Part of deciding which aircraft to buy should include a consideration of all of the potential costs. You may think you’ve found your dream aircraft, at a decent price, and you are ready to jump at the chance. But you should also consider the costs of insuring that aircraft.
There are certain types of aircraft that cost more to insure, and those costs add up over the years. Insurance companies may be reluctant offer policies that cover these aircraft to pilots who don’t have significant experience flying them or meet minimum requirements in other, similar aircraft.
Knowing which aircraft are harder to insure and preparing yourself to put the best case forward to insurance companies can be the difference between being flying high or being grounded.
Aircraft Insurance Cost Factors
There are several things that can make an aircraft more expensive to cover. Insurance companies are ultimately in the business to make money, and they can’t do that if they are constantly paying out claims due to the same risk factors.
There are several types of planes and helicopters that cost more to insure because the parts and people to fix them are no longer available. Other aircraft are expensive to insure because they are so expensive to replace.
Still other aircraft don’t have an established, clear safety record. Insurance companies aren’t fond of taking chances on these aircraft. Talk to an aviation insurance professional, if you own or are thinking of buying one of the aircraft mentioned below. These brokers’ existing relationships with insurance companies and years of industry experience, can make all the difference.
The older an aircraft gets, the harder it is to find spare parts and to repair it, which means insurance premiums will be higher and insurance companies more reluctant to offer terms for older aircraft. Some insurance companies may even stop writing older aircraft past a certain age altogether.
Insurance companies have also become wary of insuring helicopters, especially those that are used for personal use, rather than commercial use and those that are owner flown, verses flown by a pro-pilot.
Certain helicopter operations such as crop dusting or hog hunting have also proven to result in higher claims rates for insurance companies. When this happens with certain aircraft that an insurance company can identify, they might refuse to cover them or ask for extremely high premiums and deductibles.
If you are interested in buying a helicopter for personal or single-pilot use, consider consulting with an aviation insurance professional like BWI, who can work with you to secure a comprehensive and competitive helicopter insurance policy.
Retractable Gear and tailwheel aircraft
Standard, fixed-tricycle gear aircraft when compared to similar retractable and tailwheel aircraft are almost always easier and less expensive to insure, since there is no increase risk exposure for the insurance companies, like there are with retractable and tailwheel aircraft.
The chances of having a gear up landing are non-existent with tricycle gear aircraft and similarly, the changes of having a ground loop are reduced with a tricycle gear aircraft.
The above facts, along with increased accidents and claims are the reasons behind increased insurance rates for retractable gear and tailwheel aircraft.
Tips For Getting Your Rates Down
If you already own one of the aircraft mentioned above or are thinking of buying one, there are ways that you can get your rates down. Most of these tips are with respect to your qualifications and experience as a pilot, so they are directly under your control.
Get an Instrument Rating
If you don’t already have one, get an instrument rating, particularly for any aircraft that you may fly regularly. Insurance companies are looking for things that tell them you are a lower risk in that aircraft. This is one of your chances to set yourself apart from the people insurance companies won’t touch.
Keep Your Flight Hours High
You should fly as often as possible if you want to get better insurance rates. This applies to all aircraft, but especially to one that is normally difficult to insure. Make sure that you keep very detailed records of your time in logbooks. If you lose them, use papers such as medical certificates that include this type of information.
Get As Much Training as You Can Afford
Ongoing training is particularly important if you want to get good insurance rates for complex aircraft. If possible, get training at least every six months that alternates between simulator-based and in-aircraft hours. Without the proper training, some insurance companies won’t even offer policies.
Keep Up With the Value of Your Plane
Much of your insurance premium goes toward covering the value of your aircraft. If you own a plane or helicopter that is difficult to insure, make sure you know how much it may have depreciated in value. This will help ensure you aren’t overinsuring your aircraft.
Get a Quote or Learn More
Owning an aircraft that is hard to insure can make it hard to keep yourself flying. You need the help of an experienced broker that specializes in aviation insurance to help convince insurance companies that you are worth the risk at a price you can afford.
Why choose BWI Aviation Insurance?
Over our 42 year history, BWI has built longstanding relationships with all of the above Aviation Insurance Companies. We work hand in hand with the above companies and leverage our experience to find the best market for your particular airplane insurance risk.
To ensure that you are getting the absolute lowest rate and best coverage with a rock solid A+ rated Aviation Insurance company, get a quote with BWI today. We specialize only in Airplane Insurance and our office is open 12 hours a day. Our agents are friendly and knowledgeable, and most importantly they are agents that you can trust to get you the best coverage for your needs. Aviation Insurance is all that we do and have done for 42 years.
Call 800.666.4359 today for a free Airplane Insurance Quote or Click Here to submit a quote request online.
BWI is the Nation’s Leader in Aviation Insurance, with offices based in Corona, CA and Anchorage, AK.