A Guide to Life Insurance for Commercial and Private Pilots
If you’re like myself and get butterflies anytime your flight hits the slightest bit of turbulence…
You might feel silly to learn that there is less than 1 aviation accident for every 1 million flights!
... that's a good thing for pilots looking for life insurance.
So while not every type of pilot will eligible for the exact same rates as a non-pilot, we've provided this guide to help you understand how commercial and private pilot licenses affect life insurance, and approximate the cost, so you can make a prudent insurance decision for your family.
Here’s what we'll cover in this post:
Quick Guide to Life Insurance for Commercial and Private Pilots
Here’s what we'll cover in this post:
The Reality of Aviation Safety
In fact, the odds of being in a fatal plane crash are about 11 million to 1. You’re actually more likely to die on the car ride to the airport than on the flight itself.
Typically, pilots tend to be better educated, have a higher than average income, and are overall healthier than the average American.
Why do some life insurance companies charge commercial and private pilots higher premiums or decline them for life insurance coverage?
Luckily, this is not the case anymore!
Technology and safety has vastly improved for commercial and private pilots, and some life insurance companies have become more lenient with underwriting for this occupational risk.
The majority of pilots are now able to purchase affordable term life insurance or permanent life insurance policies without paying any additional costs. In some cases, our clients may even have their policies approved at “preferred” or “preferred best” rates.
Flying is incredibly safe. You are at greater risk getting in your car and driving to an airport than you’ll ever be getting on a plane, explains Captain Dave Thomas, Your Top Airline Safety Questions Answered by Pilots, The Mail Online
JRC Insurance Group Experts in Insurance Underwriting and Risk Assessment will Save you Time and Money
At JRC Insurance Group, our agents are experienced at finding life insurance coverage for clients with all types of professions.
We are experts at life insurance underwriting, or risk assessment, and we work with over 50 top-rated life insurance companies.
Give us a call, in just a few minutes we will shop the market for you, saving you time and money.
Whether piloting is your hobby or your profession, your JRC agent will ask you the questions an insurance company will need to know before they can approve your policy.
Questions to Expect from an Agent or Underwriter when Applying for a Life Insurance Policy
- Are you a private pilot, a commercial pilot, or a student pilot?
- Are you instrument rated? What kind of certifications or licenses do you have?
- When did you become certified? How many years have you been flying?
- What type of aircraft do you typically fly?
- How many hours do you fly per month/year?
- Have you encountered any accidents or incidents while flying?
If you’re a commercial or private pilot and you decide to apply for a life insurance policy, the insurance companies will consider your total hours of solo flight, any certifications or licenses, and the min/max hours that you fly per year.
They will look to see if you have any FAA violations or in flight incidents.
In the past pilots were either denied for life insurance coverage, or they had to settle for policies that had exclusions such as non-payment for an aviation related death.
Depending on the situation, there are several top-rated insurance companies that we work with that will offer pilots “preferred” or “preferred best” rates.
We only work with A or better rated companies that have never failed to pay a valid claim. Although some of the life insurance companies have become more lenient for pilots, there are still have some restrictions in place.
Preferred Best Rates for Commercial Pilots?
Commercial pilots that fly for major airlines with regularly scheduled flights are “clear for takeoff”.
Our healthy pilots with favorable family history, may be eligible for “preferred best” rates from several of the A+ rated companies we work with.
To qualify for these rates, the applicant must also meet the health/lifestyle requirements.
If you’re a sky diver that is also a pilot, the life insurance companies are less concerned about you flying a plane, they want to know why you're jumping out of it!
No matter what your situation is, JRC Insurance Group can help. We are appointed with all of the major top-rated life insurance companies.
Our agents have over 100 years of combined experience, and we would be happy to find you the most affordable life insurance policy available.
Preferred Rates for Private Pilots Too?
As long as Private Pilots are IFR certified, they can also receive preferred rates from some companies, especially if they have additional training. Insurance companies will usually scrutinize how many hours you spend in flight per year.
If your annual in flight hours remain in the 20-300 range, you should not be penalized by the insurance company you apply with. In other words, the life insurance company is going to look at you like every other applicant rather than as a “private pilot”.
One of the many advantages of working with a no cost agency like JRC is that, we work with dozens of top-rated life insurance companies. We will find the most affordable life insurance policy that best fits your needs.
Is Affordable Life Insurance Available for Student Pilots Too?
Yes, we can usually find coverage, but student pilots will almost never qualify for a “preferred” or “preferred best” rate. For student pilots, the “risk” to the insurance company is much higher, and applicants will most likely get their policy approved for a “standard” rate with a “flat extra.”
A “flat extra” is an additional fee that’s added to the insurance premiums for “high risk” applicants. The fee for most student pilots is $2.50 per $1000 of coverage.
For example, if you were to apply for a $100,000 policy, you would need to pay an additional $250 per year for your policy.
The positive side of this is that, you can still buy coverage while your “risk” is high, and once you become certified or gain a significant amount of flying hours (usually 600+) you can reapply for better rates with no fees or penalties.
Why Work with JRC Insurance Group?
With access to over 50 highly-rated life insurance companies, our competition doesn’t stand a chance. Will so many companies under our wings, we pride ourselves in always finding our pilots the best options available.For Example: Last year, we worked with a pilot named James. James had retired from Airforce a few years earlier, but he was still flying for a living.
James called because he had just been approved for his life insurance though USAA, but he was approved at “preferred” rates solely due to the fact he was a pilot. After talking to a friend of his who was also a pilot, and a client of ours, James decided to give us a call.
We advised James, activate the policy you have and we will do our best to find a better policy for you.
After some initial reluctance, we signed James up for a new application with Transamerica, an A+ rated life insurance company that has been in business since 1907.
After 4 weeks, James cancelled his policy with USAA and started saving almost 20% a month with his new policy from Transamerica.
James can now tell his friend that he is also in the #1 health category, and he’ll be saving thousands over the life of his 20 year policy.
At JRC Insurance Group, our clients are our #1 priority, and we will prove it. After cutting our teeth at the largest life insurance call center in America, we’re happy to share our knowledge, but not high pressure sales tactics. As consultants, we will show you all of your options from dozens of companies, not just a handful that pay us the most.
When shopping for a life insurance policy, whether you have a “high risk” occupation or hobby or not, you should definitely work with an agent that’s appointed by dozens of companies, not just 8-10.
In addition, our agency is owner-operated and we only sell life insurance. We promise not to waste your time talking about auto insurance, or buying insurance on your distant relatives, we’re here to help. Give us a call today for your FREE quote! Toll Free: 855-247-9555.
Managing Partner and Co-founder
Cliff is a licensed life insurance agent and one of the owners of JRC Insurance Group. He has helped thousands of families of businesses with their life insurance needs since 2012 and specializes with applicants who are less than perfect health. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with family, traveling, and the great outdoors.