So, a guy decides to learn how to fly. He wants to be a private pilot in the worst way. He signs up for lessons and after all the classroom curriculum is satisfied he and his flight instructor are finally ready to take off for the first flight.
Other than the fact that they are both in the same plane, they have something else in common that frankly most student pilots and most flight instructors don’t even know. When it comes to flight instructor life insurance or student pilot life insurance they really have very few options for life insurance companies that won’t rate them to death on the premiums they have to pay. There are a lot of aviation friendly companies out there, but most of them become decidedly unfriendly when it comes to the teachin and learnin end of things.
That’s the bad news and the good news. For student pilots there is only one traditional life insurance option that doesn’t include a flat extra charge. John Hancock will go standard plus for student pilot life insurance, but one of the downsides with JH for a long time now has been their minimum term insurance amount of $750,000. For a lot of younger student pilots cost is an issue and health related death isn’t. While I don’t usually recommend accidental death, a person can get $250,000 of accidental death for aviation only for $525 a year or for any accident including aviation for $650 a year. This can be an inexpensive carry over until a person is licensed and has adequate hours to get traditional life insurance without a flat extra.
For a student wanting less than $750,000, the lowest flat extra is $2.50 per thousand per year. For $250,000 that would equate to $625 a year just for aviation plus the cost of the life insurance at preferred rates if they qualify health wise. So, if the life insurance was $400 a year, the total cost to cover all causes of death including student pilot life insurance would be $1025 annually.
Now, believe it or not that guy with all of the experience sitting next to you isn’t liked by most life insurance companies either. Again, remembering that John Hancock has a $750,000 minimum term insurance policy, they will go preferred for flight instructor life insurance. The competition in this area comes from Minnesota Life who, given preferred plus health, will offer preferred plus rates of instructors. They don’t have a high minimum like Hancock so in most cases they are the go to company. Virtually all other companies will charge a flat extra on top of the cost of insurance.
Private pilot life insurance has come a long way toward a level playing field. Even though many companies still think small planes fall out of the sky on a regular basis, many have come to value this block of business and are offering best rate class to healthy private pilots.
Bottom line. Aviation is an area where you need an experienced agent to make sure you get the best rate possible for life insurance. Don’t fall for online quote engines that claim to give accurate quotes for pilots. I’ve tried them and they simply don’t quote correctly. How could they when their only question is whether you are a private pilot?