AOPA Bails On Competitive?? Life Insurance For Pilots
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Assocation, AOPA, has offered group life insurance for pilots for a long time. I know they have for at least the last 20 years since I’ve been competing with them for life insurance needs for private pilots. Over those 20 years they have had their group insurance underwritten through ING Reliastar, Minnesota Life and in more recent years through Reliastar again, when it became part of the Voya group of companies.
In a letter dated July 29, 2020 AOPA put their members on notice, “effective with your next renewal on or following Sept 1, 2020 you will see a rate increase of 30% over your current rate.” They went on and on about the plan being a “premier plan” in the industry and “still (being) one of the best products for pilots since it does not have an aviation exclusion”. They even suggest that “you may want to reduce your coverage amount in order to counterbalance the premium increase”. Seriously?
Were They Really Competitive Rates?
That’s been a question I have been dealing with for the last 20 years. Like so many big advocacy associations AOPA can offer less than competitive “benefits” because their members believe in the brand of the organization. Not unlike AARP, their members are enamored enough with the organization to ignore important details. With 38 million members they are the epitome of brand success, but their life insurance “benefit” program is a horrible rip off.
While AOPA’s pilot life insurance benefit program wasn’t a horrible rip off, it certainly was hard pressed to claim they were offering competitive products. With 30% now being added to the life insurance price they may well slip into the horrible rip off column. AOPA is suggesting that you should consider downsizing your life insurance portfolio to “counterbalance the premium increase”. That is simply horrible advice when there were half a dozen life insurance companies that offered better prices (before the 30% news), more life insurance and more product options. Why would a pilot opt for less family protection just to stay with a “benefit” that has shown steady instability for as long as anyone can remember? Do you think there is a guarantee that the rates won’t be adjusted again?
Where To Now?
At a time when the whole world is feeling like the rug has been jerked from beneath us, at least AOPA’s unexpected surprise is one that you have control over. As an independent agent helping private and commercial pilots for 20 years, I am strongly suggesting that it is time to find out what other companies out there offer truly competitive pilot life insurance without aviation exclusions. It’s time for a second opinion.
If you need life insurance, you should want 1. Enough life insurance to cover your need 2. The best possible prices and 3 Prices that are guaranteed to remain the same. If you have questions or would like quotes to compare with your new AOPA life insurance benefit rates, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.
Can the rates really change mid-term legally?
Yes, since it is a group benefit, it can be changed as long as all policies in the group are changed. With personal policies your prices are locked in by contract and can’t be changed.