The Cessna 185 is a six-seat single-engine, high-wing, tailwheel aircraft designed by Cessna Aircraft Company. The Cessna 185 was in production from 1961-1985 and over 4,400 Cessna 185’s have been built.
The Cessna 185 is basically a Cessna 180 with a stronger fuselage, larger vertical fin and a 300 hp Contintinental IO-520 engine vs the 230 hp engine on the Cessna 180. The Cessna 180 and 185 are considered the ultimate bush planes and are designed to fill a variety of personal aircraft roles. The 185 excels at utility uses including off-airport landing and bush flying. The Cessna 185 can also be equipped with floats, amphibs or skis.
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 industry as a whole.
Cessna 185 insurance, like all airplane 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.
Cessna 185 aviation liability insurance covers damage caused by the aircraft, outside of the aircraft, specifically property damage, bodily injury, and provides money for legal defense in the event that the aircraft owner is sued. Aircraft liability insurance is typically offered for Cessna 185’s at $1,000,000 per occurrence (per incident) and includes coverage for passengers but limits that amount to $100,000 per passenger, which is included within the total liability of $1,000,000.
A real-world example of how this aviation liability coverage would protect you: If while flying your Cessna 185 and damaged property or caused bodily injury outside of the aircraft, you would have the full $1,000,000 in coverage to pay for damages that occurred. If the airplane crashed and you had passengers inside the aircraft that were injured, your insurance policy would pay up to $100,000 for each passenger. The Cessna 185 typically holds 5 passengers, so you up to $500,000 of your total $1,000,000 insurance policy could be used to pay for passenger liabilities, leaving you with $500,000 for other damage outside of the aircraft or legal defense.
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: Some companies may offer lower liability at $500,000 but the cost savings typically doesn’t make this a viable choice. Higher liability coverage on the Cessna 185 is typically only available to more qualified pilots with at least Private + IFR ratings and at least 200 hours in make and model. The next step up from $1,000,000 total liability, limited to $100,000 per passenger is $1,000,000 total liability limited to $250,000 per passenger, often called 1 mil sub 250.
The second coverage on a Cessna 185 aircraft 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 Kitfox and requests a quote including hull coverage in the amount of say $1120,000. Once an aviation insurance company provides a quote, they are agreeing with you that your aircraft is worth $120,000.
*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 $120,000, you would get a straight check for $120,000.
Cessna 185 Insurance Cost Breakdown:
As of February 2020, there are 9 carriers quoting Cessna 185 insurance in the U.S. We consider qualified pilots to have at least a private license, with 750 total hours, 250 tailwheel and 25 hours in the make/model.
Since 1977, BWI has specialized in tailwheel insurance and created the National Cessna 180/185 Insurance Program to offer lower rates and better coverages for qualified pilots who meet our minimum requirements. More information about our program can be found here: https://bwifly.com/aviation-insurance/national-cessna-180-185-program/
For an annual policy with $1,000,000 in liability only coverage.
Premium range for qualified pilots: $384-$505 per year.
Premium range for less than qualified pilots (low-time/etc): $470-$630 per year.
For an annual policy with $1,000,000 in liability coverage and $110,000 in hull coverage
Premium range for qualified pilots: $1,945-$2,440 per year.
Premium range for qualified pilots in our National Cessna 180/185 Insurance Program: $1,845-$2,140 per year.
Premium range for less than qualified pilots (low-time/etc): $2,500-$2,950 per year.
For more information or to get an actual Cessna 185 insurance quote, please fill out a quote request online here or call us at 800.666.4359
-The BWI Team