Life Insurance For Pilots

So you fly a plane and you need life insurance. Your hobby or profession throws a little wrinkle in the decision for selecting term life but you don’t have to give it up. There are options depending on how often you fly and in what capacity. Let’s take a look at how being a pilot affects your life insurance options.

Let’s start with the basics. Most good pilots know that their risk from flying is considerably less than driving a car so there’s a kneejerk reaction from pilot’s we speak with that a stricter requirement is unfair. They’re probably correct but unfortunately, that’s the market. Flying a plane is lumped in with hang-gliding and a host of other activities that are deemed to be more risky than the average. So how exactly does a life insurance company look at your flying activity?

Some carriers will avoid pilots altogether so it’s important to contact us with your particular situation so we can help you avoid wasting time on a carrier that frowns upon the activity. One big determinant is the amount of hours clocked annually. With the life insurance companies that do underwrite pilots, annual flight hours of between 75 and 200 hours is usually priced at Tier 2 or the Standard rate based solely on this one criteria. This means that a very health person with no other issues who flies in this range is usually looking at the Standard health tier at best. Other health issues can bring the tier down from here.

For a pilot with over 200 annual flight hours, they will typically receive a ”flat extra” pricing which is a premium amount assigned per thousand dollar of life insurance face amount.

Some life insurance plans have an Aviation Exclusion Rider. This basically states that should the insured pass away in an aviation-related accident other than as a fare-paying passenger on a scheduled airline, the policy will not pay out the life benefit at all. A pilot should never take out a policy that includes an Aviation rider for obvious reasons. Usually, the fact that a person flies is part of the reason they want to buy life insurance in the first place. Since the risk associated with being a pilot is removed, the premium will be lower for similar health situations. Again, we recommend against a policy with this addendum for pilots. It’s a risky bet to try forecast how a person might pass away.

Being a pilot doesn’t affect the term life versus whole life decision since the root need is the same…to replace lost income due to death. The fact that a person flies just makes the need that more relevant but term life still provides the most affordable way to insure against this and all risks of passing away early.

There are distinctions between being a private pilot and a commercial pilot as well. The hours flown still come into play but our choice of carrier changes depending on your status as a private or commercial pilot. Again, this is where our experience as licensed life insurance brokers comes into play. There will be a set of questions we will first ask to establish which way to go. If you just quote blindly, you’ll likely need to start over since our range of available carriers narrows significantly as a pilot. You can complete our Term life needs form to start the process and make sure to note your pilot status (commercial or private), hours logged annually, and years experience flying.

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