Private pilots are often caught in a dilemma when buying life insurance, a dilemma that can be overcome if you use an independent agent with experience in working with pilots.
The dilemma is that most companies want you to fly the number of hours they feel it takes to remain proficient, but not so many hours that they feel you are pushing the envelope of their risk tolerance. On average insurance companies want you to fly between 26 and 150 hours annually. If you fly less they want to penalize you and also if you fly too many.
Insurance companies purport to make their decisions based on mortality experience, taking emotion out of the process. Unfortunately in the case of pilots they haven’t really updated their mortality tables in quite some time when it comes to aviation. There are fairly new tables that have to do with health issues, but little new data that relates to better training and equipment available to private pilots.
There is also no distinction made as to the geographic area being flown. Logic would say there is a risk difference between flying in the mountains as opposed to a relatively flat terrain like Nebraska. I think a case could be made that flying too many hours in an area that is prone to bad weather, say the Washington coastal region, would be more dangerous than the prudent act of only flying on nice days. Hours for the sake of hours doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Bottom line. There are companies out there that will work with just about every situation. It takes a savvy agent to find the right company for your needs.
This post is somewhat dated. Life insurance underwriting is changing and evolving continually. For more updated information check out some of the key word links. If you have a specific question or topic you need information for do a search. If you don’t find the answers you need contact me and we’ll make sure you get the information that is important to you.