Bell UH-1 Helicopter Overview:
Though military use of helicopters actually began with just a small number in World War II, their rapidly expanded use in the Korean War had given the US Army substantial experience in a short time frame of what did and did not work for helicopter operations. In 1953, the Army submitted a request for proposals from manufacturers for a standardized general utility and medical evacuation helicopter.
Bell responded with an all-new design, the Model 204, which featured a single 700 horsepower Lycoming turboshaft engine driving a two-bladed main rotor and a spacious, open fuselage above short and stocky landing skids. Doors could be removed for flight and the interior could be configured to hold four stretchers or up to 13 fully equipped troops plus two crew. In 1955 the Army selected the Bell design from 20 applicants, and in October 1956 the prototype took its first flight. A lengthy test program followed before the Army placed an order for 100 in March 1960, designating the helicopter the HU-1 and dubbing it the “Iroquis” after the confederation of Native American tribes.
The model number of HU-1 quickly led to troops nicknaming the helicopter the “Huey” with the moniker becoming so popular it was used in Army literature and Bell began casting the name into the helicopter’s control pedals. Alongside the nickname, the large and slow turning main rotor blades produced a characteristic sound in flight known as the “Huey thump”.
Over the course of production numerous sub-models would follow along as the helicopter was modified for different purposes. Early reports of lack of engine power led to the upgrading of the Lycoming from 700 to 770, 1100, and eventually 1400 horsepower. Maximum takeoff weight and lifting capabilities were increased, and 1963 brought the larger UH-1D that could seat four more troops. 1962 would see the redesignation of the helicopter as the HU-1 (as the services standardized aircraft designations) as well as the order of a Marine Corps version, primarily differing in replacing all steel components with aluminum to reduce corrosion in shipboard operations.
The Huey would become famous as a symbol of the Vietnam War, where UH-1s carrying rockets, guns, or troops would become informally known by troops as “frogs”, “cobras”, and “slicks”, respectively. “Slicks” in particular became a staple of the war, dropping fresh troops into combat and evacuating the wounded. The Army’s 1st Cavalry Division would be equipped with Hueys and become the first Air Cavalry division in the world. A total of over 16,000 Hueys were built between 1956 and 1987, and the last were retired by the Army in 2016. They remain popular for civilian utility work due to their high capability and uncomplicated design.
Bell UH-1 Insurance Cost:
Aviation insurance in general, is a very specialized industry and premiums vary depending on make and model of the aircraft, hull value, use of the aircraft, pilot history and qualifications and aircraft insurance rates even take into account the loss history of each specific make and model and the loss history of the aviation industry as a whole.
Bell UH-1 insurance, like all aviation insurance, is broken down into 2 specific coverages. The first is Liability Coverage, which is standard on every aircraft insurance policy and the second is optional hull coverage, which covers damage to the aircraft itself.
Bell UH-1 aviation liability insurance covers damage caused by the aircraft, outside of the aircraft, specifically property damage, bodily injury, and provides for legal defense in the event that the aircraft owner or policyholder is sued.
Aircraft liability insurance is typically offered for Bell UH-1’s in amounts between $1,000,000 and $20,000,000 per occurrence (per incident) and includes coverage for passengers, but typically limits that amount to between $100,000 and $1,000,000 per passenger. Passenger liability coverage is included within the total liability coverage amount.
A real-world example of how this aviation liability coverage would protect you: If, as a result of operating your Bell UH-1 you damaged property or caused bodily injury outside of the aircraft, you would have the full amount of total liability coverage to pay for damages that occurred, less the liability amount paid for passengers inside the aircraft. If the aircraft crashed and you had passengers inside the aircraft that were injured, your insurance policy would pay up to the policy passenger limit for each passenger.
This liability coverage also applies as a bubble that follows the aircraft around. If the aircraft is hangered, liability coverage extends throughout your hangar and it is this coverage that airports will typically require you to have. It’s not a separate insurance policy, it is actually coverage built into your standards airplane insurance policy.
Other liability options: Higher liability coverage on the Bell UH-1 is available to qualified pilots with experience in the make and model and a minimum Commercial/RW/IFR license/Ratings and commercial helicopter uses.
The second coverage on an Bell UH-1 insurance policy is hull coverage and is an optional coverage. Aircraft hull insurance covers damage to the aircraft itself and is an agreed value, not subject to depreciation. Agreed value is decided during the initial insurance quoting process, the aircraft owner requests an insurance quote for his or her Bell UH-1 and requests a quote including hull coverage in the amo¬unt of say $100,000. Once an aviation insurance company provides a quote, they are agreeing with you that your aircraft is worth $100,000
*Insurance companies may place additional stipulations on quotes to prove the value of your aircraft prior to binding, if your agreed value is higher than bluebook.
Most aviation insurance companies do not offer deductibles higher than $0 deductibles, which means in the event of a total loss, if your aircraft was insured for $100,000, you would get a straight check for $100,000.
Bell UH-1 Insurance Cost Breakdown:
As of January 2021, there are 7 carriers quoting Bell UH-1 insurance in the U.S. We consider qualified pilots to have at least a Private/Rotor-wing license, with 500 total hours, 250 rotor-wing hours and 50 hours in the make/model.
For an annual policy with $1,000,000 in liability only coverage.
Premium range for qualified pilots: $1,500-$1,750 per year.
Premium range for less than qualified pilots (low-time/etc): $1,750-$2,700 per year.
For an annual policy with $1,000,000 in liability coverage and $100,000 in hull coverage
Premium range for qualified pilots: $2,500-$3,400 per year.
Premium range for less than qualified pilots (low-time/etc): $4,700-$5,850 per year.
BWI is a family-owned, nationwide insurance brokerage specializing in aviation insurance since 1977. Our dedicated Aviation Insurance Professionals are highly trained, hand-picked and experienced in helping Bell UH-1 owners and operators obtain the very best insurance coverage.
BWI offers comprehensive Bell UH-1 insurance policies for personal, business, charter, industrial aid, and commercial helicopter uses.
For more information or to get an actual Bell UH-1 insurance quote, please fill out a quote request online here or call us at 800.666.4359
BWI | The Future Of Aviation Insurance
Family Owned Since 1977 | Nationwide | Forward Thinking
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.
*Always consult your insurance policy for exact coverage specifications, exclusions and details.