When I first started my aircraft cleaning business I was 12-years old. I loved being out at the airport even if I was just a little kid and no one really wanted me to touch their aircraft. Eventually I gained their trust, but as my business grew and I got more clients, I had to get legit, get insurance, a business license and airport activity permit to do business - yes and pay taxes too. Still, to this day folks ask me about the aircraft cleaning business. In fact, I got an interesting question just the other day, this one about insurance. Okay so let's talk.
So, you want to start an aircraft cleaning service and one question you have is about insurance coverage, specifically you'd like to know who to go through and how much that might cost, and how much insurance you might need? Well, you need to figure this out before you go into business or make a business plan, or even go recruit investors.
Well, you are most likely going to need to talk to the local airport manager. I've seen regional airports want as much as 5-10 million in liability insurance and 2-5 million per occurrence. Smaller airports may only require 3 million aggregate with 1 million per occurrence. Avemco is one to check with, and there are some companies that will put on an aviation rider on an Auto Detailing type business insurance policy if you are only going to do a percentage of your work out at the airport.
Many of these insurance companies base things on gross-sales, and if you end up doing lots of business perhaps $100,000 plus per year, they will have you in a category of over 100K or under in gross sales. Also, you may find that many FBOs will want your services because they don't want to pay the extra insurance for their line-guys to clean planes, they don't do enough cleaning business to make the extra insurance costs worthwhile, that could get you an extra book of business and/or lots of referrals, perhaps you cut the FBO into a commission for selling you weekly wash accounts, plus cleaning their flight-line of rentals, charter aircraft or those that get expensive maintenance or annual inspections.
It wouldn't be right for me to quote you a price on insurance, there is a bit of a range based on the region, airport, state, and your estimated sales volume. So, I hope you understand now a little bit more about the aircraft cleaning insurance requirements, but call Avemco, and ask an agent to quote you, some of the business insurance brokers have a line on aviation insurance and can call an underwriter they are friendly with and shop for a better price - always compare - find a decent deal, you need to be pro-active in shopping, get several quotes. I hope that helps and good luck in your business. Please consider all this and think on it.