Sikorsky Insurance Cost Examples
Sikorsky S-76 - Single Pilot - VIP Operations
|S-76 Physical Damage||$2,400,000 Agreed Value||$52,000|
|Aircraft Liability||$25,000,000 Per Occurrence||$22,000|
|Total Annual Premium||$74,000|
Sikorsky S-76 - Single Pilot Part 91
|S-76 Physical Damage||$1,500,000 Agreed Value||$42,500|
|Aircraft Liability||$5,000,000 Per Occurrence||$20,000|
|Total Annual Premium||$62,500|
Sikorsky is a huge manufacturer of large twin turbine rotor wing aircraft. Their headquarters is in Stratford, Connecticut. Sikorsky was purchased by Lockheed Martin in 2014. Helicopters are used for a wide range of operations from Military, EMS, Commercial, Utility, and Corporate VIP transportation. The pilots that operate Sikorsky helicopters are extremely well experienced and maintain annual recurrent training in a full motion level D simulator.
Sikorsky always has a large exhibit display at the Helicopter Association International (HAI) Heli Expo.
The twin turbine rotor wing insurance market is very small. There are only a total of 5 to 6 insurance companies for these helicopters. The helicopter insurance market has traditionally always been a very hard market to make money from due to catastrophic claims wiping out 20 years of profitability.
Liability premium is based on the number of seats, use or operations of the helicopter, and limits of liability. The liability premium accounts for approximately 30% of the overall premium. The S-76 has a maximum seating capacity of 12 passengers. The remaining 70% is from the hull value.
Twin turbine helicopters, like the Sikorskys, have deductibles at either 2.5%, 5%, or 10% of the insured value.
A brand new Sikorsky S-76 will cost $13,000,000 which is a lot for a helicopter.
Models We Cover
The Sikorsky helicopters tend to hold the value on par with the rest of the twin turbine rotor wing market. There is a lot of expensive equipment installed in a Sikorsky so much of the value is dependent on the remaining life cycle of the engines, avionics, paint, interior, and mission critical equipment.
The hardest operations to insure for Sikorsky helicopters is single pilot operations with a high hull value, like $8,000,000. It can be done, but it will require a quota share insurance policy where you have a pool of two or more insurance companies splitting the risk to cover 100%. Quota share has been more popular among underwriters since 2020 with the risk profiles increasing.
A typical claim from a helicopter is much different from an airplane. Helicopters tend to be much more dramatic when things go wrong. Claims can range from pilot error, maintenance products malfunction, to bird strike.
The biggest claim from Sikorsky was in the S-76 with basketball player Kobe Bryant in 2020. The helicopter had 9 people on board, including the pilot. The pilot became disoriented when flying through low visibility in Los Angeles and lost control killing all 9 people.
Sikorsky has created the MATRIX technology program which will help improve safety by allowing the helicopter to be autonomously controlled by the operator, kind of like a virtual second pilot or enhanced autopilot.
Helicopters are a much riskier operation to insure because even small claims like a bird strike, FOD, or tail boom will likely total the entire airframe and be a complete loss.
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