Pilot Life Insurance: Rates, Underwriting, Flat Extras, Exclusions & More 

Find the perfect pilot life insurance plan for private or commercial aviation!

Here Are Some Great Examples

The best life insurance for private pilots

Private Pilot

Two Years of Flying Experience

  • Last Year – 15
  • This Year – 10
  • Total Hours – 90
  • Training for IFR and Multi

Best Offers – AIG-American General, SBLI, Lincoln, Principal

Rate: Standard Plus – No Flat Extra

Student Pilot

Started flying this year

  • Last Year – 0 Hours
  • This Year – 5 Hours
  • Total Hours – 5
  • Wants Full Coverage, No Exclusions

Best Offers – Protective Life & Zurich

Rate: Standard – No Flat Extra

Benefit #1 – Pilots Get Affordable Life Insurance

You get a choice of life insurance companies with our service.

We work for you, not the life insurance company.

For many of our pilot clients, we can secure life insurance with no costly flat extra expense.

When a flat extra is involved, we ensure we get you the best company with the lowest possible flat extra.

If you want to exclude aviation coverage from your life insurance, we can help you.

Some of the life insurers we use:

  • AIG – American General
  • AXA Equitable
  • Banner Life
  • John Hancock
  • Lincoln National
  • Minnesota Life
  • Mutual of Omaha
  • Nationwide
  • Principal
  • Protective Life
  • Prudential
  • SBLI
  • Symetra
  • Zurich

Benefit #2 – Underwriting Experience

We have years of experience helping private pilots, student pilots, and commercial pilots.

Whether you need term life insurance or universal or whole life insurance, we have great life insurance companies available.

When we provide you with feedback, you will know what each company indicates regarding underwriting and price!

Examples include:

  • Student Pilots
  • Private Pilots with and without IFR
  • Commercial airline pilots
  • Corporate pilots
  • Military – Depending on Mission and Aircraft Designations
  • Aerobatics and Experimental
  • Pilot Instruction for pay
  • Crop Spraying
  • Firefighting
  • Air ambulance

Benefit #3 – Insurance Company Independence

We work for you, not the life insurance company. We have 40+ companies to help find life insurance for pilots.

And of all those companies, only a handful do a great job providing life insurance for pilots.

We make sure you get to those companies. Compare that to an agent who only represents one company.

Now’s the time to get the best pilot life insurance!

Do you want to know more? Keep reading to get the full nitty-gitty details about pilot coverage.

Pilot Life Insurance Underwriting

Life insurance underwriting for pilots depends on several factors, including:

  • The type of pilot (private, commercial, military, etc.)
  • Pilot ratings
  • Total hours flown
  • Annual hours flown
  • Type of aircraft
  • Type of flying.

The best high-risk life insurance for pilots depends on your individual information.

One of our goals when helping pilots is to eliminate or minimize any flat extra expense you may have encountered elsewhere.

Commercial Pilots

If you fly passenger airlines for a living, most life insurers will offer you their best rate classes, provided you qualify medically.

Basic criteria include:

  • Age 30 or older
  • Minimum of 1,000 total hours
  • 100+ hours in your current make/model of aircraft
  • Certificate – Commercial or ATP
  • Valid medical certificate
  • No FAA violations

Coverage is still available if you don’t meet the above, but the best rate classes may not be.

Underwriting may change if you fly for certain foreign commercial airlines or fly planes with less than ten seats.

Cargo Pilots

Underwriting for cargo pilots (UPS, FedEx, etc.) follows the same rules as commercial pilots.

Private Pilots

Once you’ve earned your private pilot’s license (PPL), more companies become available to you.

Your total hours, average hours per year, and whether you have an instrument flight rating (IFR) are primary factors in underwriting.

Underwriting wants to know about:

  • What type of license do you have?
  • What aircraft class rating do you have?
  • Do you have your instrument flight rating (IFR)?
  • What is the make and model of the aircraft you fly?
  • How much time have you had in this aircraft?
  • When did you obtain your PPL?
  • How many hours do you have:
    • In total?
    • Last year?
    • This year?
    • Expected hours next year?
  • Do you expect to change the aircraft you fly in the next two years?
  • Have you ever had any FAA violations?

Most companies look for a minimum of 300-500 total hours and an annual average of 26-300 hours per year to consider an offer without a flat extra expense.

Some companies are more lenient with total hours (AIG is 100) if you have an IFR.

When you average 150-300 hours per year, many companies will add a flat extra to your rate, and if you exceed 300 per year, almost all companies will add the flat extra.

We ask you the above questions as part of the underwriting and will then provide you with quotes from each carrier, so you know what to expect in terms of price before you apply.

Student Pilots

Life insurance for student pilots typically requires a flat extra expense of $250 – $500 per every $100,000 coverage you buy.

The difference between companies is the medical rate class available.

While many life insurers will only offer a standard or standard plus rate, a few will consider a preferred (John Hancock) and even a preferred elite (AXA) rate.

Most companies use total flying hours as the basis for determining your rate.

100 total hours seems to be the magic number where your offers improve.

So even if you have received your sport/recreational or private pilot certificate, but your total hours are less than 100, you may still be rated similar to a student pilot.

When you reach 100 total hours, we should re-shop your coverage to see if better offers are available.

Military Aviation

Life insurance is available for military pilots.

The coverage and underwriting ratings depend on the mission designation(s) and aircraft designation.

Some examples from Prudential include:

  • Flat extra of $750 per every $100,000 of coverage for pilots and crew:
    • Attack
    • Bomber
    • Fighter
    • Multi-Mission
    • Observation
    • Anti-Submarine

If you are an instructor for any of the above, the flat extra would be $250 per $100,000.

Reserve and National Guard pilots and crew may obtain “standard” rates for the above if you fly less than 125 hours per year and are not on extended duty.

  • Standard rates with no flat extra may be available for:
    • Cargo/Transport
    • Special Electronic Installation
    • Search & Rescue
    • Tanker
    • Patrol
    • Trainer
    • Utility
    • VIP

Underwriting looks at your background, current status, deployment, etc., before finalizing your rates.

Pilot Life Insurance Aviation Exclusion

Most life insurance policies will include coverage for private aviation unless you ask for an aviation exclusion rider.

For some applicants, underwriting will add a flat extra expense to the policy.

The flat extra expense may add $250 – $500 per every $100,000 coverage, based on your individual aviation experience.

As a result of the cost, some pilots may ask for an aviation exclusion rider (AER).

When a policy contains an aviation exclusion rider, your beneficiaries receive nothing if you die while piloting an aircraft.

We’ll show you the options available based on your history

In some cases, we’ll write two policies, one with and one without the aviation exclusion rider…

This way, if something happens to you, at least there will be a benefit paid out, and it helps lower your overall cost.

In some cases, life insurers may exclude aviation for:

  • Applicants under the age of 16
  • Applicants over age 70-75 (varies w/ companies)
  • Motor vehicle history of DUI/DWI.
  • History of alcohol or substance abuse.
  • Some medical conditions.
  • Medical table ratings of 100% or greater.
  • International flying.

If you’ve been denied life insurance due to a medical issue, let us know, as some companies are better than others with health conditions.

If you have one of the following conditions, it’s best to shop for companies for the health issue first, and then we can choose the best pilot company.

We generally advise against aviation exclusions unless there is no other option available for you.

Aviation Occupations

We have life insurers for you if you make your living as a pilot or crew member for certain occupations.

The type of occupation you have may require a flat extra expense.

The chart below indicates how much is added to your rate for every $100,000 life insurance you buy.

OccupationFlat Extra
Amount of Flat
Per $100,000 of coverage
CorporateYes/NoZero – $250
Crop DustingYes$350 – $500 for planes built for this purpose.
$500-$750 if plane is converted to this use.
Fire FightingYes$350 – $750

Whatever your occupation is, let us know the full details, and we’ll find you the best rates.

Life Insurance for Pilots AOPA

You may wonder how our policies compare to the group life insurance policies offered by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, better known as AOPA.

We offer pilots individual term life insurance and universal and whole life insurance.

With an individual policy, you control the policy vs. a group policy that is controlled by administering the policy.

AOPA offers three group life insurance products:

AOPA 50+ Term Group Life Insurance

  • Available for ages 50-74
  • Coverage amounts – $5,000 – $50,000
  • Decreases to 50% at age 75, 25% at age 80
  • Rates increase every five years
  • No exam
  • Accelerated death benefits
  • No general aviation exclusion
  • Convertible to a whole life plan

According to the AOPA website, “Proof of good health is required for approval of coverage. This may or may not include a medical exam.”

AOPA Group Term Life Insurance Plan

  • Available for under age 30 – under age 66
  • Coverage amounts – $5,000 – $1,000,000
  • Decreases by 50% at age 70, 75% at age 75
  • Coverage terminates at age 80
  • Tobacco and non-tobacco rates
  • Premiums must be paid quarterly
  • Accelerated death benefits
  • No general aviation exclusion
  • Convertible to whole life

Proof of good health is required.

AOPA Group Level Term Life Insurance

  • 10-year group level term – age 20-66
    • $50,000 – $1,000,000
  • 20-year group level term – age 20-56
    • $200,000 – $1,000,000
  • Rates stay level for the term unless the entire group changes
  • Three rate classes – Preferred, Select, and Standard
  • Dependent children rider available
  • Accelerated death benefits
  • No general aviation exclusion
  • Convertible to individual whole life

When you’re younger, group life insurance is inexpensive and simple, but you have no control over that policy.

If you are considering group life, ask for the rate sheet for all ages so you can see your rate as you age.

You control an individual life insurance policy. You can choose the coverage amounts and term lengths and decide how long you want coverage.

As we’ll show you, most individual policies do not exclude aviation. They include accelerated benefits and other riders and offer conversion privileges.

Final Words

We offer a no-risk, no-obligation life insurance service.

We’ll provide quotes from top-rated life insurance companies specializing in aviation.

We have both options available for you if you want a policy with full coverage or aviation excluded.

Please take a few minutes to submit your quote request. Thank you.

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Michael Horbal - Author

Michael J. Horbal

Owner of RiskQuoter

Too many people overpay for life insurance because they have the wrong life insurance company, agent, or both. That’s why I started RiskQuoter – To help you get the best life insurance rates available.

As an independent insurance agent, I’m licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and offer 40+ life insurance companies to ensure you get your best rate!

Request Your No Pressure, No Obligation Quote Today!

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