Life Insurance - Yikes!

Philip Greenspun's Homepage : Philip Greenspun's Homepage Discussion Forums : Aviation : One Thread
Notify me of new responses
I am an instrument-rated private pilot with around 150 hours time, almost exclusively in a
Diamond Star. I recently had a child, and have (barely) begun the process of getting life
insurance. My friend, who had almost completed private pilot training but stopped, also
recently had a child. When he shopped insurance with a broker, and answered that had
piloted a small plane within the last two years, he was told that his insurance would be 10x
the price -- i.e., it was going to be $170/mo without coverage for flying a small plane, or
$1,700/month to be covered in the event of death while flying a small aircraft.

I admit to having done no more research than that at this point. But I thought I'd see if
folks can steer me in the right direction to save me some time. I'm considering
investigating AOPA for coverage, potentially ONLY in the event of an accident, and then
getting traditional coverage from a large insurer.

Is it really that much more expensive? What are some options others have explored?

Many thanks in advance.

-- Justin Toner, February 16, 2013


Talk to the AOPA insurance agency. It can't be that unattractive a risk because they are constantly spamming me with offers for life insurance (they probably don't realize that, in addition to being an airplane pilot, I am also a helicopter instructor!). Of course, a lot of people involved in private aviation don't need life insurance. Consider the Piper Meridian owner. He crashes the family Meridian and kills himself. The insurance company pays $1.5 million in hull value to the estate. His income from labor stops but so do the expenses of operating the Meridian ($100,000 per year?).

-- Philip Greenspun, May 20, 2013

I'd recommend getting your policy from an agency that specializes in life insurance for private pilots, as they probably know what you actually plan to be doing when they give you a quote, unlike one of the larger companies that consider pilots of small airplanes to be high risk customers.

-- Sam Lerman-Hahn, February 17, 2013

I was recently in your shoes -- a private pilot with about 100 hours, and a new baby so seeking life insurance.

My advice is to join AOPA, if you are not already a member, and then seek a quote from their insurance arm.

I also got several quotes and sought a broker, but none of the other insurance agencies or the broker quite knew what to do with me. It was clear that their policies were not written for pilots or a great fit for a pilot. With my 100 hours, in several cases I was in the worst of worlds -- a pilot, meaning a higher risk factor, but not one with enough hours to be a lower risk factor.

The quote I got (and accepted) from AOPA was about 60% cheaper than the next-cheapest option. And it fully covers death by flying.

Good luck!

-- Ryan Harvey, January 15, 2014