Monty The Answer Man Archive


INSURANCE WOES... (010200)
From: Scott Keating <>
Subject: swift info
I'm looking at a 210hp Swift (real seriously too), but am VERY disappointed at the reaction of the insurance companies we've contacted about it...AVEMCO quoted $1600/year for it, our Bonanza was almost half that. Any suggestions on insurance companies to look at, or is this something common with Swifts for some reason? THANKS! - Scott
(Editor's note:  I told Scott what Erin and I pay for our Swifts thru AUA, Inc. If anyone else would like to share insurance info from other sources please email me.)

SWIFT INSURANCE #1... (010200)
From: Kurt Lawson <>
Subject: Insurance Woes...
I've been using the AOPA Insurance Company for 4 of the last 6 years of A/C ownership. They are a broker and as such shop around for the lowest rates and are significantly lower then AVEMCO. I have found them knowledgeable, professional, fast, and friendly. My premiums have actually gone down for 5 of the last 6 years, while at the same time I've been increasing the hull value and liability coverage. This year had a whopping $25 increase. Detail can and do vary from year to year. For example once I got an automatic $50,000 renters coverage on any rented aircraft. Also things like zero deductible may switch to $100 deductible for an in motion claim. But what on a plane costs less than $100 anyway? Early on I asked my first underwriter what I could to lower the premium. The answers were simple: an instrument rating will earn a 10% reduction, more than 250 in type earns a reduction, participation in the FAA WINGS program, and storage in a hanger another. I'm sure details will vary from company to company but it is sound general advice. Hope this helps, Kurt

SWIFT INSURANCE #2... (010200)
Subject: Re: January #1 GTS Internet Update
Thought I'd share my insurance experience for Scott Keating and anyone else interested. I insure my Swift thru the Antique Airplane Association. You must be a member to use their group policy-cost $35 per year. I, too had insurance sticker shock when I wanted to buy a Swift ($2000+ in the mid 80's!!!!) until I found out about the AAA. My Swift now has a Lyc 200 (installed 2 yrs ago after the 125 gave up the ghost) bubble canopy, sticks, but no heavy and useless (for me) IFR stuff, and I have hull coverage of $50K and $1M liability. The deductible is $50 not in motion and $250 in motion. I am a relative rookie-- a little over 700 total hours with 500 in Swift and 150 Luscombe. I'm not very proud about the other 50 hours! Anyway, my insurance is just over $1K per year, and was $750ish with the 125 Continental and a somewhat lower hull coverage. I would imagine a more experienced pilot would probably fare better than I do. The policy is written by Butler and Brown Insurance in Oskaloosa, Iowa. They have an 800 phone number that I do not have right at hand, but can find if anyone wants to call for a quote. I have, fortunately, not needed to find out how responsive they would be to a claim in the 16 years I have used them. I hope to keep it that way. Thanks again for the great newsletter and advice. Have a Happy New Year. -- Terry Straker

From: "Scott Keating" <>
Subject: Email problems
(1) Thanks VERY much for the great insurance information and the email newsletter.
(2) I've had quite a few responses about my insurance "question", all of them encouraging. I'm still not sure where we're going with this (still looking) but it certainly helps to know what else is out there...
(3) we were an AVEMCO customer for quite a long time until this past summer when we sold our last airplane - and didn't really have a big problem with them. Their logic about the high rates on the Swift was... well... strange - their reason was first, "it's old", and second "it's fabric covered". Yup - "fabric covered". Obviously they know their airplanes (grin).
Again - thanks for the information and help! - Scott Keating

From: "Bradberry, John" <>
I don't own a Swift (I'm sorry to say), but I do own a Champ and a Pacer. I thought I'd pass along something I learned last year. After many years with Avemco, I received a significant premium increase (no claims or violations!). I decided to call an outfit called Aircraft Insurance Group up in Bethany, OK from which a friend of mine always got good rates on his Cessna 140. They'd never been able to match (let alone beat) Avemco for me before, but I thought I'd give them another chance. They still couldn't. I then called a guy I used to know in Dallas who is in the aircraft insurance business. He called back and said I'd already been shopping and that he couldn't help me. When I asked how he knew and why, he said there aren't all that many aircraft insurance companies out there and many times when an agent calls them, the agent locks those companies out from giving quotes to anybody else. In over thirty years of flying, I'd never heard of this. This same thing was mentioned in an article "Bidding Insurance" by AIR-SUR, INC ( Although they deal mainly with the big stuff, it's an interesting article. - John

From: GTS Internet Update Editor <>
Subject: Insurance
I read a "letter to the editor" in a West Coast aviation newspaper ("IN FLIGHT USA") from a pilot up in Oregon (but not a Swift owner) who contacted first the AOPA and then his insurance company to inquire if his aircraft was covered for normal "off airport" landings (a farmer’s field, dirt road, beach, etc.). Mind you, he had NO intention of attempting such a thing. He was just curious. After getting his question answered by the insurance company, he later found out that they flagged his account for non-renewal. After getting a bit of a run-around they finally admitted to him that just the fact that he asked about the coverage for this operation was enough for them to decide to not renew his insurance. How’s that grab ya???

From: "Mike Bell" <>
Subject: Swift insurance
Call AUA insurance at 1-800-727-3823. I've insured several antiques through them and they know Swifts. They will give you a quote within a day or so. Time in type, tailwheel time, retract time, hull value, and liability limits will determine what you pay. Till you get some time in type the figure may be pretty high, but you gotta start somewhere. Ask them about the CFI requirements too. On my policy the CFI has to have lots of tailwheel time and also 25 hours in Swifts. You could call Avemco. They usually aren't competitive on antiques and classics and won't quote higher liability limits but they will give you an immediate quote over the phone. Mike Bell Swift 34RX

From: "Bob Runge" <>
Subject: Aircraft Insurance
Call AUA in North Carolina. You can find their number in the ads of either an EAA mag or go to the EAA web page. They have Type Club insurance rates and I paid about $1,000 for a year with liability and full hull when I bought my Swift with no experience in it. You have to join the EAA and the Antique Classics division, though to get that rate. Little price to pay for what it saves you. Ask for Rob won't find cheaper. Best regards, Bob Runge

Subj: Insurance
From: Doc Moore <>
Call AUA (Aviation Unlimited Agency, Inc) in Greensboro, N.C. 1-800-727-3823) They have the Vintage Aircraft program through AIG and I think you will find them to be very reasonable. I am a commercial insurance agent and write a lot of airplanes. I could not come close to the prices they quote and they are very reasonable on pilot requirements. You'll probably need to fly with an instructor for 15 to 25 hours before they'll turn you loose and then some additional time before carrying passengers. -- Doc Moore

Subj: Insurance
From: Joe Dreyer <>
Hi Jim, Can you suggest a cost effective source of insurance for a new "0" time swift guy. 180 HP if it matters. Thank You, Joe Dreyer

Some of the guys I know have AUA (800) 727-2823. I have not been flying due to a medical problem but I always had Avemco. (800) 283-7019. Maybe others will have suggestions. -- Jim

From: Joe Dreyer <>
Subject: Re: Swift Insurance
Would you consider running some kind of story asking other SWIFT owners to rate their insurance providers? As a pilot with no swift time it will be a very big expense to get coverage. The experience of the other Swifter's could save those of us who are just starting out big bucks. Not sure I should ask for this but if I am out of line please let me know. Thanks, Joe (...a soon to be new Swifter.) Editor says... If any of y’all out there can pass along some info re: insurance please do and we’ll share it with the rest of the gang.

From: Galen F. Tustison <>
Subject: Re: Swift Insurance
I suggest that a possible source of insurance is Butler Brown agency at 800-934-7763. They will write a $1 million liability policy whereas Avemco would only write $100K. $100K is nothing in today's lawsuit-oriented world. The only glitch is that you must join the Antique Airplane Assoc. for $24 per year, but still a good deal. -- Galen F. Tustison

Subj: Insurance cost
From: Robert Carver <>
In response to the question about insurance. I just got a quote from Avemco on a $60,000, 180 hp swift that I've been looking at for possible purchase. I have an ATP, over 17,000 hours most of it retractable, a lot of single engine time, but only about 7 hours taildragger time. The quote?? Sit down!! $2627.00. I just find it impossible to have an airplane, assuming I would fly it 50 hrs a year, that would cost $52/hr just in insurance. Am I off base here? The present owner only has liability. If I did that, it would be approximately $490. If I had more taildragger time, the quote probably would be lower than the $2627. What do others pay?? Hope this helps others. Bob

I only have had liability so I'm no authority on hull insurance. I know one local guy with a lot of flying time has a $50,000 approx. value 210 hp Swift and pays about $1200/yr. Perhaps you can find a CFI with more taildragger time, especially Swift time. -- Jim

Many thanks to all the Swifters who checked-in with their insurance advice. Here are the latest...

Subject: Swift Insurance
From: Michelle Reid <>
I, too, suggest Butler-Brown for Swift insurance. Although I only have a 145hp Swift, my insurance is $1027 a year with hull for a $35,000 airplane. The staff at Butler-Brown have been great to work with and I highly recommend their company. Besides, joining the Antique Airplane Association is interesting and one can learn a lot from their newsletter. -- Michelle Reid

Subject: Swift Insurance
Re: Insurance Information Per Ed Lloyd's advice, I recently insured N3249K with AUA for $40k hull and $1mil liability for a little over $1300 per year. I saved a little with named pilots only but thought the rate was reasonable considering I had no Swift time whatsoever. I do have approx 500 hrs of tailwheel time so that probably helped to hold the rate down. AUA asked that I get ten (10) hrs dual with a known Swift Pilot plus a CFI sign off when we are finished. Ed can give you more info on this Carrier than I can so I would suggest anyone needing a competitive quote, call him first for background info. Regards, Dave Heald, N3249K

From: Mark Oltjenbruns <>
Subject: Swift Insurance
Hi All ,
I have AUA (800) 727-2823 on my Swift It is hangered . Also with a 180 hp fuel Injected HIO-360 . I had no tailwheel time 3 years ago . Now I have around 160 tail wheel in the Swift . My rates for the 1st year was 1600 then 1400 and now 1100 this year . Mac is the one who wrote the policy . You will need 25 dual in the Swift with a swift instructor . My TT is only 320 so its not bad at all . Hope to see you at the Nationals . Swift 78311 , Mark Oltjenbruns

From: "Doc Moore" <>
Subject: Insurance
Would like to comment on the insurance issue. I've been an Independent Insurance Agent for 32 years and have been writing aviation insurance for the same length of time. Back in the early 70's we did a program for the EAA using a London cover with a US front. Also did an Aerial Applicator program on the same paper. In the early 80's I did a program for the International Comanche Society back when I owned a Comanche. Not telling you I'm an expert but I have always liked this section of my business because of my love for aviation.

It has been my experience, since owning my Swift, that AUA's program with AIG is as good as anything in the market and, probably, better than most. The first year I wrote my own insurance with AIG and I paid $2100 for $45,000 on the hull and $1,000,000/$100,000 on the liability. The next year I went with AUA and their Vintage Aircraft Program, also underwritten by AIG, and the premium for the same liability with $65,000 on the hull was $1150. AUA's underwriting requirements are very fair when compared to other markets so this should not be a major hurdle for most folks.

As you are aware, I recently put my Swift on its nose so I was able to test my policy. My experience with AIG's adjusting staff was nothing short of wonderful. They allowed me to do my own thing (One benefit of my experience is in knowing basically how the claim ought to be adjusted) and then settled up with me when I was finished. Both the staff adjuster and the field appraiser were pro's and I was completely satisfied. My claim was slightly over $18,000 and the check came two days after we agreed on the final number.

In my career I've seen some aviation carriers handle claims in a manner that embarrassed me to be in the business. I can't speak for all aviation markets but I can tell you that AUA's program through AIG is fairly priced and the product will perform should you need it.

Another issue I saw addressed was the liability issue. Aviation insurance is somewhat different than auto insurance in that the passenger liability is often singled out with a sub-limit. This is an issue that each owner should be aware of because, in my view, the biggest exposure we have is the passenger liability. A $1,000,000 limit with a passenger sublimit does you little good if you hit the ground in an open field but severely injure your passenger. The majority of the policies issued today contain a $100,000 passenger liability sublimit even though the policy may be issued with a $1,000,000 limit. It is also very difficult to buy higher limits due to the age of our birds. Most carriers that can do this are not markets for the Swift.

A final note.... I've seen some AVEMCO policies issued with a $100,000 per person limit and a $1,000,000 aggregate limit. To an unsuspecting soul he may think he has bought a million dollar policy when he has actually bought only $100,000. Granted, the policy could pay out a million but it would have to involve 10 claimants. Guess if you hit a school bus that could happen.

Hope my epistle helps some of the folks making inquiries about insurance. For my money, you can't beat the AUA program. Cheers, Doc Moore

From: Ed Lloyd <>
Subject: LOAIS
The "Letter Of Authorization In Swift" program introduced at Swift National works. I sat in on the forum, bought one of the books outlining the program from Swift Parts and walla.......enjoyed a super savings when I renewed my insurance. AUA the only insurance company that recognizes the LOAIS program at this time. My insurance for the past four years has been running about $1200 +/- a few bucks each year. When I sent in the completed certificate from the LOAIS program, I was pleasantly surprised when I received my premium notice ........the premium was reduced to $905........almost a three hundred dollar savings. I don't recall who all was in the forum, but we need to get the list of those check airmen out to Swifters so they can start saving some Denari. Three hundred bucks will just about fill up your Swift with AV Gas these days. Cheers...........Ed