All pilots know that driving a car is more risky than flying a plane. Still, many life insurance companies consider the hobby or profession of flying an above average risk. The good news is that you don’t have to give up the thrill and enjoyment of flying to get the best rates for life insurance. Whether you fly commercially or recreationally, cost-effective life insurance policies for pilots are available from a variety of life insurance companies. That being said, you should never overpay for life insurance because you are a pilot.
Important Factors Life Insurance Companies Look for in Pilots?
As a pilot, you need to understand that life insurance companies consider many factors when underwriting you for a policy. Some of the more important considerations are listed below.
- What is your license/rating status? Do you have a visual flight rating (VFR), an instrument flight rating (IFR), a commercial pilot’s license or an airline transport pilot’s license (ATP). As a general rule, life insurance companies give more favorable rates to the more experienced IFR and commercial pilots.
- What type of aircraft are you flying? For example, if you fly for a major commercial carrier on scheduled routes in safe locations, you will likely fall into the premium or best health class. However, if you are an EMS pilot who flies helicopters into forest fires, you may receive a standard policy with an extra “flat extra” rating.
- What is your experience level? Life Insurers are more apt to give good rates when you have more than 250 total hours and at least 100 IFR hours. The best rates are usually given when a pilot has 1,000-2,000 total hours. As a general rule, the more experience the better when it comes to getting the best rates for life insurance.
- How much do you actually fly in a given month or year? Frequency of your flying also is key. Life insurance companies want to make sure that you keep current on your hours. To get the most favorable rates, if you are a private pilot, you need to be flying at least 25 hours annually and in most cases not more than 300 hours annually. Yes, the insurance companies want to see that you are keeping your flying skills sharp but too much activity can also increase your risk.
- What is your safety record? In general, the higher your airman certificate and more sophisticated your rating, the safer you are considered. Other factors that life insurance companies review are length of time you have been a pilot and your ability to make good judgment. They many also look at motor vehicle history and past aviation accidents as relevant factors.
How Do Pilots Get the Best Rate for Life Insurance?
Not all life insurance companies are pilot friendly. In fact, if you are a private recreational pilot, there are only a small handful of companies they may offer you the best rates for life insurance. Additionally, some companies will simply add an aviation exclusion to your policy which excludes piloting as a covered avocation.
In general, pilots get the best rates for life insurance when they practice full disclosure. If you are a pilot, the most important part of the entire process of applying for life insurance is the aviation questionnaire. This is a series of questions regarding all of the most important factors listed above. See a sample aviation questionnaire here. The key is to be as detailed as possible when answering the specific piloting questions. Being straightforward, allows your independent life insurance agent the opportunity to use his knowledge and skills to match you up with the company that will approve you at the best rate.
Types of Life Insurance for Pilots
Be careful! Many life insurers have overly broad categories in their aviation questionnaires, which can lead you to leave out important details that may save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars over time or even void coverage if specific details are omitted. For example, if you are a Delta Airlines pilot during the week but also fly experimental aircraft on the weekends, you need to make sure this is disclosed. In a fatal weekend accident, you would not be covered if you failed to mention the experimental aspect of your flying.
The final and most important consideration to getting the best rates for life insurance as a pilot is your insurance agent. As mentioned, there are a few life companies that are willing to compete to insure pilots but the vast majority of life insurers do not give pilots the benefit of the doubt. If you want a competitive life insurance policy that covers you while flying, you must seek out an experienced independent insurance agent that specializes in insuring pilots. An insurance professional that works with pilots on a regular basis can provide client testimonials from pilots who they have helped find the best life insurance policies. When working with an agent for life insurance, make sure you ask about his/her experience in working with pilots. This one question can save significant money and help you identify a specialist that can really deliver.
As a pilot, it can be extremely frustrating to be in good health and receive a higher rate for life insurance than a person in average health who does not fly. The good news is that you do not have to overpay for life insurance because you are a pilot. By knowing the key factors insurance companies use to evaluate your piloting risk and working with an independent agent that is a specialist, you can find a competitive life insurance policy that will cover you while flying. At MEG Financial, we have worked with hundreds of pilot clients and helped to make sure that they received the best life insurance policy given their circumstances. Call MEG today at (877) 583-3955 or get an instant life insurance quote for pilots here.
Related Life Insurance Articles for Pilots
- What is an Aviation Exclusion?
- What is an Aviation Questionnaire?
- Life Insurance for Pilot’s Cheat Sheet
- Instant Term Life Insurance Quote for Pilots