SR20 Insurance Quote

I will be taking delivery of SR20 #242 on January 11, and just got an insurance quote (ouch!). Pilot: ~400 hrs, Commercial, Multi-engine, IFR. Airplane: hangared, $250,000 hull, $1,000,000 / $100,000 liability; $2,500 deductible (in motion), $100 deductible (not in motion). Company: London Aviation Underwriters (through AOPA). Premium: $4,915.00.

Sadly, I got a quote in July (when Cirrus promised delivery in October) for $2,535.00 (USAIG-through AOPA) for the same coverage with no deductibles.

I then called Nation Air, but there is apparently nothing they (or anyone else) can do since I had already talked to AOPA, although she did say it was a “good quote”. Looks like I’m stuck.


You are “stuck” with that quote, but you do not have to work with AOPA (they are just an insurance agency using AOPA’s name) You at any time can choose who you want to be your agent by signing a Broker of Record letter (BOR).

Just ask the agent you want to work with to type it up, or give you an example of how to write it.

John “JT” Helms
NationAir Insurance Agency

On the other hand, you might wish to consider Peterson’s Amazing 260SE/STOL, with an honest cruise speed in the 150kt range and a low and slow stall speed of 35kts (no hot approaches, flares, and landings), with a much better load carrying ability and ample interior room - all for about the same money.

And the insurance for a well trained pilot as you describe comes in around $2,500.

Well worth considering - and I understand there are a couple used ones available for sale, or you can wait for 10 months or so (there’s always a backlog) and get one freshly refurbished.


I have never had a quote from AOPA that was the best, and only once were they “tied for first.” The other times they were a very distant also-ran. I do not even ask them any more. My advice is to try other brokers until you find something you like. Maybe give them a different N-number, if you’re not yet sure what your plane’s N-number will be! If you search earlier threads on this forum you will find other references and cheaper rates cited.

Also, my personal opinion–take it or leave it, it’s free!–is that $1M with $100K sublimits is only marginally better than having no insurance at all. If you have an accident as PIC involving injuries or worse to passengers or 3rd parties, $100K will evaporate in a flash and you (or your estate) will be exposed to plunder by the tort law system. I recommend you ask for at least $1M “smooth” or higher. In addition, supplemental “excess” liability insurance has been discussed before in this forum and is worth investigating.

FYI on my 260SE I have $1M smooth + $200K hull for $2650 and an additional $3M “excess liability” for $2245. Pilot time 1200 hr, IFR, no accidents/incidents. I think with determined shopping you should be able to find something comparable for your Cirrus.

I picked up my SR20, N28SC, S/N 1137 in April. The best deal by far was from Aviation Insurance Resources (AIG). I delt with Jon Harden (1-877-247-7769). He is a brokers. I got $1M smooth, $200K hull, $5K medical and no deductable for $3100. He got it through USAIG. I have 1700 hours of flying time. Give him a try, nothing to lose!

I got 4 quotes…Lara at Zanette got me the best price of $5350 from AIG. Others were ranging from $7800 to $8300. The highest price was from AOPA. I am a 500hr IFR pilot with no accidents or infractions. I did try London Aviation but was informed that they no longer write insurance east of the Mississippi.


I am curious about this statement. My personal experience is that I have been able to get different quotes from different brokers, with a couple of brokers–AOPA among them–actually soliciting my business even though they know I’m currently being handled by another broker. The quotes were especially heterogeneous with regard to hull value, although this could be because not many are familiar with the 260SE and think it’s merely a 182 with good makeup.

Perhaps I misunderstand its meaning…at least I hope so because as I interpret it, it implies a very anti-competitive situation in the GA insurance business.

But those things look soooo un-cool!! (No 'chute either.)

Coolness is in the eye of the beholder. I fly both the 260SE and SR20 and my experience is they both have significant “ramp appeal.” Those drawn to the planes on the ramp seem attracted to the Cirrus because either they have heard of it and never seen it before, or because of its sleek, sexy, and unusual looks. Folks curious about the 260SE on the other hand seem more interested in “what it can do” with the canard modification. They are invariably impressed when they learn about its capabilities compared to other planes and unmodified 182s.

These two aircraft take different but in my view equally compelling approaches to enhanced safety. Which do I think is safer? The answer is, “it depends.” With an engine failure, I would rather be flying the 260SE, touching down at 35-40 kt with zero vertical velocity, compared to either 56-60 kt in a Cirrus forced landing or 1600+ fpm vertical velocity under the CAPS. In a tight place in the mountains or a downdraft, I would also prefer the 260SE because of its unique ability to maneuver safely & slowly in tight quarters and its strong climb performance at high density altitudes. On the other hand, if there were a mid-air or large bird srike, or pilot incapacitation with no other pilot passengers, I would rather be in the Cirrus with CAPS.

Overall would I rather have CAPS than not? Sure, and I have so spoken with my checkbook. On the other hand, only experience will tell how effective it really is. In a significant proportion of midairs, the collision is sufficiently violent that it is doubtful that occupants would be able to activate CAPS. How well/effectively CAPS would deploy from a rapidly & randomly tumbling airframe that may have pieces of wing or empennage wrapped around the cabin area can only be determined from some unfortunate pilot’s future experience. A descent under CAPS into truly inhospitable terrain would not guarantee lack of injury or even survival, as Cirrus itself plainly and honestly states.

In my opinion the real genius of CAPS is the psychological benefit to non-pilot passengers of its presence. Non-pilots (Jim F’s “civilians”) overwhelmingly feel more secure in a Cirrus because CAPS is there. I know several pilots with spouses who were VERY reluctant or refused to fly with them until they got a SR2X with CAPS. Regardless of how many lives CAPS actually saves over time, this innovation has been a tremendous contribution to GA because of its effect on the attitudes of non-pilots towards travel in small airplanes.

I will repost my article on Monday when I return to the office and have it available (GA News of Mid-sept, and In Flight Mag. in Aug).

You should have 1 Insurance BROKER shopping for you to all of the ins. COMPANIES. Yes it is very hard to spot the good agents, yes it is very hard to spot the bad ones. AOPA will often quote you any time anywhere. Did they tell you that if you switch mid-policy year that you would be charged a 10% short rate cancellation? Did they tell you that you might be burning a bridge with the COMPANY you are moving from? Not a wise move in a market so small. Ins. COMPANIES often keep lists of insured they do not desire to do business with for one reason or another… I have seen cases where switching caused a customer to not get a quote 4 years later from a very competitive COMPANY.

Suffice it to say, that the ins. COMPANIES only want to quote your business once per year to keep YOUR INSURANCE COSTS DOWN (x number of airplanes and they don’t want to quote 10 times x because they have no more chance to get more business and they have to employ many times the number of underwriters… this would and does drive up the $ of ins.)

Shop for a BROKER that you like and trust. Yes there are BROKERS out there that do unscrupulous things. Yes, if you want to deal with a BROKER that uses low rated ins. COMPANIES, go right ahead. Yes, if you want to call into a BROKER and get a different person (not even necessarily even an ins. agent advising you on your policy) everytime you call in… fine. You get what you asked for.

Rant over… enjoy your Thanksgiving Holiday everyone… hug your families… and thank you to all of you for the well wishes regarding my brothers untimely death.

John “JT” Helms
Branch Manager

Kevin, I think you make some very good points, and they are obviously well thought out. I think your comments on the 260SE make sense, although I think you sell the Cirrus CAPS a little short. Engine failure in low ceiling IMC, for example.

If I had known that you owned one of the 260 SE’s, I wouldn’t have made the “uncool” comment - sorry about that. Believe it or not, when I read a review on it in one of the flying magazine, I had thought that if the Cirrus wasn’t available to me, I would have considered the 260 SE, unorthodox looks not withstanding.

Hope I didn’t offend you with my comment.


Just to point out that an standard military parachute comes down at 22’/sec or about 1,300’/min. By the time the nose, main gears, and seat absorb the landing, it would be a soft landing for those inside a Cirrus. It is a better chance that the Cirrus would end-upright than anything with forward airspeed. Just something to consider.

Absolutely no offense was taken; don’t worry about it. No question in my mind either, the Cirrus (along with its outwardly similar design brethren from Lancair) are the sleekest-looking aircraft GA has to offer.

You’re right about really low IMC, where one knows in advance one would break out only 100-200 feet over some very unfriendly terrain, having CAPS would be like having an extra card in one’s pocket available to play in a tough hand. I’ll admit to being a chicken who tries very hard to avoid flying in such conditions for any extended period in either plane, although I recognize that doing so is within the bounds of acceptable risk for many pilots.

One could write out a whole list of scenarios where one might prefer one of these aircraft over the other. I have found doing this for myself to be a bit of intellectual fun & stimulating, I just hope I–or any of you other Cirrus drivers–never have to do the real experiment(s)!

Aw Shucks, Andy, even I still love ya.

It just goes to show the old adage is still true - One man’s garbage is another man’s gold - or something like that.



One of the things I enjoyed most about Clyde’s board was its lively give-and-take on a variety of subjects, some of them only peripherally related to Cirrus. My sense is that this aspect has faded noticeably in the current forum, but I hope it can be revived. So all you Cirrites, speak your minds and don’t worry too much about ruffling feathers, it’s all in the spirit of aviation camaraderie and good fun anyway!

Why do I have to keep reading these posts about “Peterson’s Amazing 260”?? I feel like I’m watching an infomercial.

Insurance 101: Shop for a broker, not for a quote

By John “JT” Helms


When insurance rates go up, airplane owners begin to wonder if they are getting a fair deal from their broker. When they try to “shop,” they get frustrated because they don’t know who’s who in the aviation insurance industry, and they don’t understand industry procedures.

For many airplane owners, shopping for aviation insurance must seem like dealing with people from a distant country or even outer space. This article should illuminate a little bit about your brokerÂ’s job and how the industry works. Hopefully, it will provide insight, spark some questions for you to ask your broker, and help you get the quote thatÂ’s best suited for your needs.

First, there are two types of aviation insurers.

Direct-writer insurance companies provide direct individual coverage through employee sales representatives.

Most insurance companies, however, use agents or brokers who handle many of the functions involved with providing coverage.

This article will mainly cover agents and brokers, but you should expect many of the same services from a direct writer.

How much do you know about your broker? You should ask questions about his services and which companies he uses.

Among other services, a broker should advise you on what type of coverage you may need, request and compare quotes from all the appropriate companies, explain your policy to you, update your policy (i.e., add or delete pilots and aircraft), keep records of your accounts and transactions, and initiate or assist you with claims.

As for the companies your broker uses, aviation offers few when compared to most other types of insurance. My firm, Nation Air Insurance Agencies, deals with only about 10 companies, all of which are highly rated by A.M. Best.

“Best quotes” may mean different things to different people. Policies come up for renewal annually. One of your broker’s jobs is to compare and contrast quotes each year. In these times when rates are increasing, many people get hung up on price. There are several other parts to your policy, however, that you may want to consider. One or more of the following questions may help you decide that a slightly more expensive premium is worthwhile:

What are the deductibles?

What are the Open Pilot Warranty requirements?

What is the A.M. Best rating of the insurance company? (Excellent or Superior, sometimes referred to as A or A+, are the preferable ratings.)

What is the companyÂ’s reputation for claim service?

I am planning a trip to . . . Is that territory covered in the policy?

If you are unhappy with the service you receive, you can change brokers. Some people fear that they will get locked in to one broker or blocked from dealing with another. Most insurance companies do use a clearance system when a broker requests a quote. Your name, your airplaneÂ’s N-number, or both, are blocked for as long as four months. So if you call a second broker and ask him to request a quote, that company will not provide one. Insurance companies do this for a couple of reasons; both relate to keeping down costs.

First, most of the companies have offices around the country, or at least many underwriters in the same office. The companies do not wish to compete with their own quotes and lower the premiums they are offering.

Second, the company does not want to have to underwrite the same account more than once per year. This saves them time, sometimes referred to as money, and they can forecast how many accounts they will have to quote each year. (There is a finite number of airplanes, airports and other accounts out there.)

The underwriting guidelines that the companies use are the same for all brokers. If you are unhappy with your broker, you can assign another one to handle your account by signing a broker of record letter (BOR, also known as an AOR or agent of record). However, if a company has already quoted your insurance, the quote will remain the same when transferred to the new broker. This is typically done at or near the renewal date of your insurance.

Shop for an insurance broker, not for a quote. Many airplane owners go to way too much trouble “shopping their insurance” without considering the benefits. Give a good broker up-to-date information, and he will give you the best options for making an informed decision. Don’t waste your time by doing work that you are already paying your broker to do.

John “JT” Helms is the branch manager of the Pleasure and Business office of NationAir Insurance Agencies, in St. Louis, Missouri. His office specializes in light aircraft insurance. He can be contacted at 877-475-5860 or Nation Air’s website is at

I guess it’s because we all love out planes, whether they’re Cirri or not. Here’s a post I put on the Socata board under the subject: “Man, I love this plane”:

Just got back from a quick trip to visit family in upstate New York for Thanksgiving. Left Frederick at about 1830 after work on Wednesday and had an absolutely beautiful flight in the smooth clear night. Got to Glens Falls at 2030 to find the FBO closed that night (expected) and Thanksgiving (not expected!).

No sweat. I have a Trinidad! Still had 66 gallons remaining – more than enough for the return trip with IFR reserves! Left GFL tonight at 1800, arrived FDK 2005 after another perfect night flight: smooth, clear, beautiful.

Smooth powerful engine, 150+ kts TAS at max economy, great cockpit lighting, toasty warm heater, agreeable IFR controllers, and not a single squawk (even the fuel gauges worked!).

Ah, what a machine…

Joe Mazza '85 TB20
Former Position Holder

Everybody has different tastes. I enjoy the posts comparing our beloved Cirri to other “cool” planes. My SR22 is great fun to fly and fits my current missions well. However, when I have the time to get serious about flying in the backcountry I’m going to look very hard at a 260SE/STOL.

George Savage


I, too, own another aircraft, a maule, however if I lost an engine at night, I’d sure want that CAPS system over my head. So I’m buying an SR20 in the next couple of weeks to afford me that protection. And keeping the Maule for the things it does so well; in and out of small grass fields and working like an SUV.

Best Wishes,