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Is Life Insurance For Pilots More Expensive?

life insurance for pilots

Reviewed By: Rob Pinner

Rob Pinner Rob Pinner is the founder and CEO of Pinner Financial Services servicing all 50 states. Rob started his insurance career in 2002.

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A lot of kids dream of being a pilot when they grow up. Who wouldn’t want to hit the skies?

Being a pilot brings a lot of complications, and one of those is life insurance. There are some occupations or health conditions that can make you a “high-risk” applicant.

We have all heard it said that your flight across the country is much safer than your drive to the airport, yet for many years, commercial airline pilots faced high life insurance premiums. Is life insurance for pilots more expensive?  

Do pilots pay more for life insurance?

There was a time when most life insurance companies saw all pilots, airline pilots included, as high-risk clients. A 1998 article on AVweb, the world’s premier independent aviation news resource titled Why Don’t Life Insurance Companies Understand Pilots?, complained of a long-standing life insurance bias against pilots that was just beginning to change. Twenty years ago, clients would be asked if they piloted an aircraft and were dealt with in one of two ways if they checked yes. One, an “aviation exclusion rider” would be added to their policy that stated that the company would not pay a death benefit if the death was aviation related (no pilot should ever buy a life insurance policy with an aviation exclusion rider). Or more likely, the client would be rated, meaning that they would be placed in a less favorable risk category and pay much higher premiums, sometimes twice as much as a similar client who was not a pilot. Still, even back in 1998, the author writes, “an increasing number of underwriters have come to realize that most pilots are actually excellent insurance risks.” So today, airline pilots do not pay high life insurance premiums, certainly not if they have done their homework.

Since the turn of the century airline pilots have most assuredly been able to get a quality life insurance policy, like indexed universal life, at the preferred rating they deserve, most with the assistance of an experienced agent to help them navigate the life insurance marketplace and application process. Ogletree Financial Services does all the homework. We learn about you and your individual life insurance needs and concerns, then apply our experience and expertise to get you the right policy with the right company.

Your agent should be asking you particular questions in order to secure you the best rating and lowest premiums possible.

  • What is your average per year and lifetime total pilot in command hours?
  • What types of aircraft have you flown?
  • On what date were you certified by the FAA?
  • What type of pilot’s license do you have?
  • Have you had any violations or accidents?
  • What extra training have you received?

If they are not thoroughly assessing your unique life risk with detailed questions like these, then it is likely that you have a life insurance agent who is less than diligent. Let’s say you participate in a safety training program that requires you to complete flight recovery maneuvers at unusual attitudes. If your application asks if you engage in aerobatic flying, you would indicate no, not yes, as some may presume. This extra training could be seen as mitigating risk. If you fly in a stunt plane at air shows twice a month you would answer yes and may pay a higher premium. It is our dedication to our clients and thorough attention to detail that make Ogletree Financial Services your best choice. An airline pilot with no high-risk factors, like smoking or sky-diving, should pay the lowest premiums available at most insurers. Having a life insurance agent who asks the right questions and can let the right insurance company know why you are a good risk is the surest way to get the best life insurance policy at the lowest rate.

What does this all mean for the prospects for quality and affordable life insurance for commercial airline pilots and their families? Good news. Today, there are many life insurance companies that thoroughly understand aviation risk and have updated their underwriting policies for pilots, who are often offered preferred rates, especially commercial airline pilots, who generally receive better life insurance ratings than student pilots or private pilots. Airline pilot is ranked by as the fourth most stressful job of 2015 behind firefighter, enlisted military personnel, and military general, and just ahead of number five ranked police officer. Every time an airline pilot goes to work hundreds of people’s lives have become their responsibility. World politics have no doubt pushed the anxiety levels of these highly trained individuals higher still. The tragedy of the Germanwings A320 programmed by its pilot to fly into French Alps, and the mystery of the still-missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, push the mental state of pilots into the spotlight.

Do Pilots Pay More For Life Insurance?

Pilots pay more for life insurance. It comes with the job (or with the hobby). Just because you like to fly, doesn’t mean you have to pay premiums which are sky-high.

There are dozens of ways you can get cheap life insurance, but the quickest way is to give one of our agents a call. Instead of calling each individual carrier, you make one call, and we do the rest.

The last thing a career pilot needs is more stress. We have experience insuring pilots and getting them the best rates.  You want to protect the life you have worked hard for and guarantee your family’s financial security in the unfortunate event of your passing. The peace of mind that this brings is easily attained for commercial airline pilots, especially with the help an organization like Ogletree Financial Services.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do pilots pay more for life insurance?

Pilots pay more for life insurance. It comes with the job (or with the hobby). Just because you like to fly, doesn’t mean you have the pay premiums which are sky-high. An independent life insurance agent can assess your needs a walk you through the process.

What information does a life insurance company need if I am a pilot?

When you apply for life insurance as either a commercial or a private recreational pilot you will be expected to fill out an additional aviation questionnaire. This will generally cover some basic questions like how long you have been flying, where you fly and for what purpose do you fly. Obviously, this helps assess the risk of insuring you.

Can I get life insurance if I am a commercial pilot?

Commercial pilots are almost always considered low risk by insurance companies. This is simply because flying commercial airplanes is considered very safe. As an added bonus to insurers, commercial pilots have to have regular physicals and, therefore, are considered to be healthy overall. Also, the terrain you fly over can affect your rates.

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