BWI Fly is known for affordable rates with robust policies
By JENNIFER LOBB Updated May 7, 2021
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If your career or passions have landed you a seat in the cockpit, the right aircraft insurance provides much needed coverage for you and your passengers. Though aircraft insurance may not be required by state or federal entities, a basic policy can protect you and your aircraft from the financial consequence of aviation accidents or other types of damages. That includes weather-related damage, vandalism, or property damage as well as any damage or accidents that may occur while you’re in flight or on the ground.
At minimum, a good aircraft insurance policy will provide basic liability insurance with the option to customize your policy based on your needs, budget, and any relevant circumstances or coverage requirements you may have (e.g., flights to Alaska, vintage planes, instructional needs). Read on to find out which aircraft insurance provider may be right for you.
The Best Aircraft Insurance in 2021
- Best Overall: BWI Fly
- Best for Veterans: USAA
- Best for Commercial Aviation: Wings
- Best for Renters: AssuredPartners Aerospace
- Best for Vintage Aircraft Insurance: EAA
- Best for Flying Clubs: Avemco
Best Aircraft Insurance
BEST OVERALLBWI Fly
BWI Fly’s reputation for affordable rates, reliable customer service, and a robust portfolio of policy types make them a solid option for many types of aircraft insurance.Pros
- Affordable rates
- Exceptional customer service
- Multiple policy options
- Not licensed to operate in D.C.
- Policies not applicable for some activities (e.g. skydiving or aerial photography that required FAA Cert)
BWI Fly is consistently ranked one of the top aircraft insurance companies, as they offer a wide range of policy options, excellent customer service, and affordable coverage that can be customized to fit your needs.
BWI’s policy solutions can accommodate both personal and commercial needs. They also offer a slew of niche or specialty policies designed for specific types of aircraft and aircraft owners, including experimental aircraft, seaplanes, flying clubs, commercial drones, private jets, and aircraft charters. Though coverage varies by policy and policyholder preferences, BWI general aviation coverage options include liability, aircraft hull, ground and flight, not in flight, and not in motion insurance.
BWI’s website provides quick and easy access to online quotes and claims for most customers, and their customer service is consistently considered top-notch. This provider also has a wealth of educational resources that can be of use to new and seasoned pilots.
Standard BWI aviation insurance policies are available for as little as $225 a year for up to $1 million in liability-only coverage, making them an affordable option. However, rates can vary greatly based on your policy needs, experience level, and other common factors, so it’s always best to seek out a personalized rate.
BEST FOR VETERANSUSAA
USAA provides specialized insurance products and other financial services to active military members, veterans, and their families, and their aviation insurance carries on that tradition of dedicated customer care.Pros
- Competitive rates
- Coverage for most types of aircrafts
- Commercial, personal, and non-owner policies
- Must be a USAA member
- Limited to veterans, active-duty military members, and eligible family members
The USAA Insurance agency started as an auto insurance company in 1922, but since then, the organization has grown to provide a wealth of services to USAA members and their families. For veterans, that means a one-stop-shop for everything from banking services and mortgages to home, auto, health, and even aircraft insurance. Because members receive dedicated service from experienced underwriters and can obtain competitive annual premiums and other perks, USAA is the number one option for veterans seeking aviation insurance.
USAA’s coverage includes personal and commercial aircraft as well as aviation and agriculture businesses. They also provide non-owned liability insurance. Plans cover various aircraft, including traditional planes, helicopters, seaplanes, warbirds, and commercial UAVs (drones), making it easy to find the right policy to suit your aviation interests.
Annual premiums are dependent on the type of aircraft, member needs, and selected coverage. Some plans are available for less than $100 a year. To be eligible for USAA aviation insurance, you must be a USAA member. Get individualized quotes by logging into their membership accounts or by contacting USAA directly.
BEST FOR COMMERCIAL AVIATIONWings
Wings has a robust line of commercial and corporate insurance policies that offer unique programs and perks to help business owners save money.Pros
- Extensive collection of commercial policies
- Workers compensation coverage
- Highly curated policies to meet the needs of each client
- Instant online quote not available
- Limited information available online
Wings has been specializing in aviation insurance since 1984, and today they offer global insurance solutions through a network of providers. All policies are curated to fit the specific usage, coverage, and financial needs of each client, making them our choice for commercial aviation policies.
Commercial customers will find that Wing’s policies cover all the traditional bases: aircraft hull and liability, cargo operations liability, pollution and environmental liability, products and completed operations, and property and ocean cargo coverage. But if you’re looking for a truly well-rounded insurance provider for your business, you may find that Wing’s workers’ compensation coverage and life insurance set them apart from some competitors.
Wings takes pride in an underwriting process that is truly individualized and their goal is to find the best policy for clients in the U.S. and around the globe. As such, instant quotes are not available online. Fortunately, Wings agents are quick to respond and well versed in the unique needs of commercial aircraft policyholders.
BEST FOR RENTERSAssuredPartners Aerospace
AssuredPartners Aerospace offers a variety of competitively priced policies for commercial and personal aviation needs, including renters insurance policies for as little as $81 a year. This, when paired with various rate reduction opportunities can make AssuredPartners a great option for anyone, including students and hobbyists, who operate rented aircraft.Pros
- Discounts for AOPA members
- Accident forgiveness program
- Low aircraft renters insurance rates
- Lower customer service rating
- No online quote option
- Not valid for commercial use
AssuredPartners is one of the nation’s largest aviation insurance firms and a strategic partner of the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA). They offer both commercial and personal insurance options, including renters insurance that policyholders can purchase and bind online within minutes. This, when paired with their low rates, makes AssuredPartners our choice for aircraft renters insurance.
AssuredPartner’s basic liability renters policies start at $81 a year, and you can get additional coverage, like property damage and bodily injury for passengers, for just $175 a year. That means you can add an additional layer of coverage–one that extends past the limits of the aircraft owner’s policy–for less than $7 a month.
AssuredPartners also offers discounts to eligible policyholders that can make coverage even more affordable. AOPA members, for instance, can save 5% on an aviation policy. Policyholders can also save even more when they go a year without a claim, which entitles them to a 10% claims-free flying record discount as well as an accident forgiveness and deductible waiver.
BEST FOR VINTAGE AIRCRAFT INSURANCEEAA
The Experimental Aircraft Association provides a wealth of resources, including insurance options, for aviation hobbyists across the nation. They offer specific aircraft policies that are designed to accommodate the unique needs of hobbyists who like to restore, repair, and fly classic planes, making them our choice for the best vintage aircraft insurance provider.Pros
- Owner repair options for claims
- Multi-aircraft discounts
- Convenient online chat
- No online quotes available
- Website provides limited policy information
The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is an organization that brings together recreational pilots, restorers, and builders, many of whom are particularly fond of warbirds, antiques, and classic planes. They also provide members with several benefits, including access to discounted insurance rates for vintage planes and warbirds. As such, we think EAA is the best option for Vintage Aircraft Association(VAA) and Warbirds of America (WOA) members.
EAA insurance, which is administered by the Falcon Insurance Agency, provides several forms of coverage, including general liability, emergency off-airport landing, use of other aircraft expansion, personal effects and baggage, and legal defense and loss of certification insurance coverage. They also provide optional coverage for members who participate in instructional or education activities, sightseeing, and airshow events.
To make their policies affordable for hobbyists and others who are passionate about vintage aviation, EAA offers discounts to policyholders who insure multiple aircrafts “In-motion” deductible credits for every year without a claim. And, since vintage aircraft owners may not be in the sky as often, they also give policyholders the option to suspend in-motion coverage.
BEST FOR FLYING CLUBSAvemco
Avemco offers great discounts and flexible policies that make it easy for flight clubs to add and remove members and create policies that reflect each club’s individual needs.Pros
- Safety program completion discounts
- Flexible policies to allow for changes in club membership
- Strong customer service
- Coverage and products vary by jurisdiction
- No corporate or commercial policies
- Not available for multi-engine aircrafts
Avemco has been protecting pilots for over 55 years by working directly with aviation insurance specialists to create customized coverage that fits each policyholder’s needs. Their competitive rates, customizable plans, and safety-based discounts make Avemco a great option for flying clubs.
One of the primary benefits of an Avemco flying club policy is the ability for each club to work directly with an Aemco Aviation Insurance Specialist to create a policy that is structured based on the unique needs of each club. Avemco further empowers policyholders by allowing them to add and drop members at any time during the policy year without contacting Avemco directly or filing unnecessary paperwork.
Avemco’s flying club insurance policies provide up to $100 million in property damage coverage and $100,000 per person for bodily injury. Each policy is custom designed to account for the unique needs of each group, which alleviates the constraints that often accompany a one-size-fits-all approach to insurance.
Policyholders can also take advantage of several discount opportunities, including discounts for hangaring the club’s aircraft as well as flying claim-free. Members can also take advantage of Avemco’s Safety Rewards discounts, which can reduce premiums by as much as 10% when pilots complete approved flight training.
Aircraft insurance, like home insurance, is not a one-size-fits-all insurance policy, and the best provider for you is the one that best fits your needs. Some providers, like BWI Fly, offer a range of coverage options that can accommodate any number of policyholder needs. Others, like EAA, may be best suited for very specific types of coverage, like vintage aircraft.
The best way to identify the perfect provider for you is to go directly to the source. Visit the provider’s website, get a quote, and contact their customer service team or agents. Doing so can help you compare costs, coverage, and the customer experience.
Compare the Best Aircraft Insurance
|Company||Average Annual Premiums||Aircraft Policy Options||Customer Service||Other Available Insurance Policies|
|BWI Fly Best Overall||General aviation liability starting at $225||General Aviation, Aircraft Renters, Private Jet, Industrial Aid Aircraft, Alaska, Experimental Aircraft, Rotor Wing, Hangar Coverage, Flight School, Aircraft Charter, Aviation Product Liability, Flying Club, Commercial Drone, Commercial Aviation||Phone, email, online claims, online payments||None|
|USAA Best for Veterans||Varies by policy||Personal Aircraft, Commercial Aircraft, Aviation Businesses, Agricultural Aviation, Non-owned Liability (e.g., student pilot, renters, etc.), Seaplane, Vintage and Warbird, Experimental, Homebuilt, Commercial Drones||Phone, online portal, virtual agent, email|
|Wings Best for Commercial Coverage||Varies by policy||Commercial Aircraft, General Aviation, Corporate Aviation, Agricultural Aviation, Helicopters, Seaplanes, FBO & Cargo, Aviation Properties, Manufactured Products, Drones, Renters Aviation Insurance||Phone, online contact form,||Pilot Life Insurance, Aviation Workers’ Compensation|
|Assured Partners Best for Renters||Renters insurance as low as $81||Personal Aircraft, Commercial Aircraft, Unmanned Aerial Systems (drones), Corporate Aircraft, Aerial Applications, Aviation Works Compensation, Helicopters, Fixed Based Operators, Maintenance and Repairs||Phone, email||Auto, Home, Condo, Renter, Watercraft, Life, Business, Private Client|
|Avemco Best for Flying Clubs||Varies by policy||Aircraft Owner, Homebuilt, Aircraft Trader, Aircraft Hull, Aircraft Rental, Certified Flight Instructor, Flying Club, Mexico liability||Phone, email, online portal||Term Life for Pilots|
|EAA Best for Vintage Aircrafts||Varies by policy||EAA Aircraft Insurance, Non-Owned Aircraft Insurance, Personal Insurance, C-Plan Aircraft Insurance, Powered Parachutes & Trike Insurance, International Aerobatics Club Insurance, Vintage Aircraft Association Insurance, Warbirds of America Insurance, EAA Aircraft Project Insurance Plan, EAA Flight Instructor Insurance Plan, EAA Flying Club Aircraft Insurance Plan, EAA Flight School Insurance Plan, EAA Hangar Insurance Plan, EAA Airport Insurance Plan||Phone, email, chat||None|
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does Aircraft Insurance Cover?
Aircraft insurance is an umbrella term that is used to refer to insurance policies that include but are not limited to:
- Single-engine planes
- Multi-engine planes
- Unmanned Aircraft System (drones)
- Vintage planes
- Homebuilt planes
- Experimental planes
- Non-owned aircrafts (e.g., rented, borrowed)
- Tailwheel aircrafts
Aircraft insurance policies can cover both personal aircraft and commercial aircraft as well as activities and equipment related to aircraft use, such as airports and hangars. Though policies differ, aircraft insurance providers typically offer the following common coverage options:
Public Liability Insurance
Public liability insurance covers damage to property owned by a third party. This coverage would protect you in the event that your plane is involved in an accident that damages someone else’s property, such as a home, car, land, or another plane. It does not provide protection for you or your plane.
Passenger Liability Insurance
As the name indicates, this insurance protects your passengers in the event that they are injured or killed while riding in your aircraft. Passenger liability insurance is typically based on the number of passengers that your aircraft can safely carry.
Ground Risk Hull Insurance (Not in Motion)
Ground Risk Hull Insurance for planes not in motion protects your aircraft while it’s not inflight. As such, it would cover damages that result from hurricanes, fires, vandalism, etc.
In-flight insurance protects your aircraft while it’s flying, landing, or taking off. Many policies also expand in-flight coverage to include taxiing, taking off, and landing.
How Much Aircraft Insurance Coverage Do I Need?
Unlike home or auto insurance, there are no state or federal aircraft insurance requirements, but it’s wise to have enough coverage to cover the cost of your aircraft as well as any resulting costs associated with an accident. This includes property damage, passenger injury, and damage to the aircraft.
Because there are no specific requirements, it’s also a good idea to consider your budget, and fixed base operators (FBO) insurance requirements while you make coverage decisions. An experienced aircraft insurance provider can also help you evaluate your needs.
How Much Does It Cost to Insure a Private Aircraft?
The cost of private aircraft insurance varies greatly, with premiums ranging from just under $100 to hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year.
Your individualized rate will depend on multiple factors, including:
- Type of aircraft to be insured
- Intended use, number of passengers (if any) it holds
- Your flight history (or that of anyone listed on the policy)
- Type of coverage you choose, including limits and deductibles
We researched 14 aircraft insurance providers offering the most common types of aviation coverage and evaluated each insurer based on policy options, potential costs, customer feedback, and online resources (e.g., claim portals, quotes, etc.). First we reviewed overall ratings to identify providers that generally offer favorable service, affordable rates, and an overall positive experience. Then we reviewed the policy options, discounts, and other defining characteristics to match the remaining pool of providers to audiences based on their aircraft types, needs, or activities.