It’s not surprising that pilots want to transition to complex aircraft. The speed of these planes is undoubtedly a draw, as is the confidence you gain operating an aircraft with specialized avionics.
If possible, look into what factors play into transitioning to complex aircraft insurance before you buy your plane. If you already bought your aircraft, it is important to know that there are some significant differences between insuring the plane you learned on versus the one you’re dreaming of flying now.
What Is a Complex Aircraft?
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) defines a complex airplane as one having several elements, including:
- Retractable landing gear
- A controllable pitch propellor, or an engine control system with a digital computer and accessories that control the propellor and engine
If your aircraft is a seaplane, it can also be considered complex. It has to meet the above criteria, with the exception that floats can substitute for a retractable landing system
How to Improve Your Chances of Getting a Complex Aircraft Insurance Quote
It’s important to create a transition plan that includes training and hour building prior to approaching an aircraft insurance broker to shop for quotes. Having a solid transition plan will give your broker more ammunition and help you stand out to the underwriters.
Purchase a Newer Aircraft
One of the factors that affects all aviation insurance is the ability to find parts and maintenance support for your plane. If your complex aircraft is older, it will be more complicated and potentially more expensive to fix and thus drive up insurance premiums and repair costs.
Get In As Many Flight Hours As Possible In The Make and Model Aircraft
You are a better safety risk for an insurance company if you have a lot of time in the air and a lot of time with retractable gear or time in the actual make and model aircraft you are transitioning to. Not having enough of either could mean insurance options are very limited or incredibly expensive. You can get more hours in by joining an aviation club if there is one in your area that has planes with retractable gear.
Get the Proper Instrument Ratings
Depending on the type of complex plane you purchase, you may need an instrument rating specific to that plane. Check with your insurance broker before you buy the plane if possible to see which ratings you will need. The bigger the aircraft, the more likely it is that you will need an instrument rating.
How To Keep Your Rates Down
Once you have aircraft insurance after transitioning to a complex aircraft, there are several things you can do to keep your rates as low as possible moving forward.
Plan For Regular Maintenance
The landing gear on complex planes leads to many insurance claims due to failure and gear-up landings. Make sure your gear is in top shape and you can prove that to the insurance company, through your records. This is not the area in which to try to save money on maintaining your plane.
Keep Those Flight Hours Up
Not only do you need high flight hours to get complex aircraft insurance in the first place, you need to keep flying your complex plane in order to keep your insurance and hopefully get reduced rates moving forward.
If you need to get your overall flight hours up, consider building more time in slower planes. The speed of a complex aircraft might get you there faster, but it actually reduces your overall time.
Continue Your Training
The more training you have, the less risk you pose to prospective aviation insurance companies. Building hours, adding ratings and flying as much as possible in the aircraft will help out in the long run.
Do Not Let Your Current Insurance Lapse
Not letting your current insurance lapse is especially important as you age. Aviation insurance companies already consider age when they consider providing quotes, and it is incredibly important to build a multi-year relationship with your aviation insurance company.
Keep Detailed Records
Make sure your airtime logs are accurate and that you have records of all maintenance done on your plane. Note the type of extra training you’ve had and any new ratings. You should have a firm knowledge of what your insurance company is looking for when it’s time to renew your complex aircraft insurance.
If you are considering making the transition to a complex aircraft, make sure you consider the insurance implications before you take the plunge.
If you want to learn more about aviation insurance or are ready to get a quote for your complex plane insurance, visit us at BWI Aviation Insurance. We are ranked among the top aviation insurers in the industry by Investopedia because we focus on getting you the coverage you need at the best price.
Why Shop for Aircraft Insurance at BWI Aviation Insurance Agency?
Aircraft insurance can be a sticky topic, particularly when deciding how much coverage fits your bill. Before settling on a best-fit figure, you must select the appropriate aircraft coverage type, factor in your flight hours, aircraft type, and passenger load. This is hectic even when you have time.
At BWI, we understand the complexity of shopping for aircraft insurance, which is why we simplify and streamline the entire process for our customers. When your trust us to provide you with aircraft insurance, you’ll get low rates, fast quotes, and coverage you can always count on.
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.