What a crazy year for underwriting life insurance. There have been shifts all over the map from type 1 diabetes to melanoma history, with some of the best news coming for private pilots.

It’s been quite a while since we’ve had as many solid players in the hunt for private pilot life insurance. In fact, since the good old days were really dominated by a few agencies that had proprietary deals with just a few companies, I would have to say we are now living in the new good old days. Best rate class for IFR and VFR pilots. Best rate class for CFII instructors. Standard plus rates for student pilot life insurance. Best rate class for more experimental and home built aircraft than ever in the past.

The great thing here is that it isn’t all about one company. There are half a dozen companies right now that are extremely competitive and serious about staying competitive in private and commercial aviation. Prudential completely revamped their pilot guidelines this past year putting more emphasis on total hours and total years of experience as a way to break into their best rate class. AXA Equitable has stuck to their best rate class for IFR and VFR with the only issue there being their $1mm minimum face amount on term life insurance.

John Hancock has hung in there with their standard plus for student pilots. Like AXA they put a little kink in that by having a $750k minimum term policy, but compared to the flat extra other companies are charging for students, even if you have to buy a little more than you were planning on, sometimes it works out to be less expensive.

Probably one of the biggest home runs of the year was a shift in underwriting flight instructors with many able to qualify to qualify for best and second best rate classes with Minnesota Life and John Hancock. Flight instructors have historically not caught a lot of breaks, so this is great news.

For the slightly rarer private helicopter pilot we now have three companies that will underwrite the same as fixed wing aircraft. The only thing that gets a little tough is most underwriting standards call for say, 250, total PIC hours which isn’t to stringent, but they also require anywhere from 26-50 annually which is a lot of flying in a helicopter unless you are using it to commute which is more and more common.

North American has always been a good go to company, although they have indicated a merger with Midland National isn’t too far off and until we see how that impacts service and underwriting we may not quote them as much.

Bottom line. I’m grateful for all of the pilots who sought us out this past year and it was great to have such a good collection of companies to choose from. If you have any questions or need a quote, call or email me directly. Let’s talk.

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