Giving advice on how to lower your helicopter insurance rates these days feels a little bit like giving advice on how to survive a Tsunami.
Basically, run for high ground and pray for the best. The aviation insurance market has been experiencing a cyclical hardening with rotary aircraft taking some of the hardest hits.
Moreover, huge losses, among which are the tragic helicopter crash that took the life of NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, will extend the hardening of this market. Those who provide aviation insurance in America are actually a fairly small pool and when one provider is affected, so are the rest of them. That being said, you can do you best to give yourself a fighting chance at getting the lowest rates. So we’ll offer you 3 quick tips on how to ensure you get the rates you deserve.
#1 Identify Your Unique Need for Helicopter Insurance
Helping the underwriters understand the unique nature of the risk your helicopter operation presents is an important step. Granted, it is possible that in doing so you will get the rates you deserve over the rates you prefer, but it never ends well when you try to game the aviation insurance industry for lower premiums at the expense of proper coverage. So come to the table prepared to explain exactly what you do and keep in mind, if you plan to be a jack of all trades helicopter pilot, that could cost you.
If your helicopter is intended for sight-seeing on the beautiful island of Hawaii, best just go ahead and say so. If this is a rotary craft intended for medevacs, the daily sight-seeing tour will likely not be on the agenda. If you do intend to fly your helicopter for multiple uses, then be very honest about that fact. Even if you see yourself offering up the occasional charity flight, better let your broker know up front.
#2 Be a Helicopter Pilot that Lowers Costs
Whether you manage a fleet of pilots or you are a lone helicopter pilot yourself, the best way to lower your helicopter insurance rates is to focus on the things that you can control. Namely, yourself or your employees. Pursuing additional ratings demonstrates a commitment to learning and a greater breath of ability.
Moreover, hiring pilots with ratings above and beyond never hurts if you are in charge of a fleet and insisting that they meet a high standard of annual training requirements makes a big difference.
Even with the best of pilots, accidents can happen as Murphy’s Law is alive and well in the skies above. So if you choose to hire and retain subpar pilots, just be prepared to pay for their lack of skill when it comes to helicopter insurance rates.
#3 Shop Insurance with an Experienced Broker
I know this last tip sounds like a little bit of self-promotion, but bear with me for a minute. Our family has been in the aviation insurance industry for over 40-years as a family and veteran-owned business and we are still learning every single day. This market is complicated and I assure you, few people outside the industry had any notion that the tragic death of an NBA superstar was about to raise their insurance premiums. Yet, that is simply the truth.
If you choose not to work with BWI, then you should work diligently to find another broker that has the experience and track record necessary to get you the lowest rates. Trying to figure this game out on your own will lead to heartache and higher rates. We shop policies every single year for all of our customers, because no two years are exactly the same in this industry.
If you really want an edge on gaining the best rates available, find a broker who will do that work on your behalf. We are in a hardened market and we expect this to continue for the next few years. So much like running from that Tsunami, it’s time to run for the hills and our experts at BWI Aviation Insurance would be happy to run alongside you the entire way.
BWI | The Nation’s Leader In Aviation Insurance
Family Owned | Nationwide | Since 1977
What makes us different? Our office is open 12 hours a day, our team is hand-picked, well-trained and every single customer has their own dedicated Aviation Insurance Professional.