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Insurance Requirements for Air Carriers and Aircraft Operators

Regulation (EC) No 785/2004 (as amended by Regulation (EU) No 285/2010 and Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/1118) applies to all air carriers and to all aircraft operators flying within, into, out of or over the territory of an EC Member State to which the Treaty applies. Its objective is to establish minimum insurance requirements for air carriers and aircraft operators in respect of passengers, baggage, cargo and third parties, including cover for risks of war and terrorism.

With regard to the carriage of mail, the insurance requirements are those set out in Regulation (EC) No. 1008/2008 and in the national laws of EU countries.

Minimum Levels of Insurance Cover

The minimum levels of insurance cover required is dependent upon the number of passengers carried and, in relation to third party cover, the MTOM (Maximum Take Off Mass) of the aircraft concerned. There is also a requirement for cover in respect of baggage and cargo and insurance against war and terrorism (generally known as war risk cover).

Passenger Liability - The minimum level of insurance cover required is 250,000 SDRs per passenger.
Baggage Liability - The minimum insurance cover is 1,288 SDRs per passenger in commercial operations.
Cargo Liability - The minimum insurance cover is 22 SDRs per kilogram of cargo in commercial operations.

Third Party Insurance - The Regulation identifies 10 categories of aircraft dependent upon MTOM. For liability in respect of third parties, the minimum insurance cover per accident and per aircraft must be:


MTOM (kg) 

Minimum Insurance  (million SDRs) 



War Risk - War Risk insurance is required for all aircraft and is set at the same levels as those set for Third Party insurance.

Combined Single Limit

Many operators choose to purchase insurance on a combined single limit basis. When doing so they should ensure that the amount covers the different categories identified above.


Air carriers must demonstrate compliance with the minimum insurance requirements set out in the Regulation by completing the Irish Aviation Authority’s  Insurance Declaration Form. The Insurance Declaration Form is required to be completed by first-time applicants as part of the application process and also on an annual basis by holders of an operating licence in order to ensure compliance with the minimum insurance requirements.
If an airline fails to maintain adequate insurance cover in line with the minimum insurance requirements set out above, the IAA may suspend or revoke that company’s operating licence.