PRA's gyroplane group insurance update.

All_In

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Here is a summary of the program highlights we are discussing with Hallmark and other carriers.
Please sign up here to build the largest group we can if you wish less expensive insurance: https://pra.org/insGroup.aspx

  1. The PRA must establish a formal, recurrent ground & flight training program. I would like to leave it up to the PRA to establish what, exactly, the program consists of, but allow Hallmark to review and accept/reject this program before we proceed. This program needs to be geared toward enhancing pilot proficiency and reducing losses. Hallmark recommends that training consists of not less than 3-4 hours of ground school and 3-4 hours of flight instruction per year. Part of this can be done with PRA's new Flight Simulator. If the PRA believes this is too much, I’m willing to hear their proposal. If they think more training is best, Hallmark will support that.
  2. Annual recurrent training must be given by a CFI approved by the PRA. We would like PRA to give us an outline of their requirements for CFI approval. We would also like the PRA to maintain a list of those approved CFIs. Hallmark would like to be given a list of approved PRA instructors and if we agree to go forward with the discounts, we will need the CFI list updated periodically (If the list was available on a website that would be even better).
  3. The PRA must establish a way to provide a PRA approved aircraft inspection that can be accomplished annually (if this is not practical, we can consider a bi-annual inspection). The goal of this inspection should be to determine that the aircraft meets PRA safety standards and recommendations.
  4. The PRA must establish a method of certifying that the training and inspections have been completed. The best option is to provide a physical certificate (one for training, one for inspection) that the aircraft owner can submit to Hallmark through their insurance agent. Alternatively, the PRA may submit this directly to the insurance agent. If the PRA has a better solution, Hallmark will consider it.
We have seen this type of program dramatically reduce losses for other aircraft and I believe that doing this will enable Hallmark to offer reduced premiums for those PRA members that complete the program annually.

If I am authorized to proceed with the discount program I would propose that we start with a 30% premium discount for qualifying pilots/members. But here’s the catch: Our rates on autogyros are pretty high. Our hull rates run about 8% for very well qualified pilots up to about 12% for very low time pilots. Even with a 30% discount, you’re still looking at 5.5% to 8.5% hull rates – which I imagine is probably higher than the PRA members want to pay – especially if they are going to the extra effort of getting training and inspections done. I will look into the possibility of a larger discount – but until the aviation management changeover has taken place I’m not able to commit to anything.

Let me know that the PRA folks think of the requirements on their end – if they like it then let’s circle back in a few weeks so I can let you know the status on Hallmark’s end.

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The rest of the PRA story =
Another 20% discount will be possible by only insuring and paying for 50% of the actual haul value to the carrier. And PRA donating the other 50% to anyone in the group who has an accident, up to the amount in our savings account.
How this works is by using PRA's group Insurance savings account held in trust for members in the group. Each member will donate $500 to $1,000 the first year to be put into PRA savings account to get it started.
In the event of a crash, PRA as a charity will donate 1/2 of the insured haul value, out of savings, to the member and the insurance company will pay the other 1/2 of the claim for 100% coverage.
The 2nd year members do not pay/donate the $500 to $1,000 seed money to our group's savings account.
Members, the 2nd year, only pay back what we spent in the past year divided by the number of members in the group.
If we paid Zero we pay zero in that year. If PRA paid out $50,000 and we have 500 members in the group we have to pay $100 that year.

With PRA's real training program, we should eliminate most claims.
The larger the group the less we all pay and the safer our community will be and rates will go down, by market forces, with real experience.
 

Kevin_Richey

Yamaha gyro...Oregon, USA
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My suggestion is to charge more than written above to newly-insured and low-time pilots under this proposal, just like automobile insurance companies do to those higher-risk drivers. Teenage drivers (especially males), those who have incurred DUIIs, or several tickets on their driving record are charged very high premiums.

As flight-time is accumulated, lower the rates for those who do not incur claims, just as safe drivers are rewarded.

Aviation insurance might not be bound by laws to include the unsafe flyers, such as the auto insurance companies are required to insure the unsafe drivers as well as the safe ones.

Low-risk pilots shouldn't have to pay high-risk premiums to cover losses paid out by the insurance company for bad "drivers".

Another suggestion is to not insure a gyroplane pilot for "HULL" coverage who has less-than 50 hours in type. That would weed out those who wreck their machines in the first few hours they are soloing, through incompetence on their part of not flying as they were instructed.
 

Oky777

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#3 Aircraft inspection - could a annual inspection by our local A&P satisfy this requirement ? Otherwise your requiring two aircraft inspections a year increasing our costs. What would a PRA's inspection cover that a routine annual doesn't ? Locally I don't have a gyro CFI near by meaning I would have to travel a significant distance with my machine for this annual requirement adding to my cost.
 

All_In

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Not sure over 10,000+ logged FW, 260+ ultralights, sailplane, hang-gliders
My suggestion is to charge more than written above to newly-insured and low-time pilots under this proposal, just like automobile insurance companies do to those higher-risk drivers. Teenage drivers (especially males), those who have incurred DUIIs, or several tickets on their driving record are charged very high premiums.

As flight-time is accumulated, lower the rates for those who do not incur claims, just as safe drivers are rewarded.

Aviation insurance might not be bound by laws to include unsafe flyers, such as the auto insurance companies are required to ensure the unsafe drivers as well as the safe ones.

Low-risk pilots shouldn't have to pay high-risk premiums to cover losses paid out by the insurance company for bad "drivers".

Another suggestion is to not insure a gyroplane pilot for "HULL" coverage who has less-than 50 hours in type. That would weed out those who wreck their machines in the first few hours they are soloing, through incompetence on their part of not flying as they were instructed.
I'm/PRA is in agreement with you on the low time pilots and we have progressed since this last written documentation of our beginning understanding.

Pilots with less than 25 hours of time including flight training will not be allowed in the group at all.
Pilots flying hard coupled nose wheels will not be allowed in the group until they have 50 hours.

Pilots with less than 100 hours will have to have a checkout ride every 90 days. Why? A significant number of the Calavon tip-overs the pilot was competent when they were signed off. But winner or life, in general, got in the way and they did not fly for over 90 days and should have asked an instructor to remove the rust.

As far as new pilots paying more they do with the insurance co but not our insurance pool.
Our hull rates run about 8% for very well qualified pilots up to about 12% for very low time pilots.

Not sure how we would charge more based on time for the insurance pool. I do see a way to use the value of the aircraft we would have to pay to replace as a way to increase the saving deposit by value as a %.
The key is more training, in all in take-off and landing crosswinds and gusts this is where all the Cavalons have tipped over on NEW low time pilots.

The new Flight Simulator PRA is building with SDSU will allow an instructor at a console to change the winds and they will not fly for real until they can handle the worse crosswinds in virtual reality.
 

All_In

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Not sure over 10,000+ logged FW, 260+ ultralights, sailplane, hang-gliders
#3 Aircraft inspection - could a annual inspection by our local A&P satisfy this requirement ? Otherwise your requiring two aircraft inspections a year increasing our costs. What would a PRA's inspection cover that a routine annual doesn't ? Locally I don't have a gyro CFI near by meaning I would have to travel a significant distance with my machine for this annual requirement adding to my cost.
Hallmark's experience is that a few of their claims were because they were inspected by an A&P that did not have specific knowledge of the make and model and did not know it was put together incorrectly.

I will counter with, it only needs to be inspected by a factory type A&P once when it is first admitted to the group.
We just need to address their main calin experiences all of them. That it was built correctly only needs to be done once and I believe they will agree.
It should be done at a qualified building center from now on for PRA members on a form and done a deal with all new sales from now on???

The solution for travel is have them at all PRA fly-ins so the cost is a vacation? Best I can do. Don't think I can talk them out of the 1st inspection and then your normal A&P inspection with the same cost no travel is what I expect/hope to negotiate. That reasonable in my opinion.

At this point, my business plan is like a toddler. It falls down and I have to negotiate their concerns into more reasonable less expensive solutions.

I'm encouraged that so many brokers want in on this. I told them lets me create a deal with the 1st that asked us and then you can all have a chance to beat it.
So I have 4 other opportunities to get what we both want for #3 from at least one of the other????
 
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All_In

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Not sure over 10,000+ logged FW, 260+ ultralights, sailplane, hang-gliders
It appears, the brokers all want it. So if this fails it will only be because so few pilots sign up for PRA program = cannot build a large enough GROUP.
Gyro pilots are so independent that it is going to take a grassroots word of mouth asking friends to sign up.
 

SSDriver

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From what I am looking at, you are saying that my insurance would cost me 8 to 10k a year under your proposal.
That makes buying and insuring one prohibitive.
It is bad enough to look at $2,500 a year for a fixed wing insurance, but 4 times higher for a gyro?
I think I would just stick with a fixed wing.
And then you would have to figure in the special inspection costs as well as the extra CFI costs plus the $1,000 to PRA?
Why don't you just demand the name and passwords for our bank accounts?
 

Vance

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The reality that John is trying to address is that insures have lost money insuring gyroplane because such a large percentage of gyroplane pilots are new and many of them have not received good training or are not current.

Most of the gyroplanes are experimental amateur built and some are not put together well.

A simple tip over can cost north of $20,000.

I fly a gyroplane because I enjoy flying gyroplanes.

I have lots of friends who fly fixed wing aircraft at the Santa Maria Public Airport and virtually all of them spend more per hour flying their fixed wing aircraft than I do flying my gyroplane.

What hole the money goes down is not very important to me.
 

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All_In

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Piper Archer, Aviomania G1sb
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Not sure over 10,000+ logged FW, 260+ ultralights, sailplane, hang-gliders
From what I am looking at, you are saying that my insurance would cost me 8 to 10k a year under your proposal.
That makes buying and insuring one prohibitive.
It is bad enough to look at $2,500 a year for a fixed wing insurance, but 4 times higher for a gyro?
I think I would just stick with a fixed wing.
And then you would have to figure in the special inspection costs as well as the extra CFI costs plus the $1,000 to PRA?
Why don't you just demand the name and passwords for our bank accounts?
This is just the first step to correct the problem you and I agree on. The final solution is for PRA to become a legal insurance broker (at cost) over the next 2 to 3 years and really slash the cost. I only pay $600 a year for my 30K Archer FW so I agree.
Our reality is with 1/2 the Cavalon fleet in the USA tipping over we are lucky we can get insurance at all. Cost them over 1 mill and they did not make a profit so some have quit and others doubled their rates. If PRA does not do something we will not have CFI's to train new buyers and no more new pilots or growth in our community.

Today They want 10K to 14K for a CFI that just called me for a 100K gyro.
The actually savings them with PRA's 1st baby step program =
100K gyro insured for LOW time pilots @50K x 12% = $6K (PRA cover the over 50K with a group saving account)
100K gyro insured for HIGH time pilots @50 x 8% = $4K

Liability now they wanted another $3K.
PRA program saves another 30% of that or $900 a year.

Cost comparison.
Current bid 10 to 14K.
PAR's hight time pilots cost 4K+2.1K = 6.1K. Savings if 14K = $7.9K, if 10K current bid saving = $2,100
Less a $1,000 the first year that is a SAVINGS ACCOUNT unless our training program does not work. But it is the only real solution we have.

Not much savings with the 1st offer. But there are 4 more insurance companies I can squeeze even more out of is my expectation and past experience negotiating deals like this my entire life.
My next spitball = I'm out of gyroplane inventions and the colleges now want my personal inventions for the EE departments. I've never been so productive in my entire life. 12 projects almost done in less than 3 years. WOW, it would have taken me at least a year each as a one-man-band doing all the labor and all my charity work full-time.
I'm filling out 4 patents for inventions that will create at least 8 new personal products. In two years or less, I will personally fund the PRA legal insurance company to get it started with a donation of 1 million. So one way or another I'm going to try and save our rotorcraft community with cheap insurance. This is the best I can come up with the resources PRA and I have today. That will change or die trying.
 
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SSDriver

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Don't get me wrong, I am not saying what you are trying to do is bad, or wrong.
But as a new pilot, and a "possible" gyro owner/pilot in the future, I will be one of those "low time" gyro pilots.
But if what you are saying is true, and insurance will cost me 10-14k a year on top of paying 80-90k for a gyro plus rotary license endorsement cost?
That puts it out of the realm of possibility for 95% of the people that even considers flying gyro's.
It would definitely make me sit up and take notice.
Especially when compared to FW insurance costs. And besides, according to some of the articles I have read on accidents,
it seems 'most" of the accidents involve experienced or "high time" pilots, not the "low time" pilots.
Which kind of makes sense to me as we low time pilots are fresh out of school, teachings and regulations are fresh in our minds, and we are used to doing things "by the book"
So, with the accidents with the gyro's, are they caused by low time newbies or higher time pilots?
I would like to see the studies on that.
I guess my plans will have to wait until i have done more research on insurance. It is not hull that i want, it is liability that to me is essential. I could live with 50k hull, but liability will need to be at least a mil.
 

Vance

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I took a quick look at the NTSB’s 2018 gyroplane accidents (most of 2019 don’t yet have a final report with the pilot’s hours) and only four of the seventeen had more than 100 hours. Most had less than 50 hours. At least two were first flights.


Most were a total loss.

In my experience a million dollars of liability insurance is not that expensive; it is the hull insurance that runs the cost up because of the insurance company’s loss experience.

We did much better last year with eleven reported accidents and at least two appear to be medical problems.
 

HeliSwede

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Any progress update? Would very much like to see better $ rates for Gyros with pilots with 250+hrs TT accident free, annual recurrent training and annual aircraft inspections.
I just got a Quote from Aviation West for $5,500 hull/liability on $100,000 hull value Gyroplane, personal/pleasure. I also just got a quote from Starr for $17,000 hull/liability on $500,000 hull value Helicopter, personal pleasure, high $ but less % rate than Gyros. They also require annual pilot CFI checkout/training.
 
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