Among the several different hobbies and occupations which are harder to insure, flying is among them. Specifically, getting life insurance for helicopter pilots can be troublesome if you work with an agent who is unfamiliar with the risk profile. We are here to close the gap.
You can get affordable coverage, and utilizing one of the 50 or more private insurers we work with will yield the best life insurance rates; this is contrary to popular belief of working with clubs, organizations, and large scale closed group benefit plans, where you’ll pay more.
Below we go over every detail you’ll need to know about in order to get the best coverage from top insurers, and you’ll see the difference it can make when working with a knowledgeable agency.
Cheaper Life Insurance For Helicopter Pilots
Just because you pilot a helicopter doesn’t mean you should get poor approval ratings, however, it may still increase your costs through flat extras. So, you can still get approved at Standard or better rates, depending on all other underwriting factors, but the increase in premium comes attached to the base premium.
A flat extra is nothing more than a surcharge cost per thousand attributed to your particular risk profile.
When stated by an agent or insurance company, it usually sounds small. Your agent may quote you with a $2.50 or $5.00 flat extra. Unfortunately, it’s not just this dollar amount in fees. It’s this dollar amount multiplied by the 1,000’s of insurance you’re buying. Here’s a quick example:
Jenny wants to protect her family, and has calculated $300,000 would be sufficient coverage. However, her insurance company quoted her at Standard with a $3.00 flat extra.
The base premium for her policy was $500 per year, but her flat extra fee is an additional $900! Her fee was calculated as $3.00 x 300 (the number of 1,000’s of insurance she applied for), or $900, which brings her new total to $1,400 per year!
These numbers, while made up, show you exactly how much a flat extra can really add for helicopter pilots. This is why it’s so crucial to find an expert impaired risk underwriter, like us, who knows which companies have the least amount of fees.
Our Unique Process
First, as mentioned above, you’ll need an independent, high risk agent or agency to help you navigate the many companies who will be best suited for you. The underwriting guidelines of each are subject to change at any time, so any agent who tells you one company always outperforms another is incorrect.
We start by asking you very detailed and qualifying information right from the beginning, and can even request live quotes from an insurer before even applying; this helps you avoid needing to apply at more than one carrier, which could hurt your final approval if you need to switch from one to the next.
Here are the types of questions you’ll need to supply information for specifically regarding your flying:
- When were you originally certified by the FAA (Federal Aviation Association)?
- What type of certification were you approved for?
– Other (student, sport, etc.)
- How hours, in total, have you logged as a helicopter pilot (PIC hours)?
- How often do you fly, and approximately how many hours, per year?
- What types of aircraft are you piloting?
- Are you paid to fly? If so, is it your primary source of income?
- Have you been involved with violations, infractions, accidents, or otherwise of any kind?
Every factor is heavily considered, and weighted differently. For example, while a helicopter pilot who identifies as a student might see as much as Standard with $2.50 flat extra, a seasoned, private pilot could see as high as Preferred, no flat extra. It’s the little nuances which we pay attention to, and they may save you thousands per year.
Assuming you have the flying information in good standing with the carrier, you’ll still need to qualify based on the usual factors, such as your health. While you can get life insurance without an exam, you’ll pay slightly more to do so, so prepare to meet with an examiner to have your BMI verified and samples of blood and urine collected.
Additional premium factors include:
- Coverage Amount
- Policy Duration
- Family History
- Driving History
- Tobacco Use
Only when all information has been received in good order by the underwriter can they begin to assess the risk of approving you. Your rating is based on their judgement from the data you’ve given, so you can see how important accuracy and depth are. We even suggest writing a cover letter, where necessary, to give the underwriter a comprehensive visual of your risk.
Always use an independent agent when looking for life insurance as a helicopter pilot. Expect a little extra leg work up front, but it will pay off, sometimes to the tune of several thousand dollars per year. Get a quote on this page and we’ll be in touch to get you started.