You’ve probably heard it said that you have a higher chance of dying on the way to the airport than as a passenger in the aircraft. Now this saying is generally true. That is why life insurance companies won’t hold it against you for being a frequent flyer on commercial flights. However, being a pilot may be a different story which is why piloting an aircraft makes our Top Ten Most Dangerous Hobbies Life Insurance Companies Hate list.
Life Insurance for Pilots
Note: we also can provide pilot loss of license insurance which acts as disability insurance for pilots who lose their license due to injury or illness.
If you are a pilot your avocation or job may be considered high risk life insurance. There are many kinds of pilots, all with various certifications, and life insurance companies take this into consideration when issuing a pilot a life insurance policy whether that life insurance policy is a traditional term life insurance policy or a whole life insurance policy.
A helicopter pilot flying for an adventure flight company in the Himalayas will be treated differently than a pilot who flies an Airbus 320 for a major commercial airline. This is largely because commercial airlines have strict safety policies in place that comply with the national and international regulations assuring that crashes or other incidents are extremely rare. Now let’s get specific on what different pilots looking for life insurance need to be aware of.
Pilots of Private Planes
Private planes are substantially more dangerous than commercial planes, but still slightly less deadly than cars. Pilots of small, private planes may have to pay a slight premium on life insurance, though not always. Insurance companies will want to know things like:
- What certifications/licenses you have
- The exact type of aircraft you most commonly fly
- Your flight hours per year
- Whether or not you have had any past incidents while flying
Only after gathering basic information on your flying habits will a life insurance provider decide whether or not to charge you a premium for being a pilot. It is important that you always tell life insurance companies the truth. By stretching the truth – for example telling them a total number of flight hours that is lower than the number you actually fly – may save you from paying a higher premium, but in the long run it may prove to be less than beneficial. If an insurance company finds out you’ve fudged the facts on your application, your life insurance policy may be null and void when it comes time for your family to collect.
Many people consider flying a helicopter to be much more dangerous than a private plane or other aircraft. While you may read about more helicopter crashes, a lot of it has to do with the terrain in which helicopters are flown, not the actual helicopters themselves. Take for example the recent earthquake relief work in the mountainous terrain of Nepal. After an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.9 on the Richter Scale hit the country, the roads were damaged so badly it was impossible to bring essential aid by land, and because mountain villages had no runways for planes to land on, helicopters were the only possible option. Over the course of two months of daily aid missions, two helicopters – one a US military helicopter, and another a private chopper rented out by an international organization – crashed and all persons on board perished. The reason for such a high fatality rate is strictly due to the difficult terrain of valleys and peaks.
Although in a specific situation such as this, the fatality rate may be higher for helicopter pilots versus small plane pilots, this is not always the case. Companies offering different types of life insurance policies for helicopter pilots will want to know:
- The type of helicopter the pilot most often flies
- The typical flight conditions
- Whether or not the pilot is involved in riskier missions such as rescue or military operations
- If the pilot ever receives compensation for flying, and if so, how often
- Fight hours per year
These factors will help a life insurance company to determine whether or not to charge a helicopter pilot more for their policy.
What Other Kinds of Pilots May Be Charged a Premium?
Basically any time you decide to operate an aircraft hundreds or even tens of thousands of feet above the ground, a life insurance company will sit up and take notice. You don’t have to be a commercial pilot for an insurance company to take interest in your flying habits – in fact, as earlier mentioned, a commercial pilot may be the least of a life insurance company’s worries. Other types of pilots that may be subjected to questioning for a potential premium include (but are not limited to):
- Hot air balloon pilots
- Hang gliders
- Recreational pilots
- Sport pilots
Again, the premium you pay is not dependent solely on the type of pilot you are, but includes many other factors such as the purpose for your flights, and the amount of time you spend in the sky.
Will All Pilots Pay a Premium?
Not all pilots will pay a premium for flying. Most good life insurance companies will assess the risk factors associated with flying – if any – and decide whether or not it is justifiable to charge a pilot a premium.
If you would like to know whether or not you will be charged a premium you can contact TermLife2Go. We represent dozens of reputable life insurance companies, however we keep our clients – the policyholder- at the heart of what we do. If you are a pilot of any kind, we will help you to determine which life insurance company will offer you the best whole and term life insurance rates for your lifestyle and life situation.
We get to know you and your needs and then recommend an appropriate life insurance company and policy accordingly. Our number one aim is that you get the most out of your life insurance policy and that it ultimately gives your loved ones the best protection possible.
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