Prudential Life recently took two steps forward and one step back in their underwriting treatment of private pilots.
First they took a bold step forward in their underwriting of owners of experimental and home built aircraft. The pre-change underwriting was very clear cut. If you fly anything that isn’t a certified factory built plane, you get to pay anywhere from $2.50 to $5.00 per thousand per year extra for full coverage. That quickly adds up to real money when you’re considering $millions in coverage.
They have now taken a stand alone position in the industry and will charge the same rate they would for a Cessna 172 owner, for experimental and home built owners as long as the aircraft has more than 50 hours of (obviously incident free) use. While some companies have embraced some experimentals, this is a giant leap for all of those pilots who have found just the right ride outside the overpriced stock brand aircraft.
The other change they made in the right direction was to extend the acceptable annual hours from 200 to 300. With a lot of companies capping annual hours at 150, this move sets them apart especially for the high end commuters.
The for the step in the wrong direction (one step back). Pru has long been the best bet for student pilots, being underwritten at standard plus rates with no flat extra. They will now incur a $2.50 per thousand flat extra. I’m watching to see what company will step in the fill that void.
Bottom line. The news from Pru could have been better but the ground gained is going to make a big difference for private pilots.