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McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Insurance

McDonnell Douglas Insurance Cost Examples

MD 530 - Owner Pilot with 175 Total Time and Private

Coverage Limits Premium
MD530 Physical Damage $1,000,000 Agreed Value $34,000
Aircraft Liability $1,000,000 Per Occurrence $2,500
Total Annual Premium $36,500

MD 500E - Owner Pilot with 600 Total Time

Coverage Limits Premium
MD500E Physical Damage $2,000,000 Agreed Value $60,000
Aircraft Liability $1,000,000 Per Occurrence $4,000
Total Annual Premium $64,000

MD 600N - Owner Pilot with 1,000 Total Time

Coverage Limits Premium
MD600 Physical Damage $1,800,000 Agreed Value $50,000
Aircraft Liability $2,000,000 Per Occurrence $6,000
Total Annual Premium $56,000

Aircraft Summary

MD Helicopters have a wide range of use cases for their operations. They are often used for Military, Law Enforcement, Utility, EMS and VIP Civilian. MD Helicopters offers exceptional value and they have some of the coolest looking helicopters in the industry that can be retrofitted with military paint and machine guns. In 2005 the company was purchased by Lynn Tilton. The headquarters is based in Mesa, Arizona. 

MD Helicopters is also an exhibitor every year at the Helicopter Association International’s Heli Expo where they display the latest and greatest equipment. Each year they have the Heli Expo at a new location to accommodate helicopter pilots from around the country.

Liability premium is based on the number of seats in the helicopter and use of operations. All the MDs pretty much have the same or similar seating configurations so most of the differences in liability premium is based on experience and use. Typically around 30% of the premium is from the liability and the remaining 70% is from the hull value. For high value helicopters like $2,000,000 we can easily see the hull premium be 90% of the overall premium. 

An easy way to estimate or visualize the premium for a MD Helicopter is: 2%, 3%, and 4%

  • 2% of the hull value for experienced pilots who have been operating the MDs for a long time 
  • 3% of the hull value for most MD operators with experienced pilots and very clean flight operations where there’s not a whole lot of of mid term policy changes like adding pilots or adjusting training requirements
  • 4% for the hull value for transitioning pilots, commercial operations for hire

Deductibles are typically either 5% of the Insured Value or some carriers offer $5,000 In Motion. Deductibles do not apply to Total Loss. 

Models We Cover

  • MD 500
  • MD 520
  • MD 530
  • MD 600
  • MD Explorer


MD Helicopters are an older manufactured aircraft from the 1980s to 2018. They hold their value very well because there’s not a significant amount of them in the market if you were to compare them to a Robinson R44 or Bell 206. The best resource for estimating the current valuation of the MD helicopters is by contacting your local helicopter aircraft sales broker. Other resources are Aircraft BlueBook and Controller.com

Risk Areas

The hardest MD helicopters to insure is the low time or brand new Private Pilots that are purchasing an expensive helicopter like a MD 600 or even 500E. If the pilot is new to turbine rotor wing or new to the MDs, oftentimes the insurance companies will require approved training to be completed plus an additional 15 hours dual with a mentor pilot. We often see this when a pilot is upgrading from a Robinson R44 to a MD helicopter.

Another tough market is insuring pilots over 70 years old looking for a new relationship with an insurance company. We often see this if a guy that was 65 years old sold a few years ago and is now looking to purchase another helicopter and he’s 70 years old.

Claim History

MD Helicopters have an average claims history. Most of the claims happen from either pilot error or aN improper maintenance assembly after an annual inspection.

Safety Features

The MD Helicopters use the Rolls-Royce engines which are very reliable which is why they are operated by the Military and Law Enforcement agencies. Most of the safety accidents happen from either maintenance or pilot error. The helicopter insurance companies will require that the pilots complete annual training in the helicopter every year. One insurance company does occasionally approve training every 24 months. These requirements help keep a safe and proficient flight operation.

Aircraft Insurance Cost Guide

Learn more about the cost of insurance for private pilots based on your aircraft type and the various factors that affect premium rates. Whether you’re seeking owner aircraft insurance or commercial aircraft insurance, this valuable information will help to make an informed decision about the best coverage for you. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Flight Training Centers

MD Flight Training Centers are located throughout the US and throughout the world.

See our complete list of approved flight schools for more information.

Parts Service Centers

MD Authorized Service Centers are located throughout the US and throughout the world.

Find out what we can do for you