Most people consider getting affordable life insurance a challenge. There are many different products to learn about, and the underwriting process can be stressful, especially if you have certain health conditions, a dangerous occupation, travel to dangerous areas, or your hobby is on the list of “hobbies you shouldn’t have.”
The job of an underwriter is to determine if your health, occupation, travel habits, or hobbies make you a high-risk or even unacceptable risk. They get paid for making sure that the applicants they approve will be profitable for the company. Unfortunately, for many of us, this involves weeding out the applicants who appear to be too risky to insure.
One of those risky applicants might be the person who flies airplanes as a hobby. If you are a pilot, you’re likely worried that you could be rated up or even declined by the major insurance carriers. Here, we will discuss how to get affordable life insurance for pilots.
There will be Limitations
Life insurance companies will typically deal with high-risk applicants in one of three possible ways. They might charge a higher premium (rating table), exclude losses from certain activities, or decline your application altogether.
Ordinarily, if your application is accepted by an insurer, you’ll have the choice of paying more for coverage while you’re operating a personal aircraft or excluding this coverage and paying a traditional rate for coverage. If you select being covered while operating an aircraft, you will typically be charged a “flat extra,” meaning you will pay more than your neighbor who does not fly aircraft.
The following are some options for purchasing life insurance if you’re a pilot:
Purchase Individual Life Insurance
An individual life policy will offer better flexibility and more control. You can elect to buy a life insurance policy with aviation coverage excluded, or you can elect to buy a policy with death resulting from aviation activities covered. Or, you can buy both.
If you buy both, you are making certain that you’ll have coverage if your death results from a personal plane crash and as well as if you die from natural causes. The reason to have both is to reduce your total premium for life insurance coverage. If, however, you are a commercial pilot, you may not have the premium surcharge that you have as a personal pilot. This all has to do with statistics and mortality tables for personal pilots versus commercial pilots.
Go Through a Pilot Association
Many pilot associations like AOPA or ALPA provide group life insurance for their member pilots. This means that instead of buying an individual insurance policy, you are buying as a group member and will receive group member rates. These organizations typically partner with life insurance companies that are more familiar with the risk of a pilot and have established underwriting guidelines that allow the company to make a profit while insuring an individual with a dangerous hobby like flying personal aircraft.
Factors that Affect Pricing
In almost every circumstance, when you state that your hobby has to do with piloting personal aircraft, you can expect a supplement to your life insurance application that will ask the following questions:
- Your Age
- Your overall health and health history of immediate family members
- Your medical history
- Your other hobbies and career choice
- Your total flight hours
- The type of flying you do most often
- The type of aircraft you fly
Some insurers rate these factors more favorably than others, so it’s important to discuss this with us to get the best rates for your particular circumstances.
How to Lower Your Premiums
Since you are being rated as a pilot, it’s likely you will be paying more for life insurance than another applicant who does not operate an aircraft. Knowing this, there are certain steps you can take to make certain you are not getting charged additional premiums for circumstances under your control.
If you smoke tobacco, you will automatically pay at least double the rates of a non-smoker. If you are looking to reduce premiums, you need to stop smoking at least 12 or 13 months before applying for life insurance.
Health and Lifestyle
If you think you’re paying too much because you’re a pilot, wait until you get an insurance quote if you also have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and you’re thirty pounds overweight. You should absolutely take control of your health before you apply for life insurance.
Shop Multiple Companies
Since all insurance companies typically look at the risk of piloting a plane differently, shop with as many as possible. You can do this quickly and easily by using an independent insurance broker like InstantQuoteLifeInsurance. Our agency represents all of the major highly-rated insurance carriers and the little-known carriers that allow risks the others do not.
Our insurance professionals can take one application and then shop it with every company we feel will deliver a favorable rate and the best and most affordable solutions that will meet your needs and budget.
What if I don't Qualify?
We are used to people assuming the worst-case scenario, and we are prepared to help you overcome if you aren’t qualified for traditional life insurance. In cases where our insurance companies are not inclined to offer coverage, we will offer “guaranteed issue” life insurance where you will not be declined because of hobbies, health, travel, or occupation.
In these cases, we can offer life insurance that requires no medical exam and will not take any health issues into consideration. Yes, you’ll pay more since the insurer is accepting an unknown, but at least you can get peace of mind knowing that your surviving loved ones will not have to pony up for your funeral costs when they are mourning a loss.
Frequently Asked Questions
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