Undoubtedly the 800-pound gorilla of experimental kit-built aircraft, Richard VanGrunsven’s Van’s Aircraft has produced tens of thousands of kits of numerous models. Starting with the small aerobatic RV-3 and two seater RV-4, the line would later grow to encompass the RV-6, offering RV-4 performance with the comfort of side by side seating for pilot and passenger.
In 2001, Van’s began the development of a new model to replace the RV-6. The aircraft would remain very similar – two side by side seats in a fully aerobatic touring aircraft – but the new RV-7 would feature numerous improvements learned from the production of several thousand RV-6 kits. The wingspan was slightly increased and fuel capacity was thus increased by four gallons. The cabin was expanded to allow more headroom and legroom and the fuselage was strengthened to support larger engines up to 210 horsepower. The structural improvements combined to increase takeoff weight and thus the maximum payload and to reduce costs numerous parts were borrowed from the RV-8 introduced in the mid-1990s.
First flight took place in 2001 and kit deliveries began shortly thereafter of both the RV-7 tailwheel version and the RV-7A sporting tricycle landing gear. Being an experimental aircraft numerous small changes were made by builders and wide variations of avionics equipment, interior furnishings, and possibly most importantly engine selections are common. Many owners who use their RV-7s for casual touring use 150 or 160 horsepower Lycoming engines, while builders who prefer aerobatics tend toward 200 or 210 horsepower Lycomings. In line with all versions of RVs, owners report excellent handling with tight controls and above-average speed and climb rates for the aircraft size. Van’s estimates construction time for an average builder as around 1,500 hours though this varies wildly depending on numerous options as well as the builder’s skills and personal tolerances.
As of 2021 both the RV-7 and -7A remain available from Van’s as either kits or “quick build” versions featuring some of the more advanced work done by the factory. Some particularly adventurous builders even start from just the plans and procure or produce all of the parts themselves. Van’s reports over 1,800 -7 and -7As have flown and they remain a staple at general aviation airports and EAA hangars around the world.
Vans RV-7 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.
Vans RV-7 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.
Vans RV-7 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 Vans RV-7’s at $1,000,000 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 Vans RV-7 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 Vans RV-7 may be available to qualified pilots with experience in the make and model and a minimum Private License/IFR rating.
The second coverage on a Vans RV-7 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 Vans RV-7 and requests a quote including hull coverage in the amount of say $90,000. Once an aviation insurance company provides a quote, they are agreeing with you that your aircraft is worth $90,000.
*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 $90,000, you would get a straight check for $90,000.
Vans RV-7 Insurance Cost Breakdown:
As of January 2021, there are 7 carriers quoting Vans RV-7 insurance in the U.S. We consider qualified pilots to have at least a Private License with 500 total hours, 100 tailwheel hours and 25 hours in the make/model.
For an annual policy with $1,000,000 in liability only coverage.
Premium range for qualified pilots: $550-$650 per year.
Premium range for less than qualified pilots (low-time/etc): $675-950 per year.
For an annual policy with $1,000,000 in liability coverage and $90,000 in hull coverage
Premium range for qualified pilots: $1,250-$1,560 per year.
Premium range for less than qualified pilots (low-time/etc): $1,800-$2,400 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 Vans RV-7 owners and operators obtain the very best insurance coverage.
BWI offers comprehensive Vans RV-7 insurance policies for personal, business, charter, industrial aid, and commercial aviation uses.
For more information or to get an actual Vans RV-7 insurance quote, please fill out a quote request online here or call us at 800.666.4359
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*Always consult your insurance policy for exact coverage specifications, exclusions and details.