Hot Takes on Current Trends

Cirrus Vision Jet

As deliveries ramp up and owners approach their slotted dates, there will be many pilots making their initial transition from single-engine piston fixed to single-engine turbine retract. Although Cirrus designed the SF50 to be about as easy as possible to make this transition, it doesn’t discount the fact that many of its pilots are new to the general systems of a jet. You can, however, expect 15 to 50 hours of dual flight time requirements in addition to your factory initial training. The number of hours will vary based on pilot experience. Rates are very reasonable, given an unproven airframe, which is a testament to Cirrus’s track record as a company.

Premium Impact on Turbine Transition

The increase in premium for a turbine aircraft over a piston aircraft has nothing to do with the fact that it’s a turbine; it has everything to do with the hull value. In the vast majority of cases, a turbine aircraft will simply be worth more than a piston aircraft. Consequently, it will carry a higher insured hull value, and therefore, a larger premium. Given that around 80% of your total premium lies in the hull value, it stands to reason that a higher hull value will drastically alter your premium. For example, an R44 owner transitions to an R66, and the premium goes up 30%. This isn’t simply because the aircraft has a turbine engine. Rather, it’s because the R66 can be worth $800,000, and an R44 can be worth as little as $200,000. The increase is due to the added value and replacement cost.

Insurable Events

A general rule to use in evaluating whether or not something might be insurable is to look for the “trigger.” The trigger is the singular event that caused the loss. If there is damage to an airframe or injury to a person, it must be traced back to an occurrence trigger in order for the policy to respond. Things like general wear and tear, worn out parts, faded paint, distressed interior, etc. are not insurable events. These are examples of maintenance and upkeep items, much like changing the brakes on your car or replacing a hot water heater in your house. Yes, these are unfortunate and sometimes unexpected expenses, but no, they are not insurance items. In some cases, you could have parts and equipment covered by warranties, but that’s an entirely different thing.