So you’ve logged the hours, acquired the ratings, and now you are looking to purchase your first aircraft. Congratulations, as that’s a pretty big step in life and one that most of us have dreamed of at some point in life.
Whether that was a private jet to fly through the sky in luxury or your own personal helicopter to beat the rush hour traffic, owning any vehicle that can fly has always been cool since the Wright Brothers first pulled it off.
Well know you are perusing the world of general aviation insurance and you’ve likely got a few questions. Without further ado, let’s cover the general aviation basics so that you can get off the computer and up in the air where you belong.
General Aviation Insurance Basics and Brokers
The first thing you need to do in order to properly insure your aircraft is find yourself a top notch and trusted broker to help you navigate the world of general aviation insurance. BWI is a full-service, family owned and veteran operated aviation insurance agency, based in California. We specialize only in aviation insurance and we can help you on your journey throughout the initial buying process and as a new aircraft owner.
You’ll need to know the general aviation insurance basics to make sure you are getting the proper coverage. So we are happy to help you out and be part of your story in that light. What your broker will do is source the best coverage and the best rates through the roughly dozen insurance carriers that offer aviation insurance in the United States.
However, in every case what you are really looking at is aviation liability coverage and hull coverage. If you nail those two basics at a minimum, then you’ve got yourself the proper coverage to take to the sky.
Aviation Liability Coverage and Hull Coverage
With general aviation insurance, you are essentially insuring two things. The first is aviation liability insurance. This covers the damage you can do with an aircraft on other people’s property as well as the passengers that are onboard.
The cost for liability coverage will typically run in the hundreds of dollars and it will typically offer $1,000,000 total liability and is limited to $100,000 per passenger.
Next, we’ll talk about hull coverage. Your aircraft and in many respects, this is no different than insurance on your car. Except in this case you likely paid a lot more for your aircraft than you did your car and you definitely want to ensure that baby. This is what is known as Hull Insurance. This covers damage to the aircraft itself and you’ll want to work with your broker to ensure you have the right amount of coverage. Too little hull coverage, could leave you in a touch spot in the event of a total loss. It will run you around 1.5% to 10% of the insured value of your aircraft depending on a variety of factors.
The Difference Really is in the Broker
Now, because there are only about 12 or so insurance carriers offering general aviation insurance, the prices between carriers will tend to rise and fall together. Currently we are experiencing a hardening of the market, which means all general aviation insurances costs are going up. So if you are a new aircraft owner, just know that a few years ago the prices were a good bit lower. However, this is just a natural cyclical swing in the market.
We’ve found that the biggest difference in how a pilot may obtain coverage really boils down to the broker. We have many peers in the industry that we trust and respect, but not every broker is the same. Experience matters as does a commitment to get pilots and aircraft owners the best rights at the right coverage.
That’s why we conduct a full policy review for you every single year. If we can be of assistance to you and your new aircraft, we’d be honored to help. You belong in the skies enjoying the freedom of flight and not haggling over insurance rates. We’ll do that work for you. Congrats again on your new aircraft and don’t hesitate to reach out.
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.