Helicopter insurance can be 4-5 times more expensive than aircraft insurance due to higher hull values, increased exposure with low level terrain flying and a higher ratio of commercial use. Helicopter insurance cost is typically between $2,800-$4,000 for $1,000,000 Liability Only Coverage, compared to $500-$700 for an aircraft liability only insurance policy. Adding hull value of $315,000 on a Bell 206 helicopter for example, increases the insurance cost by $15,200-$19,450 per year.
Helicopter Insurance also known as rotor-wing insurance is a type of aviation insurance policy designed to protect your liability for a personally or commercially owned helicopter. A helicopter insurance policy also can include hull coverage as an optional coverage, which covers physical damage to the helicopter itself.
The process for obtaining helicopter insurance:
1. Identify the make/model helicopter that you would like to insure.
2. Once you start shopping for a helicopter, find a great Aviation Insurance Broker and provide them with detailed aircraft and pilot information.
3. Due to the added risks of Helicopter Insurance, it may take your broker 3-5 days to shop all the markets and find the best price/coverages.
4. Your broker may have some additional questions about the specific uses of your helicopter and further pilot history.
5. Once your broker has completed the quoting process, he/she will present you with an actual helicopter insurance quote and go over any terms, additional training requirements and stipulations.
6. Once you have the quote, you are able to (bind) or activate coverage at any time. Most brokers will require at least a downpayment and signed insurance application before agreeing to bind coverage.
7. The right time to activate coverage is once you have signed the purchase agreement and have financial interest in the helicopter. To protect your investment and liability, we recommend activating your policy at this time.
8. After activating coverage, you will receive some sort of temporary confirmation of insurance.
9. Within 30 days after the insurance policy has begun, full payment or a signed financing agreement for the total cost of insurance will be required.
10. After full payment has been made, the application turned in and after the insurance company finishes creating the insurance policy, your broker will receive the policy, review it for inaccuracies and finally send it to you. Your insurance policy booklet will list all the details of your helicopter insurance policy.
Helicopter Insurance Cost Breakdown:
Helicopter Insurance is a type of Aviation Insurance and is broken down into 2 separate coverages, Liability and Hull Coverage.
Every helicopter insurance policy includes at a minimum liability coverage, typically in the amount of $1,000,000 total liability and limited to $100,000 per passenger. Liability insurance covers: Bodily Injury, Property Damage and provides Legal Defense.
In the event of a loss, you will have $100,000 allocated for each passenger, this covers medical bills and limits the policy total payout for each passenger. If you have 2 passengers in your helicopter, they will have $100,000 each in liability coverage, leaving you with $800,000 for damage (outside of the aircraft)
Liability Only Insurance for helicopters typically ranges between $2,800-$4,000 depending on the make/model, pilot qualifications and prior loss history.
The second coverage in a helicopter insurance policy is called Hull Coverage or Physical Damage Coverage. This is an optional coverage and covers damage to the helicopter itself.
Hull Coverage in Aviation Insurance is based on (Agreed Value) meaning if you request a quote for $350,000 in hull coverage and you receive an insurance quote that includes $350,000 in coverage, the insurance company is agreeing with you that your helicopter is worth at least $350,000. In the event of a total loss, the insurance company will pay $350,000 less any deductible.
Hull Coverage Cost varies widely for helicopter insurance and depends on many factors but typically can range between a 4% hull rate and 10% hull rate. For $350,000, that is additional premium in the amount of $14,000 – $35,000, not including the liability cost.
Helicopter insurance and Aviation Insurance in general, is a specialty line of insurance and we recommend using an Insurance Broker who specializes in Aviation Insurance. At BWI, we specialize only in Aviation Insurance and have done so for 42 years. We are licensed Nationwide and have offices in California and Alaska.
To get a Helicopter Insurance Quote, click here or call us at 800-296-8595.