With the economy doing a little better private pilots, aviation instructors and commercial pilots are checking their life insurance and getting back off the ground. When a gallon of fuel was worth almost as much as the aircraft especially the private pilots and instructors hours were way down. The one area where I didn’t see any drop in private aircraft use and pilot life insurance need was in corporate aviation, with CEO’s and Executives still finding dependable, on time travel to be an important business advantage.

So, as flying takes off and life insurance is reviewed, let’s take the opportunity to review some of the basic aviation underwriting guidelines and rate available.

1. Student pilots. While no traditional company has stepped back up to the plate without a flat extra, generally $3.50 per thousand for students, we’ve learned to get close to traditional rates by combining a traditional life insurance policy with an aviation exclusion and an aviation only accidental death policy. Remember in the past that student pilots were almost always put in a standard plus or standard rate class. With the method we are using now their traditional life insurance can be approved at the best rate class, a big savings over standard plus or standard, and the aviation AD policy is substantially less the the $3.50 per thousand flat extra, still working out to a very fair combined rate.

2. Instructors, CFI and CFII are still held in high esteem by one life insurance company, and one only. With that company they can receive full aviation life insurance coverage at preferred plus rates, preferred at the worst, if they have more than 250 total hours and fly more than 25 annually.

3. Fixed wing IFR can generally get preferred plus life insurance rates as long as their annual hours are 50 or more and there are a few companies that will allow as low as 30 annual hours but they can be a little picky about experience and the type of aircraft. Fixed wing VFR will generally qualify for preferred, not preferred plus rates, still a great deal when you compare it to most life insurance companies adding a $2.50 per thousand flat extra for VFR aviation.

4. Recreational helicopter pilots and helicopter instructors are held to the same life insurance standard as 2 and 3. Almost all commercial helicopter pilots will incur either a flat extra or can be treated the way we come up on top with student pilots by excluding it from the base policy and adding aviation only AD.

5. Regularly scheduled airline pilots rarely run into any additional life insurance rating unless they are doing something rateable in the private arena in additional to their ATP flying.

Bottom line. In the last 15 years almost all of the leading private aviation life insurance companies have changed, but there still remains a core group of companies that are pilot friendly. If you have questions or would like a competitive quote on your life insurance as a pilot, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.