Whether you fly for business or pleasure, you’ll need aircraft insurance to protect yourself against financial losses. An aircraft hull and liability policy will cover all damages to the aircraft while in operation or parked, as well as injuries to the pilot and passengers. It will also cover damages and injuries to a third party so that you won’t be subject to a lawsuit.
The best aircraft insurance for you will depend on many individual factors, such as the type of aircraft you fly, your flying frequency, and your experience and training as a pilot. We’ve evaluated a number of aircraft insurance providers and brokers and selected the six best insurers based on industry experience, policy features, coverage offerings, ease of online quotes and policy management, and customer service reputation. Read on for our expert-chosen list of the best aircraft insurance for 2021.
Best Aircraft Insurance of 2021
Most aircraft insurance providers don’t provide pricing information online or offer policies directly to consumers, so you’ll likely need to get help from a broker.
Best Overall : BWI Fly
Why We Chose It: BWI Fly has been providing aircraft insurance nationwide since 1977, offers a variety of coverage options, and has a great reputation for customer service.
Online quotes and policy management
High coverage limits
Text support from agents
No on-demand coverage or hour-by-hour coverage
No skydiving coverage
From private jet insurance to commercial insurance solutions like flight school insurance, aircraft charter insurance, and drone insurance, BWI Fly offers protection with high coverage limits for almost every type of pilot. The only coverages BWI Fly is lacking are those for high-risk activities like skydiving and hour-by-hour coverage for renters.
BWI Fly is an insurance broker that has been serving the aviation industry since 1977 and has a great reputation for customer service. Its agents shop each year for the lowest rates, so you’ll always get a good deal on your policy. You can also get a discount if you insure more than one aircraft with BWI Fly.
You can get a quick quote online or call to speak to an agent, and once your policy is in place, you’ll be able to log in and manage your policy online. You can also text your agent directly to make changes to your policy, a unique feature most brokers don’t provide.
Best for Military : USAA
Why We Chose It: USAA is known to offer competitive rates to military members, provides a variety of coverage options, and has a strong reputation for financial strength.
A++ financial strength rating from AM Best
Below-average number of complaints with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)
Variety of coverage options for business and personal use
Only available to active-duty military, veterans, and their eligible family members
Customer service reviews are mixed
USAA is a Fortune 500 insurance provider that has been in business since 1922 and provides insurance policies exclusively to active-duty military, veterans, and eligible family members. In addition to aircraft insurance, the company offers auto, home, renters, life, small business, and other insurance products. While you can save by bundling home and auto, the company doesn’t advertise a bundling discount for aircraft insurance. Still, rates are known to be competitive.
You can get coverage for almost any aircraft, from seaplanes to vintage aircraft. In addition to personal aircraft insurance, you can get insurance for your aviation business, flight school, commercial aircraft or fleet, and non-owned aircraft. USAA members can easily start a free quote online. However, online claims are only available for home and auto insurance, so you’ll need to speak with your agent to file a claim on your aircraft policy.
USAA has the highest possible financial strength rating from AM Best, A++, which means you can count on the company to pay claims. The insurer also has a below-average number of complaints with the NAIC. However, customer service reviews on third-party websites are mixed.
Read our full USAA Insurance Company Review.
Best for Fixed-Base Operators : Falcon Insurance
Why We Chose It: Falcon has been in the aviation insurance business since 1979 and provides insurance to many leading fixed-base operators (FBOs), offering coverages such as workers' compensation, hangar coverage, and more.
More than 40 years of experience in the industry
Variety of customizable policies available
Works only with insurers rated A or better by AM Best
No instant online quotes
No online policy management
Falcon Aviation Insurance is a broker specializing in aircraft insurance since 1979. They work only with the highest-rated insurance providers with regard to financial strength and offer coverage for a variety of needs, including personal aircraft, commercial aircraft, and aviation businesses. Many of the leading FBOs nationwide trust Falcon to provide them with liability coverage, hangar coverage, workers' compensation coverage, and more.
While customer service reviews aren’t readily available on third-party websites, many pilots recommend Falcon Insurance in aviation community forums. The main drawback to the company is the lack of online access; while you can request a quote online, you’ll need to wait for a call from an agent to get your personalized premium amount. You won’t be able to manage your policy online, either.
Best for Corporations/Businesses : Wings Insurance
Why We Chose It: Wings Insurance specializes in corporate aviation and offers unique coverage and high coverage limits for business aircraft.
Start a quote or file a claim online
Unique coverage for business aircrafts and fleets
High coverage limits
No instant online quotes
Limited customer service hours
In addition to aircraft hull and liability coverage, Wings Insurance offers pollution and environmental liability coverage as well as cargo operations liability coverage, all with high coverage limits, which makes the broker ideal for insuring a business aircraft or fleet. In business since 1984, Wings Insurance has a great reputation for finding solutions for businesses. Though customer service reviews are hard to find, Wings Insurance comes recommended by many pilots on flight forums.
Besides corporate aircraft coverage, Wings Insurance also covers commercial aircrafts, agricultural aviation businesses, and more. You can even get workers' compensation and pilot life insurance through the broker. However, Wings Insurance does not advertise any bundling discounts.
You can start a quote online, but you’ll have to wait for an agent to contact you to get your customized premium. Though Wings Insurance only provides customer service during business hours, they do have an online form you can use to get started with a claim.
Best for Flight Schools : Travers & Associates
Why We Chose It: Travers & Associates has decades of experience serving flight schools and offers pay-by-the-hour coverage for students as well as specialized discounts.
Pay-by-the-hour coverage program
Represents the top aviation insurance companies
Online claims system
No instant online quotes
Travers & Associates is an insurance broker that has been serving the aviation industry since 1950. They represent the top insurers in the industry and have decades of experiencing tailoring policies for flight schools. Whether you run a university flight school or a small training program, Travers & Associates is capable of finding a policy that meets your needs. They offer discounts for Cessna Pilot Centers and Cirrus Standardized Training Centers along with discounts for simulator-based training programs.
In addition, Travers & Associates offers other coverages useful for flight schools, such as workers' compensation and property/hangar insurance. They also have a pay-by-the-hour program ideal for flight training facilities with fewer flying hours. This program is capped so you’ll never pay more than a traditional premium would cost. You’ll need to contact the company to find out what this cap is for your aircraft.
There are no instant online quotes, but you can request a quote online and an agent will contact you with your personalized premium. They also have several online policy management features including an online claim form and a policy renewal update form.
Best for Renters : Avemco
Why We Chose It: Avemco has decades of industry experience, superior financial strength ratings, and a low-cost policy for renters.
Renters policies as low as $95 per year
No deductible or cap on legal defense fees
Excellent customer service reviews
No corporate or commercial coverage options
Founded in 1960, Avemco offers both owners and renters policies nationwide including certified flight instructor non-owned policies. Renters policies start as low as $95 per year and have a $0 deductible. There’s even a safety rewards program that can save you up to 10% annually.
Policies include liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage, and aircraft damage liability coverage can be added. Even if you’re sued for damages above and beyond your liability limit, there’s no cap on legal defense fees for covered claims. The policy also comes with an allowance of up to $5,000 for medical bills.
You can start your application online or call to speak to an agent, and you’ll be able to manage your claims and bill payments online as well. Avemco is known for providing quick coverage to many customers the same day, though it may take longer than that depending on your needs.
Avemco has stellar reviews on third-party websites and had zero complaints with the NAIC in the last two years. The insurer has an A+ rating from AM Best, so you can count on their ability to pay claims.
If you need aircraft insurance, any of the brokers on our list can customize a policy from a top aviation insurer to suit your needs. Owners and renters can also get coverage through Avemco, and military members might find the most competitive rates through USAA. But of all the insurance companies we evaluated, BWI Fly stood out to us because the broker has decades of experience in the industry, has a great reputation for customer service, and allows for online quotes and policy management.
Compare the Best Aircraft Insurance
|Insurer/Broker||Wins For||Why We Picked It||Industry Experience||Online Claims|
|BWI Fly||Best Overall||High coverage limits and great customer support||42 years||Yes|
|USAA||Best for Military||Variety of coverages for military members||50+ years||No|
|Falcon Insurance||Best for Fixed-Base Operators||Leading provider for FBOs||40+ years||No|
|Wings Insurance||Best for Corporations/Businesses||High coverage limits and unique coverage for business aircraft||35+ years||Yes|
|Travers & Associates||Best for Flight Schools||Specialized discounts and pay-by-the-hour coverage for flight schools||60+ years||Yes|
|Avemco||Best for Renters||Low-cost policies for renters||60+ years||Yes|
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Aircraft Insurance?
Aircraft insurance is coverage to protect against financial loss arising from damages to an aircraft or injuries to anyone involved in an accident. If anything happens to you or your aircraft while you have an insurance policy, you can file a claim with your insurance provider and the company will pay for the loss up to your coverage limits and minus your deductible (as long as you’ve paid your premiums).
Do I Need Aircraft Insurance?
Most states do not require that private aircraft owners carry an insurance policy, but if you fly a plane, it’s wise to have an insurance policy. If you don’t, you’ll be on the hook for the cost of repairs and medical bills after any accident you cause.
How Much Does Aircraft Insurance Cost?
That depends. While a renters policy can cost less than $100 per year, and a liability policy for a Cessna 150 might run around $250, a large aircraft carrying hundreds of passengers will typically cost thousands to insure. The premium amount for an aircraft insurance policy depends on several factors, including the pilot’s experience, the make and model of the aircraft, and how the aircraft will be used.
What Does Aircraft Insurance Cover?
A standard hull and liability policy will cover the following:
- Physical damage to the aircraft, whether parked, in-motion, or in-flight
- Medical expenses for the pilot, crew members, and passengers
- Lost or damaged baggage or cargo
- Damages to other property outside the aircraft
- Injuries to others outside the aircraft
If the law requires aircraft insurance in your state, a public liability policy is usually the only coverage needed. This covers damages and injuries to property and people outside the aircraft. However, it’s essential to also have aircraft hull insurance, in-flight insurance, and passenger liability insurance.
What Types of Planes Are Covered by Aircraft Insurance?
You can purchase coverage for all types of planes, including but not limited to:
- Rotor wings
- Vintage aircraft
- Experimental aircraft
- Cirrus aircraft
- Cessna aircraft
- Private jets
If you’re not sure if the plane you have is covered, you can call the insurance company you’re interested in using to find out.
We evaluated more than a dozen aircraft insurance providers and brokers based on coverage offerings and policy features, ease of online quote and policy management, customer service reputation, and industry experience. We eliminated brokers that didn’t have more than 20 years of experience in the industry or that didn’t serve most states, and we chose only providers with superior financial strength ratings.
All of our picks had plenty of experience in the industry and offered a variety of options for customizable coverage.