Just as a practical matter the underwriting of private aviation may have to be reviewed. One of the guidelines that most companies have historically used is annual hours flown. Typically a company wants to see annual hours at or above 26.

With the price of all fuel escalating at a ballistic pace, many pilots who have historically flown in the 30-50 hour range annually have been cutting back some. Kind of a choice between putting gas in the car or fuel in the plane. While there may be those underwriters that think that anyone who can afford to fly can certainly afford the fuel, a fair question to them is whether or not they would cut back on driving their car when the price of gas goes over $5 a gallon?

It’s worth noting that treatment of private pilots by most life insurance companies leaves much to be desired, but that with the guidance of an independent agent preferred and preferred plus rates are available in many instances. While not all companies are adamant about the annual hour threshold, most are. Might be time for them to consider, for instance, just how significant the mortality experience change is if the annual hours requirement is cut by a third. I don’t know the answer, but I know that they do.

Bottom line. For many pilots fuel costs have not changed habits much, but for some it’s made flying an economic decision. What I would hate to see is that economic decision spread to whether or not they choose life insurance that covers aviation or not.

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