Life Insurance For Pilots

If you fly, there has never been a better time to pick up some life insurance!

Pilot Overview

Life insurance underwriting for pilots depends on a number of 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 that 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 10 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 type of aircraft you fly in the next 2 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 for consideration of 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 of coverage you buy.

The difference between companies is the medical rate class available.

While a lot of life insurers will only offer a standard or standard plus rate, there are a few that 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 certificate 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 be able to 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 entire 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 an additional expense called a flat extra to the policy.

The flat extra expense may add $250 – $500 per every $100,000 of coverage and it is 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 in the event you died 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.

If you are looking to satisfy divorce life insurance requirements, run it by your lawyer first before you try to exclude aviation as you may endure the wrath of the judge.

In some cases, life insurers may exclude aviation for:

  • Applicants under age 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.

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

Aviation Occupations

If you make your living as a pilot or crew member for certain occupations, we have life insurers for you.

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

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

OccupationFlat Extra
Required?
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 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 be wondering 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, universal and whole life insurance.

With an individual policy, you control the policy vs a group policy that is controlled by the 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 5 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 to obtain, 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 what your rate will be as you age.

An individual life insurance policy is controlled by you. You get to choose the coverage amounts, and term lengths and decide how long you would like to have coverage.

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

Conclusion

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

We’ll provide you with quotes from top-rated life insurance companies that specialize in aviation.

If you want a policy with full coverage or you want aviation excluded, we have both options available for you.

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

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