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Getting the Best Insurance Premium for a Helicopter

Updated: Dec 22, 2018

Getting the best insurance for your helicopter can be difficult. After all, to obtain its vertical lift some would describe the process as beating the air into submission. To do this requires an engineering complexity that requires a costly parts, mechanics, pilots, and insurance.

This article will provide you with some tips on how you can find the best possible insurance premium for your helicopter.

Before we actually begin with how you can get your helicopter insurance, let’s first look into more reasons why helicopter insurance policies are so expensive.

Why Insurance is Expensive

Helicopter insurance premiums can get out of control very quickly even when comparing them to a similar priced airplane with a similar engine. The complexity of a helicopter adds to the difficulty to operate, maintain, and manufacture, resulting in higher insurance. The inherent utility of the rotorcraft lead to more difficult use cases, which put some of the most accomplished helicopter pilots operating with the thinnest margins.

Moreover, if the rotorcraft breaks down in isolated areas, repair and recovery can be quite expensive. If an accident occurs in those remote areas and the helicopter crashes, there is a high chance that it will not be retrieved, and even if the rotorcraft is found, transporting it to a repair facility is not cheap.

Whether its pilot error, a maintenance issue, or even unexpected weather that closed out quickly, rotorcraft losses tend to be a total insurance loss, meaning more insurance premium dollars are paid out per helicopter loss. If that loss occurs on a rescue mission, sightseeing tour, or hauling an external load, the potential for resulting damage or even loss of life is also unfortunately higher. These are all factors that contribute to the helicopter insurance rates.

How to Lower Insurance Costs

Insurance premiums are based on type of helicopter, coverage limits, aircraft use, and the qualifications and experience of the pilot(s). To lower the premiums, the above variables need to be considered when thinking about insurance. Low time pilots or pilots without much experience in the type of helicopter can often lead to the biggest increases in the insurance premium.

Despite the fact that turbine engines are regarded as more reliable engines, a pilot with no turbine time will be subjected to higher insurance premiums. Hiring a mentor pilot might be expensive, but asking your broker to quote your policy with 10 or 20 hours dual with a mentor pilot can sometimes help lower your insurance premium a lot.

Coverage limits can be deceptive. A two pilot crew flying a twin engine helicopter can easily source high limits of liability. However a low-time or piston powered helicopter might struggle to find more than $1,000,000 of liability.

Finding the appropriate liability limits is important, but to keep the insurance premium in check you might consider a sub-limit of liability per passenger to lower your insurance premium. The intended use of the helicopter probably won’t change much, but if you are considering renting it out to offset your costs that might increase your insurance premium more than expected.

Instead you can ask to add coverage for rental to named pilots only. That would help keep your insurance premium down even if there’s a small fee for each pilot.

Old vs. New Helicopters

Lastly the value of your helicopter makes a big difference in the insurance premium. The valuation isn’t necessarily related to the year it was built, but the age of the time value parts.

Let your broker know the hours on the engine, and blades, and any avionics or mods installed and they can give you a rough idea what the Blue Book Value is.

However be sure to review that during the year, because if you fly a lot it might be in your best interest to lower the hull value during the middle of the year, which will also save you insurance premium dollars.

A model that was made in 2000 and another that was launched in 2018 might have a huge price difference. Since the hull of the 2018 model would be expensive, the insurance premium of that model will also be higher. So the insurance cost is not necessarily dependent on how safe the helicopter is to fly.

Usage Pattern

The owner of the helicopter is responsible for causing any damage to third parties. He or she is responsible for damage to the property and people inside and outside the helicopter. So, your usage pattern is reflected on your helicopter insurance policy. All the needs of the policyholders need to be taken care of in the insurance policy. The risk factors while the helicopter is on the ground also need to be covered in the policy. These factors have an effect on the insurance premium.

A person or a company looking to obtain the best insurance premium for a helicopter needs to consider all the above factors which directly affect the insurance costs. Getting the wrong kind of insurance policy from the wrong company, while not considering the terms and coverage of the insurance can be costly.

If you are planning to get a helicopter insurance policy at a fair price, then you can contact Aviation Marine Insurance Services Inc. to get a quote. The company will make sure that you get the right kind of insurance policy.



Aviation Marine Insurance Services Inc.

+1 (800) 972 0907

Oakland, CA


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