Finding the Right Aircraft Insurance Policy for General Aviation

Aviation insurance

While commercial aircraft must all be insured as required by law, there is no such law for general aviation, except in a few states. Even though it?s not required by law, private aircraft owners should consider getting the appropriate insurance policy. Aircraft insurance policies provide different levels of coverage, and as with any type of insurance, it?s a good idea to shop around to find the right policy.

Insurance for general aviation
General aviation in the U.S. includes over 220,000 aircraft, ranging from amateur-built aircraft, rotorcraft and balloons, to turbojets. These log a total of 24 million flight hours every year. While general aviation aircraft are not legally required to purchase insurance, it makes sense to do so. In a common sense parallel with auto insurance, it ever the need arises, the pilot?s liability should be covered.
In fact, even though it?s not required, general aviation accounts for over half of all plane insurance premiums worldwide. In 2015, general aviation accounted for 51% of the total estimated premiums of $4.62 billion, followed by 34% paid by commercial airlines. The remaining 15% was paid by aerospace companies. Most life insurance policies don?t cover general aviation activities, but aviation insurance companies offer life insurance for pilots as well.

Finding the right aviation insurance policy
As in all types of insurance, choosing the right aircraft insurance policy comes down to balancing coverage with premiums. Most of the major players in the industry offer insurance for aircraft but smaller brokers may have a more personal touch. A number of factors go into choosing the amount of liability as well as the premium amounts. The most important of these is the number of flying hours the pilot has logged on different types of aircraft.
The type of plane, whether it will be making international flights, continuing pilot training, and hangar parking are other factors that affect the cost of an aviation insurance policy. Some brokers specialize in insuring specific types of airplanes, like the Cessna 180-185. In general, it?s a good idea to look at a sample policy from an agent or company before signing up.

Insuring the Cessna 180-185
The Cessna 180, also known as the Skywagon, was first introduced in 1953. The highly versatile aircraft seats four to six passengers and can be equipped with floats, wheels for skis. The Cessna 185 Skywagon has a strengthened fuselage. It?s one of the most popular aircraft for bush adventuring or just cruising with friends and family.
Cessna 180 pilots may want to shop for insurance policies with features like unrestricted off-airport landings, to accommodate their bush adventures. Territory coverage can be broad, including Canada, Alaska, Mexico, Central America, the Bahamas and the West Indies, again allowing for potential travel with friends and family.

Aircraft insurance is not legally required for general aviation, but is good idea. Finding the right policy is a matter of shopping around to find the right balance of coverage and cost. Some brokers specialize in particular types of aircraft, like the Cessna 180-185 Skywagon.