How do life insurance underwriters view people who are pilots?

Obtaining life insurance for pilots is considered a higher risk by many insurers because of the potential of injury or a fatality. The age and experience of the pilot in terms of how many hours they log may also influence the risk factor when an application is reviewed by an underwriter.

Not all pilots are treated the same because pilots use different types of planes and helicopters for a variety of purposes. Pilots who fly recreationally and only occasionally will be treated quite differently than professional and commercial pilots. Some pilots may be required to fly in more dangerous weather conditions such as for search rescue purposes, forest fire fighting or may work as stunt pilots.

Pilots tend to be healthier than the average person because of the stringent health requirements needed to certify for a pilots license.

Although insurers are willing to issue a traditional policy to a pilot, many of these policies also come with an “Aviation Exclusion.” This exclusion specifically prohibits the payment of a life insurance claim if a pilot is killed while flying and can be counterproductive to the reasons the pilot might be buying life insurance in the first place.

What are the health risks of being a pilot?

The health risk for being a pilot generally stems from the potential injury or death that can occur during take-off and landing cause by mechanical breakdown, wind shear, or damaged landing gear.

During the act of flying, other mechanical issues and weather phenomenon can also result in bringing the flying craft down. Although most pilots are quite healthy, it is possible that a pilot could suffer a heart attack, stroke or be affected by a variety of other health issues and cause the plane to lose control.

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From a medical perspective, most pilots have to undergo a fairly thorough physical exam to continue to qualify for their pilot’s license which becomes more rigorous as they age.

Finding life Insurance for Pilots

Finding life insurance for pilots is generally not much of an issue unless the occupation or purpose of flying is exceptionally risky. However, many insurers who do insure pilots will either only issues a policy that contains the “Aviation Exclusion”, and/or will add a surcharge or flat fee onto the premium.

The flat fee or surcharge is usually a dollar amount added on per a certain portion of coverage. So, it could be an additional $10.00 per $10,000.00 worth of the life insurance coverage for example. This practice varies considerably from insurer to insurer.

Since each company has different policies with various exclusions, surcharge costs and rating systems, a pilot would be best served to find insurers which specialize in issuing life insurance to pilots.

To find the most suitable and least expensive policy, the pilot should discuss their own unique situation with a knowledgeable independent agent to find the best coverage options at the best rates.

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