Airline pilots have been given a free pass by life insurance companies for a long time. The companies have assumed that if you are good enough to fly one of those big things for a real airline company, aviation won’t be an underwriting issue.

New question on those applications should go something like, “Have you ever played cards, read a magazine or used your personal computer while flying?” When those Northwest pilots overshot their destination by 150 miles while using their laptops to “check crew schedules” (Right!!), they put a whole new face on the folks on the other side of that door at the end of the aisle.

Life insurance companies may need to rethink this whole thing. While there is one other class of pilots that qualify for the best rate class, those that are instrument rated, have substantial life time hours and fly enough annually to remain proficient, other private pilots either get bumped a rate class or may have to pay a small flat extra for full aviation coverage.

Of course those guys won’t have to worry about whether their life insurance covers aviation anymore. No license. No flying. No exposure.

Ironic though. Life insurance companies have put so much stock in whether a pilot has the training, ratings and proficiency and then we find out that those who fly the highest and fastest are doing the grown up version of “Look Ma, no hands”, only worse. It’s “Look Ma, no hands, not even looking or caring where I’m going”.

Well, in spite of it, airline pilots will likely continue to get the best deal from just about any company they want to go with. Private pilots may not get to choose their company, but all of them from students, to VFR and IFR have enough companies that they should be able to put together an insurance portfolio at a reasonable rate.

Bottom line. This highlights the fallacy of life insurance companies assuming a certain class of people are above underwriting.