The cost of being a private pilot can be staggering anyway you go about it. One area that you can keep the cost down in is your life insurance, if you do your homework and pick the right agent.
Student pilots face their first gut check when they find out, on average, that it will take $6000 to $8000 to complete the training for a private pilot’s license. That’s a serious cash commitment added to the time commitment it takes to complete the training. Another gut check can come from your spouse at this time when they ask to increase the amount of life insurance you have and to make sure that aviation is covered.
Good news on that front comes for those who are already adequately insured and had the insurance in force prior to making a decision to take up flying. It’s certainly prudent to check with your life insurance agent, but if the policy was purchased prior to aviation flying into your life, then in all likelihood it will be fully covered without making any changes. One of the great features of life insurance is that you don’t have to repurchase it any time something changes in your life. Again, a review by an agent will help you know the status on aviation. In you can’t find an agent, call your life insurance company directly and explain the situation to them and they will be able to guide you. If you do find that you need to purchase new coverage or additional coverage, the good news is that aviation life insurance can be done affordably through a few companies. Make sure you seek out an independent agent that knows where to take your business.
Once you have earned your ticket and are now a private pilot, well, this is when many find out if they were more fascinated than serious. This is when the cost of renting or owning a plane whacks you in the wallet and determines if that license will be a wall hanging or something that you seriously integrate into your life. This is also the next time that your spouse is going to broach the life insurance question.
Let me just interject some common sense at this point. If your spouse asks you to increase the amount of your insurance you really need to consider that question carefully. If you were adequately insured before, say with $500,000, you’re still adequately insured at $500,000. Just because you’re a pilot and have added that to the portfolio of possible ways to die, doesn’t mean that your death is somehow more monetarily challenging than it was before. But, as I said, consider the question carefully. It is possible that what your wife is saying is that she was willing for you to be under insured before, but with this new perceived danger in your life it’s time to bring your coverage up to where it should be.
This can actually be a useful tool for husbands. If you want to know if your wife is truly comfortable with the amount of life insurance you have in force, ask her if she would be comfortable with your current coverage if you took up flying. The good news is that as a VFR pilot with 100+ total hours in command and at least 26 in the last year, rates are going to be very good and competitive with those than you would pay even if you didn’t fly.
As you work your way up the next step is often an instrument rating and with 250+ total hours and again, at least 26+ hours annually to maintain proficiency, you are eligible for preferred plus rates with several companies. Again, a good independent agent is helpful here. Not all companies see eye to eye on this.
Bottom line. Private aviation is not a cheap hobby or avocation, but with some forethought and planning there isn’t any reason that your life insurance should make that any more of an issue.