HC Deb 21 July 1943 vol 391 cc922-3W
Captain De Chair

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware that certain insurance companies before the war insisted upon an extra premium before accepting liability for the death of anyone engaged in aviation or aeronautics; that this condition persisted after the insured became a pilot in the Royal Air Force on active service, although no similar condition would be imposed upon active service in the Army or Navy; and whether, in view of its deterrent effect on volunteering for the Royal Air Force, he will arrange with the insurance companies to accept risks in the Royal Air Force in war-time as part of the general average risk of service in any arm and make this retrospective in the case of fighter pilots in the Battle of Britain who were not covered on account of endorsement against aviation or aeronautics?

Sir A. Sinclair

I am aware that the pre-war practice of certain insurance companies was as stated and that, in consequence, some aircrews of the Royal Air Force may be in a less favourable position than officers of the Armed Forces employed on ground or surface duties. I regret that this should be so, but I have, of course, no power to require insurance companies to treat pre-war policies as covering, without the payment of extra premiums, the risks involved in war-time service in the air. I am, however, looking into my hon. and gallant Friend's suggestion and will communicate with him again as soon as possible. Meanwhile, I have no evidence that men have been discouraged on the score of insurance difficulties from volunteering for flying duties in the Royal Air Force.