19 people were killed in Luxor, Egypt. Here at home in the U.S., 16 people were killed when a hot air balloon crashed in Lockhart, Texas.
Injuries can happen simply by not bending your knees or stowing your camera for landing. If someone gets hurt or worse, a lawsuit may ensue, with the potential loss of revenue or your business. Hot air balloon owners and operators — and even commercial/tour operators, sports pilots, and instructors — would be wise to have specialty liability insurance for hot air balloons with XINSURANCE.
Why Do I Need Hot Air Balloon Insurance?
According to this Bustle.com article, the National Transit Safety Board reports that 21 people in the United States were killed in a hot air balloon accident between 2000 and June of 2016. Compared to other methods of transport this is a very minuscule amount. However, the liability for one accident can have devastating legal ramifications for owners and operators.
Despite the relatively small amount of accidents that occur, there are quite a few things that can go wrong during a hot air balloon excursion that can leave you legally liable for damages. These include,
- Crashes-Very rare, but often devastating when they do occur. Often caused by hitting fixed objects, trees, buildings, etc.
- Hard landings- Can cause serious injuries and in very rare occasions death. Hard injuries are more common because hot air balloons are less precise than other aircraft.
- Property damage-Hot air balloons are very dependent on the wind. As a result, the pilot has very little directional control. They may damage property upon collision or landing.
- Pilot error-Can cause any of the events listed above. (An investigation into a fatal 2016 crash revealed that it was caused by pilot error.)
Insurance for hot air balloons can help to protect the financial interests of owners and operators. It can also give protection against possible litigation if the unthinkable does happen to one of your balloons or the passengers or operators.
There is much legal precedent regarding hot air balloon accidents. In 2012, a New Mexico man was awarded $3.86 million after he was injured in a hot air balloon accident.
Also, in 2017, a New Jersey woman filed a lawsuit because local hot air balloons were scaring her livestock.
In the United States, an individual or group can file a lawsuit for just about anything. Some lawsuits are valid, others are a waste of time. The bad news is that both varieties cost money to settle. Insurance for Hot Air Balloons can help ease the pain of the lawsuit and gives you a powerful ally, the insurance company, if litigation is necessary.
If you own/operate a hot air balloon(s) without having insurance coverage, you are taking a legal risk every time it is airborne. Hot air balloon insurance not only pays for damage to property and injury but it also gives you an ally if litigation is brought against you.
XINSURANCE is an insurance brokerage that has experience with hot air balloon accidents and litigation. Our team of experienced and educated professionals can help you to understand why hot air balloon insurance is crucial. We understand that hot air ballooning is not just a hobby, but a way of life.
With XINSURANCE, you will have the customized coverage you need through our all-in-one approach. By reviewing your operations and experience level, we provide insurance solutions made to fit your needs. So no matter the risk or history, we are here to help you. XINSURANCE, offered by Evolution Insurance Brokers, has decades of experience providing insurance solutions for the recreation industry.
We offer an all-in-one approach to insurance, with direct access to underwriting expertise, risk management assessments, advice and customer service. Our underwriting team brings you over 40 years of experience, along with the ability to offer customized limits, coverage, deductibles, and premiums to create the perfect plan for your business protection.
Even if you’ve been denied coverage or filed bankruptcy, XINSURANCE can help. Contact us to discuss your options and see how we can help you protect what you love. And, if you are ready, call to get a quote: 877-585-2853.
To learn how to rise above costly litigation, put XINSURANCE behind you.