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Life insurance for pilots

 Will you get rated or denied as a pilot? It depends on a variety of factors. Some pilots may see a standard premium (or regular rates).  

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 Commercial airline pilots generally receive standard rates – their occupation doesn’t generally impact the premiums. Or as one of our airline pilots described it ‘I drive the bus’.   

 Private pilots may see a rating, depending on the number of hours, any accidents, and type of plane flown. Further, if you’re still in pilot school, this can impact your insurance application as well.

 Here’s the primary things that can impact your ability to receive an unrated policy:

  •  number of hours, and any accidents
  •  where you fly. For example, if you’re flying over remote areas, this will often lead to a higher premium. Bush pilots or if you’re flying up north servicing oil fields can result in a higher premium. 
  •  takeoff and landing points. If you’re taking off and landing at places that aren’t airports, this can impact your premiums as well. For example if you take off and land on water (not an airport) or are flying an air ambulance that lands on roadways, again, this can impact your premiums. Conversely, if you’re landing on water that is an official airport (this does exist) then this would not be considered on it’s own an issue.

 All of these factors have to be evaluated against your specific experiences flying so it’s not possible for us to provide a final or general answer here – that requires a personal review and consultation with one of our advisors. The most general answer we can provide here is that if you’re a commercial pilot driving a ‘bus’ as it where, you will likely receive standard rates. If you’re flying habits coincide with any of the above, then you may be subject to an increased premium.

 Premiums, when increased, are done through what’s called a flat-extra. This is basically a dollar amount per thousand of life insurance. So if you receive a $1.00 rating and purchase a $500,000 policy, the additional premium would be $1.00X 500=$500 annually, or about $40-$45/month.   

 You might also wonder if you could receive an exclusion – life insurance that covers you for death except while flying. If you’re occupation is a pilot then no such exclusion is possible – Canadian life companies do not provide exclusions based on occupation. If you’re not flying for a living, companies are extremely reluctant to provide an exclusion as well as it can result in disagreement about what exactly defines the manner of death and whether it’s related to flying or not. i.e. if you die while in the plane but still on the ground. Effectively, exclusions on life insurance due to flying are not feasible in Canada.

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