Not too long ago I outlined several private aviation life insurance underwriting changes that Prudential had made, almost all of them in favor of the pilots. Included in those changes was underwriting for private pilots of experimental or home built aircraft without a flat extra charge and life insurance rates as good as preferred best for some of the more experienced pilots. The one downside change they made was a step away from student pilots, putting them in the same woodshed with flight instructors.

I have been actively searching since then for a company to step up for student pilots, just as I’ve been looking for a few years for a company that could fill the void left by American General when they pulled the rug out from under the aviation crowd. That change didn’t impact many, but it whacked instructors in a big way. So, today there is good news coming from CPS/Special Risk Services that John Hancock is now looking at students in the standard plus rate class and Minnesota Life is will underwrite instructors using the same generous criteria they use for private pilots. This would allow preferred plus rates for instructors that have IFR, more than 250 pilot in command hours, and fly between 50 and 250 hours annually. Preferred life insurance rates would apply for VFR, 100 pilot in command hours and 25 to 250 hours annually. For those instructors over 250 annual hours there would be a minimal $1.50 flat extra charge per thousand.

John Hancock’s rates are a bit higher a they have a term insurance minimum of $750,000, but they have some underwriting that may make them advantageous in certain cases.

In between the beginners and the teachers life insurance underwriting for private pilots has yielded more and more opportunities for approvals as good as preferred plus for IFR and VFR pilots.

Bottom line. All things considered it’s been a very good year for life insurance underwriting for private pilots. From Prudential’s big changes to this latest news from John Hancock and Minnesota Life, it would appear to be a good time to revisit your life insurance.

If this post struck a chord with you, I can help. I’m a life insurance agent licensed in all 50 states and can be reached directly by phone toll free 866-539-7914 or email to