For many years, those who have worked in what are thought to be “risky” types of occupations have had to pay higher premiums for their life insurance coverage. One such occupation is the airline pilot.
As a pilot, you may have required specialized underwriting in order to obtain life insurance coverage. This is because, due to having a more risky occupation status, life insurance carriers were typically more cautious about taking on the additional risk of having to pay out a benefit claim.
In the past, many insurers would exclude general aviation from a pilot’s life insurance policy. This meant that if he or she succumbed to an aviation-related death, the insurance carrier would not be liable for paying out the death benefit claim to their beneficiary. This could be the case – even if the individual was flying at the time as a passenger in the aircraft.
In addition, the insurance companies would also typically “rate” an insured if he or she was a pilot. This meant that the premium cost of the insurance coverage could be as much as 50 to 100 percent more than that of the average – or Standard – insured was paying. This rating would be similar to how the insurers would rate a smoker or other individual who was considered to be a high risk policy.
But today, things are starting to change. There are several top insurance companies that have started to understand that airline pilots can be very good risks – and because of that, some insurers have begun to lower their premium rates and / or have lifted the various exclusions that were included on the policies issued to those working in this field.
This means that as an airline pilot, purchasing a life insurance policy can now be much more affordable for you – especially if you are otherwise in good health. It could also mean that if you have an existing life insurance policy in force, you may want to review it, as you could be able to qualify for a more reasonable premium rate.
Tips for Purchasing Life Insurance If You Are a Pilot
Those who are trained as airline pilots know how important it is to do a thorough job of ensuring that the aircraft is checked out prior to taking off for a flight. Doing so can help to spot any type of issues or problems before it becomes too late.
The same can be said regarding your application for life insurance coverage. In order to provide the type and amount of protection that is needed for your loved ones, you will want to be certain that the policy contains the coverage that you need, without any other surprises.
With that in mind, be sure to apply the following tips as you shop for your new plan:
Check for Aviation Exclusions
Some life insurance policies will still contain an aviation exclusion rider. This means that should an insured die in an airplane crash, their beneficiary (or beneficiaries) will not receive the proceeds of the policy. Therefore, check to ensure that there will not be an aviation exclusion on the policy that you purchase. Otherwise, you could take the chance that your loved ones will go without protection in case of the unthinkable.
Provide All Information to the Agent / Agency When Obtaining Policy Quotes
When obtaining policy information and quotes, make sure that the agent or agency that you are working with understands that you are a pilot, along with the specific types of aviation activities that you are involved with, as this can make a difference in the quotes and the benefits that you may receive. Unfortunately, providing misinformation, or leaving important details out, can end up nullifying a life insurance policy – even one that has been in force for a period, if the correct information is later determined.
Determine How Much Coverage You Need to Protect Your Loved Ones
Determining how much life insurance coverage you need will be a key criteria in ensuring that your loved ones and survivors will be able to move forward. It will also have a big part in how much your policy will cost. It is important to have a good estimate on this figure – so knowing what you need the coverage for will be important. For instance, will you want to replace income, pay off debts, pay for final expenses, or use the money for a combination of all?
Having too little coverage can keep your loved ones in a financial bind while purchasing too much can have you paying too much in premium. Working with an insurance professional can help you in determining the amount of life insurance protection that is right for you.
Know What Type of Life Insurance You Need
As a pilot, you may or may not have done financial planning in other areas. Therefore, it will also be important to know what type of life insurance will be right for you. For instance, will you want just pure death benefit protection like term insurance can provide, or alternatively, would a permanent policy be better where you can provide death benefit coverage along with a cash value component that offers an additional savings feature.
Know the Financial Strength and Claims Paying Reputation of the Insurance Company
Knowing the strength of the underlying insurance company is also a key factor that needs to be considered prior to moving forward with your purchase of coverage. This is because, even if an insurer offers you a lower premium rate and no aviation exclusion, if they are not stable from a financial standpoint, and / or they have a poor reputation for paying out claims, then the insurer may not be your best choice for covering your life insurance needs.
Working with an independent agent or agency that has access to many different insurers is typically your best option when shopping for life insurance for pilots. This is because you will have access to multiple carriers and can review many different options in order to determine which one will work the best for your specific situation.
How Much Will Your Life Insurance Cost
Depending on your overall health, pilots today can qualify for Standard, or even preferred policy ratings. This can also be dependent upon the type of aircraft that you fly, as well as the insurance company itself.
For example, someone who is a student pilot and just starting out in their career may be considered more of a risk. Therefore, it is not likely that he or she would be able to qualify for a preferred policy rating. They may, however, qualify for a Standard class – provided that their health is good.
Those who work as either a private pilot or as a commercial pilot may be able to qualify for a preferred policy rating, as long as their overall health is excellent, and they have a family history of excellent health as well.
It is important to note that not all insurers will underwrite applicants in the very same manner. This means that while one carrier may approve an individual as a Standard classification, another may approve them as a Preferred – even with the very same information on their application.
For this reason, it is important to shop around for your life insurance coverage and to obtain more than just one premium quote prior to making your final coverage decision. Doing so can oftentimes end up saving you hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars in premium throughout the years.
How and Where to Obtain the Best Premium Rates on Life Insurance Coverage for Pilots
If you are a pilot, and you are seeking either a new or a replacement life insurance policy, we can help. We work with many of the top life insurance carriers in the market today, and we will assist you in getting all of the important information that you need for comparing benefits, companies, and premium quotes. You can do so quickly and easily – all from your computer – and without the need to meet in person with an insurance agent. When you’re ready to move forward, fill out the form on this page.
Because you may have some additional questions, we can also be reached directly via phone. Our experts can help in walking you through the many different scenarios that shopping for life insurance may bring, and can also assist you with comparing the types of life insurance that are available to you as a pilot. In order to contact us directly, please dial, toll-free, 888-235-9299.
We understand that the purchase of life insurance for pilots may have many additional variables – so it is important to ensure that you have all of your questions answered prior to making your purchase. The good news is that you now have many options available to you – and an ally on your side. So, contact us today – we’re here to help.