Best Helicopter Insurance

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Contributor, Benzinga
February 3, 2021

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As with any type of aviation, owning and flying a helicopter comes with risks. Helicopter insurance can help if you experience the unexpected. It helps to pay for repairs to your helicopter, property damage and the medical bills of anyone affected. Private helicopter owners and business owner should obtain customized coverage that includes the most appropriate coverage limits and extras for the situation or aircraft.

Learn more, and find the best helicopter insurance brokers now. 

Best for Experience: BWI Fly

BWI Fly has been in business for 42 years, and it focuses exclusively on aviation insurance. It pioneered the first insurance program for Robinson brand helicopters in 1979. Experience is critical because aviation insurance is so specialized. 

One unique aspect of aviation insurance is that it’s offered through brokers. Brokers represent people who are shopping for insurance and work with multiple insurance companies to help you find the policy that best meets your needs. 

BWI Fly works with top insurance brokers, and it’s built those relationships over the many years it’s been in business. 

Best for Non-Owners: Aviation Insurance Resources

If you’re planning to rent or borrow a helicopter, it’s important to know you may not be covered by the owner’s insurance. That means you could be held responsible for any damages or injuries. 

Aviation Insurance Resources offers non-owned helicopter insurance. It helps to cover your defense fees in the event of an incident. You can easily request a quote online for any type of helicopter insurance policy. 

The knowledge base of Aviation Insurance Resources agents is unrivaled because all agents are also pilots. The provider is licensed in all 50 states and based in Frederick, Maryland. 

Best for Options: Avion Insurance

In addition to helicopter insurance, Avion Insurance offers hangar keeper insurance, workers’ compensation insurance and non-owners insurance. It covers a wide range of needs and is experienced with insuring a range of helicopter makes and models. 

Avion Insurance offers online quotes and boasts excellent customer reviews. 

Best for Customer Service: BWI Fly

BWI Fly also offers excellent customer service. It’s open 12 hours per day Monday through Thursday (6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST) and almost 12 hours on Fridays (6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. PST). It offers text message support, so you can text your agent when you want to make changes to your policy. 

Take advantage of a range of payment options, including Apple Pay, to make meeting your premiums easy.

You’ll find the blog offers extensive information about aviation insurance, and BWI boasts excellent reviews from customers. 

Best for Commercial: London Aviation Underwriters

If you use your helicopter for commercial purposes, London Aviation Underwriters is a good choice. It offers coverage for businesses offering aerial photography, charter flights, sightseeing and traffic watches. It also works with pilots who are transitioning from flying fixed wing plans and student pilots. 

London Aviation Underwriters was founded in 1980 and got its start serving Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. 

Types of Helicopters You Can Insure

Any type of helicopter can be insured, including turbine rotorwing and piston rotorwing helicopters. Keep in mind that the type of helicopter you choose will impact your rates. Consider contacting a broker before you buy a helicopter and discuss the makes and models you’re looking at to get a sense of the cost. 

If you’re buying a used helicopter, keep in mind that wear and tear aren’t usually covered with helicopter insurance. Policies are designed to cover accidents, and damage resulting from a breakdown won’t be paid for by your policy. 

Helicopter Insurance Requirements

Insurance underwriters look at several factors when deciding on whether to offer helicopter insurance and what rates and coverage you’re eligible for. Each provider considers the make and model of the helicopter, whether you’ve had any prior claims and the experience of the pilot. New pilots are more expensive to insure than more experienced ones. 

It also looks at the reasons you’re flying (whether it’s for business or for fun) and the number of passengers you plan to fly with. 

Start the insurance process by finding a broker and narrowing down the makes and models of helicopters that you’re interested in. Once you find the helicopter you want to buy, ask your broker to gather quotes. 

Your broker will ask you to complete an application that details information about the helicopter and the pilot(s). Then your broker contacts aviation insurance companies for quotes. 

Because aviation is specialized, it could take a few days to get quotes back. Your broker may come back with additional questions specific to an insurance company.

Once you have your quotes, your broker reviews them with you to compare the different types of coverage. Yoru broker will communicate any additional requirements to secure coverage. 

Once you choose a policy, you can activate it by making a down payment and signing your application. You’ll need to pay the balance or set up a payment plan within 30 days of starting the policy. 

After that, your broker will send your premium and completed application to the underwriter. The insurance company will send your broker a final copy of the policy. 

Helicopter Insurance Cost

Helicopter insurance costs vary significantly depending on the type of insurance you purchase, the type of helicopter and the experience of the pilot. 

There are 3 primary types of coverage to consider for your helicopter:

  • Liability helps to cover your legal liability if you damage someone’s property or if someone who isn’t a passenger or pilot is injured while flying or landing. 
  • Passenger liability helps cover your legal liability for passengers who are injured.
  • Hull insurance covers damage to your helicopter. 

Helicopter liability coverage is typically $1 million in total liability and $100,000 per passenger, according to BWI Fly. The premiums for this coverage typically range from $2,800 to $4,000 annually. 

Hull insurance depends on the value of the helicopter. It typically costs 4% to 10% of the value of the helicopter. For a $300,000 helicopter, premiums range from $12,000 to $30,000. 

You may also obtain coverage for a medical evacuation in the event of a substantial crash. Emergency transport services are expensive, and you may also add medical payments coverage as needed.

Remember to work with your insurance agent because they can help with claims. Insurance claims are active investigations opened by the carrier in an attempt to pay only what is owed and an agent can help you get all that you are due.

Find the Best Helicopter Insurance

To find the best insurance, talk to a few brokers. Look at each broker’s customer service, experience and level of expertise in securing helicopter insurance. Some may be more familiar with airplanes, and you want a broker that’s knowledgeable about the unique helicopter insurance market. 

Once you find a broker, be upfront about your insurance history and coverage needs to receive accurate quotes. Contact a recommended broker to start your search for helicopter insurance now.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

How do aviation insurance policies work with business insurance policies?

A

You need aviation insurance if you own a business that leases or owns aircraft. However, you need a special policy for the aircraft because they are generally not covered under a business owner’s policy.

Q

Do I need aviation insurance?

A

You need aviation insurance any time you fly, no matter how much.

About Melinda Sineriz

Melinda specializes in writing about mortgages. student loans, personal loans, insurance, managing credit and debt, and credit cards.