Private Jet Insurance - All You Need To Know - FLYING Magazine (2023)

In the world of aviation, when something goes wrong, it’s rarely an inexpensive issue or a cheap fix. That’s especially true when it comes to private jet operations. If the roof of your hangar fell on your aircraft, would you be able to cover the repair bill? Private jet insurance is designed to limit potential financial liability and is an operational expense that’s a necessity for covering your aviation assets, whether you fly for business or pleasure.

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What Is Aircraft Insurance?

Just like that last pre-departure check of your flight plan, aviation insurance is a pilot’s or aircraft operator’s backstop in the event of an incident. Through the purchase of an annual policy, private jet insurance offers financial protection from some of the risks that come with aircraft operation. In general, policies can cover liability, medical, legal defense, as well as physical damage to the aircraft itself.

“Insurance is not a wasted cost just because it may be required only once despite years of paying for it,” said aircraft accident litigators Holland & Knight. “See it as a protective wrapper shielding your personal wealth from claims exposure.”

Some of the typical elements of coverage, according to the firm, include coverage for damage or destruction to the airframe, covering the cost of a spare engine, coverage for property damage or loss of life, and even coverage for any damage that occurs as a result of war.

Do I Need Private Jet Insurance?

If you’re flying, you should be buying insurance.

“There is no question of whether or not to get aircraft insurance, but rather from whom to get it, how much coverage is necessary, where to find the best rates, and so on,” according to Jet Advisors.

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Unlike other expenses, pilots have some control over the cost of their insurance bill. Some strategies include:

  • Fly more often to keep skills fresh. A general rule of thumb is that flying 200 hours or more each year is one way to improve your insurance rate.
  • Increase pilot training. Some insurance companies require yearly recurrent training for pilots of multiengine or high-performance aircraft as a condition of maintaining coverage. Check with your company because, even if not required, completing a training program could improve your rates.
  • Consider adding to your pilot certificates and/or ratings. Acquiring ratings for instruments, seaplanes, or multiengine could help chip away at your insurance rate.
  • Join an aircraft type club or pilots association, which could have a beneficial relationship with insurers.
  • Keep up communication with your insurance broker and ask for advice about how to make the most of your training and new ratings.
  • READ MORE: Aircraft Insurance: How to Keep Your Rates as Low as Possible

“A private jet insurance policy is designed to provide peace of mind and protection that should make you financially whole again in the event of an accident or incident,” according to BWI Aviation Insurance.

The insurance landscape also looks different for those who rent their aircraft.

Most general aviation pilots rent, which means the companies supplying aircraft require pilot-paid renter’s insurance before takeoff. Policies can be purchased on a monthly or annual basis—and in the case of aviation insurer SkyWatch—based upon usage and for as little as $5 a day.

  • READ MORE: New Aircraft Insurance Allows for Daily Coverage

How Much Does Private Jet Insurance Cost?

When considering the cost of private jet insurance, how much will it set you back? Short answer: It depends.

Premium costs are driven by numerous factors, including the type of aircraft you’re operating, your experience and track record as a pilot, and where your aircraft is hangared or tied down, as well as the safety record of the aircraft to be insured.

Liability coverage, for example, varies based on the replacement cost of your aircraft, and how much it would cost to buy a similar aircraft.

The cost of premiums averages about 14 percent of the hull value of the aircraft, according to NovaJet Aviation Group. “The accepted standard liability is $200,000,000, but this will slightly vary depending on the age of the aircraft, type of ownership, and the aircraft use,” the Canadian aircraft management company said. That means for a Cessna Citation X business jet valued at about $10 million, for example, the annual premium would be about $30,000, the company said.

“Private jet insurance can range from $10,000 a year to $500,000 per year, depending on the liability limits requested, aircraft use (private vs commercial), hull coverage requested, pilot qualifications, etc.,” according to BWI Aviation Insurance.

It’s best to start with a conversation with an insurance broker, the company said.

“There are many variations, exclusions, and coverage differences between private jet insurance policies, always consult your exact policy for coverage details,” it advises.


What Does Aircraft Insurance Cover?

Aircraft insurance covers property damage to the aircraft, as well as other potential financial risks that come with operating a plane, such as liability for errors.

Here are some common types of coverage:

Stationary Ground Risk Hull Coverage

Ground risk hull insurance coverage is protection for incidents or mishaps that occur while your aircraft is still on the ground and not moving. This coverage would apply to incidents of vandalism or storm damage, such as hail.

In-Motion Ground Risk Hull Coverage

Ground risk hull insurance coverage is for times when the aircraft is moving is protection for incidents that occur while your aircraft is not yet airborne, such as while taxiing or during takeoff.

In-Flight Coverage

When shopping around for coverage, clarify whether or not your policy covers damage while the aircraft is in the air. Not all policies do.

Liability Coverage

Liability coverage is typically standard with private jet insurance policies, and protects you from financial risk should your aircraft operation lead to injury or property damage.

This coverage also typically comes with a legal defense for lawsuits stemming from the operation of your plane, according to BWI. “Private jet liability insurance is typically offered starting at $1,000,000 per occurrence and limited to $100,000 per passenger,” it said.

Where Do I Find Private Jet Insurance?

The first step in securing private jet insurance and determining optimal coverage levels is to consult an insurance company or broker who specializes in aviation.

BWI Fly Aviation Insurance

BWI Fly specializes in offering a range of insurance policies for private jet owners and operators.

AssuredPartners Aerospace

AssuredPartners Aerospace offers a wide variety of aviation insurance, such as for pilots who rent aircraft, owners, instructors, flying clubs, drone operators, and aviation businesses.

Jet Advisors Insurance

Jet Advisors offers a range of services, from private jet sales to charters, and aircraft insurance.

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What does a private jet cost?

The cost of private jet insurance varies depending on the aircraft, its age, the pilot’s experience, and rating levels.

How much is aircraft insurance?

While the cost of aircraft insurance varies due to policy coverage and the type of aircraft to be insured, light aircraft policies can start from as little as $1,200 to $2,000 each year, according to Avion Insurance, depending on the type of operations planned by the owner. According to jet insurer BWI, private jet insurance can range from $10,000 to $500,000 annually.

Do I need to insure my private jet?

Aircraft insurance is necessary to protect against the financial risk from injury or property damage occurring while operating your aircraft.



Does TSA search private jets? ›

This means that the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) does not have a presence on private jets. They are not required to go through the same screening procedures as commercial flights. So, if you are flying on a private jet, you can rest assured that your bags will not be searched.

How much does it cost to insure a private jet? ›

A: Private jet insurance can range from $10,000 a year to $500,000 per year, depending on the liability limits requested, aircraft use (private vs commercial), hull coverage requested, pilot qualifications, etc.

Do you need insurance for a private jet? ›

According to jet insurer BWI, private jet insurance can range from $10,000 to $500,000 annually. Do I need to insure my private jet? Aircraft insurance is necessary to protect against the financial risk from injury or property damage occurring while operating your aircraft.

What does private plane insurance cover? ›

Airplane Insurance for Commercial and Private Aircraft

Your private jet or plane insurance will provide property damage protection for your aircraft, as well as liability insurance that covers negligent acts or errors, if these acts cause bodily injury or property damage to passengers or other third parties.

Do people on private jets go through customs? ›

When travelling on an international jet charter for the first time some passengers wonder whether or not the process is the same as it is when flying commercially. The short answer is: yes, you must still go through customs/immigration when flying internationally on a private jet charter.

Can you carry anything on a private jet? ›

Each passenger can bring two medium-sized bags alongside one personal item such as a backpack. The benefit of a super-midsize jet, like the Gulfstream G200, is the extra room for larger items such as skis and golf clubs in addition to suitcases.

How rich do you have to be to afford a private jet? ›

A private jet can cost anywhere from $2 million to over $100 million. Ongoing expenses may include flight crew salaries and expenses, the costs of routine maintenance and unforeseen repairs, hangar rental, and aircraft insurance.

How much is monthly maintenance on a private jet? ›

Costs for larger planes average up to $96,000 per year, or $8,000 per month.

How much do pilots of private jets make? ›

Private Jet Pilot Salary
Annual SalaryMonthly Pay
Top Earners$95,000$7,916
75th Percentile$61,000$5,083
25th Percentile$34,000$2,833

What documents do you need to fly private jet? ›

Each passenger will need to show a valid passport to us before boarding the aircraft. If you wish to travel with an extra passenger or two at the last minute, this is generally fine as long as the manifest has already been submitted to customs within the required time.

What do I need to know about owning a private jet? ›


Do you need a passport if you have your own jet? ›

Traveling on a private jet does not require a passport. However, if traveling outside of the country you are departing from, you will need a passport no matter what mode of transportation it takes to get there.

Is it cheaper to fly private? ›

The full private jet experience is more likely to come at a premium price, but for many people and businesses, this can prove worthwhile. Wealthy business owners may find they make a better return on their time and money by flying privately than they would by flying a commercial airline.

Do private planes need to file a flight plan? ›

Visual Flight Rule (VFR) pilots are not required to file a flight plan, but it is highly recommended. This is similar to informing a relative when embarking on a long drive.

Do private planes have to file a flight plan? ›

A VFR flight plan is not required to be filed provided the flight does not take the aircraft through class B airspace, but is strongly recommended by the FAA in case of an emergency. After a VFR flight plan is filed, it must be opened.

Can private jets cross the ocean? ›

Absolutely! Booking a private transatlantic flight offers travelers the utmost privacy, comfort and flexibility as opposed to booking a seat with a commercial airline.

Where do flight attendants sleep on private jets? ›

On large, wide-body jets, crew rest compartments (known as CRCs) for flight attendants and pilots are usually tucked away behind locked doors and are off-limits to the public. Depending on the type of aircraft, these compartments are usually located either above or below the passenger cabin.

Do private jets go to regular airports? ›

Yes, when you charter a private jet you can access the same airports as a commercial airline. However, using a large mainstream airport like Los Angeles International or London Heathrow is often a bad choice for private jets. When flying privately, you can access many more airports that commercial airliners can't use.

How much cash can you take on a private jet? ›

You may bring into or take out of the country, including by mail, as much money as you wish. However, if it is more than $10,000, you will need to report it to CBP. Use the online Fincen 105 currency reporting site or ask a CBP officer for the paper copy of the Currency Reporting Form (FinCen 105).

Can you bring guns on your own private jet? ›

The conditions for carrying a firearm on board a private jet are as follows: Firearms and ammunition must be placed in the baggage compartment of the aircraft. The firearm must be completely empty of ammunition and unloaded at the time of boarding. Ammunition must be placed in a secure box.

Can you have your phone on in a private jet? ›

FAA Approves

The FAA does allow inflight use of electronic devices, however, once the airline has determined the device will not disrupt the flight deck's navigation. Simply put, follow the instructions of airline staff as to when you may and may not use electronic devices.

What is the lifespan of a private jet? ›

On average, business jets up to 25 years old may only have about 12,000 hours on them, and when they're well-maintained aircraft can easily last for 25,000 hours.

Why do rich people fly private jets? ›

Managing risk is a common skill for the wealthy and often a high-end traveller will consider private travel to be safer than a commercial offering. The report claimed that the two dominant factors are the age of the plane and the visual condition of both its exterior and cabin.

Can you smoke in a private jet? ›

If you own a private jet or have the owner's permission to smoke tobacco on board, as long as the aircraft complies with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules for passenger and crew compartment interiors, then smoking is permitted.

How much does it cost to gas up a private jet? ›

Although fuel consumption will vary depending on onboard weight and flying speed, larger planes such as the Gulfstream G700 can burn through 380 gallons an hour, putting your minimum hourly fuel costs at over $1,000.

How often should a private jet be serviced? ›

Every 12 calendar months, your jet needs to go through its required annual inspection. This can be done by: a certified A&P mechanic that holds an inspection authorization. a certified and appropriately-rated repair station.

How much does it cost to fill up a private jet fuel? ›

With today's fuel prices, it costs about $450,000 to fill up a Boeing 747, depending on your market. By contrast, the Gulfstream G280, a popular business aviation aircraft, costs around $8,000 to fill.

Do you tip a private jet pilot? ›

Should I tip my private jet pilot? It's up to you. However, as Joel Thomas, founder of Stratos Jet Charters says, “A tip is a gesture showing gratitude for someone who has not merely done their job but done their job in such a way that their passion shines through. Tips are not expected, but always appreciated.”

Can you make $500,000 as a pilot? ›

Most major airline pilots here in the United States. start out about $100,000 a year. The top in typical around 4 or $500,000 a year.

Do pilots get paid when not flying? ›

Instead, pilots are paid per flight hour. Meaning a pilot is only paid while their airplane is running. As of May 2021, the median annual earnings for airline pilots was $202,180.

Where do private jets land? ›

Private jets can land at altiports, aerodromes or even international airports if there is a terminal for business aviation.

Can you stand up in a private jet? ›

Your in flight experience is like no other, with a spacious stand up cabin, you're free to move around and feel comfortable at all times. There's no need to worry about where to sit, the plane is all yours.

Can you buy a private jet and make money? ›

So, is it possible to make a profit by buying a private jet? No, for the most part, you can not make money on a private jet purchase. Just as it is with many specialized asset classes, it takes many years to understand the complexity of buying and selling aircraft to the point where you would not be risking your money.

Do private jet owners make money? ›

Can you make money with a private jet? While it is technically possible for a private jet owner to profit by using their aircraft for charter flights, it's uncommon. In most cases, private jet owners use charters to offset the cost of ownership, not to turn a profit.

Is it profitable to buy a private jet? ›

No, you generally cannot profit from the purchase of a private jet. It takes years to fully comprehend the complexities of purchasing and selling a private jet to the point where you wouldn't be jeopardizing your money, just as it does with many other specialized asset classes.

How do private jets clear customs? ›

A representative from Border Force will come over to the private jet terminal to check all the relevant documents. Otherwise your aircraft will head directly to the main terminal to clear customs & immigration.

Can you fly to another country with your own plane? ›

Can you fly your own plane to another country? Yes, of course, as long as your plane is capable of transatlantic flight. Smaller aircraft like light jets and turboprops wouldn't be able to make the journey due to their range capabilities, but heavy and ultra long-range jets can make the trip.

What states can you fly without a passport? ›

Bottom line: You can fly to all 50 U.S. states and territories without a passport.

Can you buy a seat on a private jet? ›

Seat sharing services allow travellers to buy seats on a per person basis, on a private aircraft, whether it's on a bespoke charter flight or on a pre-determined route (a shuttle). This can bring the cost of the flight down considerably.

What is the least expensive way to fly in a private jet? ›

What is the cheapest way to fly private? The cheapest way to fly private is to book semi-private flights using the "pay by the seat" model. With companies such as JSX, Tradewinds Aviation, and Surf Air, you can get a private jet-like experience for just a couple hundred dollars!

Do private planes go through security? ›

TSA regulations state that for charter jets carrying more than 61 passengers, the passengers are required to pass through normal security. Light private jets, which normally seat anywhere from four to eight people, are therefore exempt from going through the same inspection as commercial flight passengers.

Is it expensive to maintain a private jet? ›

You'll also need to include the time it takes you to find someone qualified to do your maintenance. Depending on the type of private jet, you can expect the cost of maintenance to cost you between $500,000 to $1,000,000 each year.

Is it cheaper to fly first class or own a private jet? ›

Private planes offer more individualized amenities to offer passengers than first-class flights. First-class may be much more affordable than a private jet if you fly overseas. Flying first-class is generally less expensive than buying a seat on a charter jet if you fly alone.

Do private jets need 2 pilots? ›

In general, there are two required pilots on a private jet. Most aircraft necessitate two pilots, but there are a few LJ (light jet) and VLJ (very light jet) exceptions that only mandate a single pilot.

Is it better to buy a private jet? ›

Reasons Not to Buy

Purchasing a jet is a big investment and decision. A good reference to consider is if you are spending 300 hours or more a year in the air, a private jet is a smart investment. If you are flying less, consider chartering until your needs require a private jet.


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