Can pilots get life insurance?

Life insurance is a necessity for those in hazardous occupations and the life of a pilot could be considered dangerous.

However, you can still secure affordable life insurance to protect your loved ones.

Life insurance for commercial pilots and life insurance for helicopter pilots can be attained with manageable premiums in most circumstances. This is providing the flying routes are considered safe and flights are over an acceptable number of hours within a year.

The more risk that is involved will be reflected with higher premiums. It means while life insurance for private pilots or life insurance for glider pilots is accessible, it may be deemed more of a risk to the insurer. This also applies to military pilots who are in active service.

Reassured can offer fee-free quotes for life insurance.

What does life insurance for pilots cover?

Life insurance for pilots is designed to financially safeguard your family’s future if you were to pass away.

While there isn’t a specific life insurance product for pilots, there are many options available for those in aviation occupations.

If you were to pass away within your life insurance term, your beneficiaries could utilise the pay out to cover the following:

  • Mortgage or rent - By being able to provide a lump sum to your loved ones, life insurance can help them to cover mortgage payments to help ensure your family don’t lose their home
  • Childcare - If you have children under 18, it can be used to help them stay financially secure until they reach adulthood or financial maturity. It could also be used for a child’s further education costs
  • Funeral costs - With the average cost of a funeral being £4,056 and average cost of dying at £8,864[1], you may want to ensure your family aren’t left with a potentially unaffordable cost if you were to pass
  • Replace an income - If you’re the main provider of a household, life insurance can help your family cover financial costs without you. Day-to-day costs including food and travel, utilities, council tax and other living costs could be covered
  • Loan or debt payments - If your household has additional loan or debt instalments in place, life insurance can help cover the remaining costs which may have transferred over to your family
  • Providing an inheritance - It can be worth considering life insurance so you can leave behind an inheritance. This could be used to help a partner retire or secure your children’s futures. Alternatively, this could also be used to form a charity donation to an institute which is important to you

As a pilot, your occupation won’t prevent you from taking out cover but your life insurance premiums will be increased to reflect any dangers that would be prevalent (for example, if you fly in high risk-areas).

If you fly or hang glide regularly as a hobby, your premiums will also be increased, due to this being a high-risk activity but, rest assured, it shouldn’t affect your chance of securing life insurance.

It’s important that you’re open and honest about your occupation and/or hobbies during the application process.

Failure to do so could lead to a pay out being withheld when the time comes (not telling the truth is known as non-disclosure and this is a form of insurance fraud).

It’s also worth noting that many life insurance companies will have an aviation exclusion. Essentially, this means a policyholder won’t be covered in a private plane crash, as opposed to a commercial plane crash.

In these circumstances, beneficiaries may not be able to make a claim if a private plane crash is fatal to the policyholder.

If hang gliding is a hobby, a hang gliding accident resulting in the policyholder’s death is another common exclusion for life insurance policies.

Specific policies may also exclude parachuting from an aircraft or travelling as a student pilot or aircraft crew member.

If you don’t know whether a certain scenario is covered, it’s best to check the terms and conditions with your provider.


If you’re unsure how much life insurance cover you need, you can enter your financial commitments below:

How much life insurance do you need?

Enter your financial commitments to understand the level of pilots life insurance cover you need.

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£121,687 is the estimated average outstanding mortgage per household in the UK.

Our property is generally the largest financial commitment any of us will make.

Your life insurance should cover this significant debt should you no longer be around.

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According to Money Advice Service, full-time childcare in the UK now costs £242 a week.

The loss of a parent could result in the need for additional childcare whilst the surviving parent increases their hours to account for lost income.

Your life insurance cover should factor in this additional required outgoing.

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The average level of debt (minus a mortgage) in the UK is £15,385.

Factoring in any outstanding debts in your name when arranging life insurance ensures this burden is not passed to loved ones.

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You may wish to leave your loved ones an inheritance or lump sum gift upon your passing.

Factoring in the gift amount when arranging your cover will ensure the pay out amount will be sufficient to provide your loved ones with this selfless gesture.

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According to SunLife, the average cost of a UK funeral is now £4,417, whilst the total cost of dying is £9,493.

This is a 130% increase over the past 16 years and shows no signs of slowing down.

A significant cost which should be factored into the amount of life insurance you secure.

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If you are one of the 65% of the UK who are lucky enough to have savings, this could be used as protection if you were to pass away.

Any pay outs from existing life insurance policies and investments can also be used as financial protection for your loved ones if you were no longer around.

Factor this into your required cover amount.

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Your total cover estimate

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Let us help you find your best quotes

Alternatively, you can contact our team, who offer fee-free, no-obligation quotes, to help secure you the right policy.

What are the benefits of life insurance for pilots?

Life insurance has more of a purpose than financial coverage if you pass away. One of the main incentives is peace of mind.

Knowing your loved ones and family will be able to continue financially can alleviate the stress and anxiety you may have around this subject.

For those who are entitled to a death in service benefit or have savings, life insurance can help increase the amount of money your family would have if you pass away.

This could be a cheaper option than trying to accrue additional savings for your family, although it's possible to pay more into a life insurance policy than the pay out amount (sum assured) or live past the term length on certain policies.

There are a varied range of life insurance policies available for every pilot’s personal and financial circumstances.

Policies can either last for a specified period of time (term life insurance) or last for life (whole of life insurance) and it can be possible to secure more than one policy simultaneously to cover your needs.

Certain policies can also include terminal illness or critical illness cover, ensuring that additional protection is provided.

If you were to pass away after a policy term has been reached, however, any claims by beneficiaries would be unsuccessful.

What’s the best life insurance for pilots?

The best life insurance a pilot can take out is subjective. One policy is not better than another, but one may be more aligned to your requirements.

The most suitable policies will have the necessary coverage for your financial commitments and will last for the specified period you're concerned about. They’ll also be at the lowest, affordable price the policy holder can manage.

The type of flying you do, whether commercial or private, as well as the type of vehicle flown could affect your premiums. Similarly, whether you fly as an occupation, hobby or both will have an impact.

Regardless of the policy you decide upon, it’s important to provide accurate information to ensure your cover is valid.

The types of life insurance that can be arranged for pilots through Reassured include:

Pilots level term life insurance

Level term life insurance for pilots is a good choice for pilots with interest-based mortgages.

However, it's possible to outlive this type of policy. If you pass away after the term, claims will be unsuccessful.

Policy key features:

  • Term length can last up to 40 years
  • Cover lasts for a fixed amount of time (a term)
  • Fixed premiums
  • Sum assured stays fixed over term length
  • Maximum sum assured of £1,000,000
  • Medical questions are a requirement
  • Terminal illness cover is included at no extra cost
  • Critical illness cover can be included for an additional cost
Pilots decreasing term life insurance

Decreasing term life insurance for pilots is a good choice for pilots with repayment mortgages.

However, it's possible to outlive this type of policy. If you pass away after the term, claims will be unsuccessful.

Policy key features:

  • Term length can last up to 40 years
  • Cover lasts for a fixed amount of time (a term)
  • Fixed premiums
  • Sum assured decreases over term length
  • Maximum sum assured of £1,000,000
  • Medical questions are a requirement
  • Terminal illness cover is included at no extra cost
  • Critical illness cover can be included for an additional cost
Pilots whole of life insurance

Whole of life insurance tends to be the most expensive life insurance policy. However, it guarantees a pay out on any successful claim.

It could be a good choice for any pilot who wants to guarantee their loved ones an inheritance, regardless of when they pass away.

Policy key features:

  • Covers the policyholder for life
  • Guarantees a pay out on a successful claim
  • Fixed premiums
  • Sum assured is fixed
  • Maximum sum assured of £1,000,000
  • Medical questions are a requirement
  • Terminal illness cover isn’t available
  • Critical illness cover can't be included
Pilots over 50s life insurance

Over 50 plans offer the smallest maximum sum assured but requires no medical information.

This policy only covers UK residents aged between 50 - 85 and can be a good choice for pilots with poor health, due to the lack of medical information required.

Policy key features:

  • Covers the policyholder for life
  • Guarantees a pay out on a successful claim
  • Fixed premiums
  • Sum assured is fixed
  • Maximum sum assured of £20,000
  • Medical questions not required
  • 12 - 24 month period at beginning of policy before claims are eligible
  • Terminal illness available with certain companies
  • Critical illness cover can't be included

You can take life insurance out through Reassured. Our award-winning service provides over 10 years of industry knowledge, meaning we'll find the quote which is right for you.

Do pilots pay more for life insurance?

Commercial and private pilots can sometimes pay more due to their occupation.

Occupation is one of multiple factors which can affect your premium cost, however. Most insurers will check a number of personal features to calculate your premium.

These factors that can affect your premiums are:

  • Age - On average, the older you are when you take out a life insurance policy, the higher your premiums will be
  • Health - A history of poor health will bring more risk to the insurer and will be reflected in your premiums
  • Occupation - The more hazardous an occupation, the higher your premiums. Life insurance for airline pilots is considered less of a risk than for a private pilot. However, both occupations are still eligible for life insurance, albeit at a higher than standard premium
  • Lifestyle - Lifestyle can cover a range of factors, including your exercise habits, how much alcohol you consume and your hobbies. The healthier you are and less dangerous your pastimes are, the cheaper your premiums
  • Weight and BMI - If you’re overweight or you have a BMI over 25, your premiums are likely to be increased due to the health complications that being overweight can cause
  • Smoking status - If you smoke or have been a smoker within the last 12 months, you'll have higher premiums
  • Cover amount - This is dependent on how much coverage you would like. Your monthly premiums will be higher if you require a larger sum assured
  • Policy length - Term policies range from between 2 and 40 years. The longer your term is, the more you pay for your cover. This is also applicable for whole of life insurance which is more expensive than term policies. This is due to being designed to cover you until you pass away

Regardless of your circumstances, Reassured can help find affordable life insurance for pilots, with fee-free no obligation quotes.

How much life insurance should a pilot have?

There’s no universal answer for the amount of life insurance a pilot should have.

Instead, you would need to look at your individual circumstances, your savings, any death in service or occupational benefits you have with your employer, and your reasons for requiring life insurance.

Life insurance needs to be affordable to you but also have the necessary amount of cover you require.

You may want to take out a policy to cover a mortgage or ensure your children’s futures are financially stable. It may be an amount to cover your funeral costs or to help your loved ones with day-to-day expenses.

Whatever your reason may be, ensure you choose an amount that could cover these costs and bear in mind any potential additional costs, like a possible increase in inflation.

Whichever policy you take, it’s important to review your life insurance if you reach a new life milestone. Your marriage status changing, a new child and whether you have a new mortgage can all mean you require a different assured sum on your life insurance.

It’s possible to invoke a special events clause in this scenario, which would change your policy’s level of cover, but this isn’t offered by all insurance providers.

This essentially means you would be able to amend your policy as opposed to taking out a brand new one. A brand new policy is an option but requires new medical underwriting and it could potentially have higher premiums.

It’s best to check the terms and conditions of your policy before purchasing to ensure you have the necessary coverage. You can also ask one of our friendly team about this option.

Writing a life insurance policy in trust

It can be beneficial to write your life insurance in trust. This can detach your policy from your estate and leave a trustee in charge of your funds, who can distribute them as per your specific requests.

By specifying exactly how you’d like the funds to be divided, a trustee can ensure it is allocated as you’ve requested. They can also look after funds for children under 18 years old and distribute funds to young beneficiaries once they have reached the designated age the policy holder has chosen.

Policies written in trust help avoid, or minimise, inheritance tax. Inheritance tax is charged at 40% on estates valued over £325,000 and comprise of your property, possessions, jewellery and money.

Life insurance pay outs are classified as part of your estate unless written in trust.

Writing your life insurance policy in trust detaches it from your estate, allowing your beneficiaries to receive your full sum assured.

The final key reason is to avoid a lengthy probate process. The probate process is the administration of your estate once you’ve passed away and can often take up to 9 months.

Claims on the policy can't be made until probate has been granted. Writing your policy in trust can circumvent this, meaning a pay out is quicker.

Other insurance policies for pilots

There are some additional policies that pilots may want to take out alongside a life insurance policy.

These policies can be taken out simultaneously with life insurance or can be included. These can provide a more comprehensive cover solution:

  • Critical illness cover - Critical illness cover can be added to term-based life insurance policies for an additional cost, but not with whole of life policies or over 50’s plans. It can also be purchased as a stand-alone policy through some providers. It provides a lump sum to those who’ve been diagnosed with certain serious illnesses (listed within the terms and conditions). These funds can be used to subsidise lost income or cover medical fees if you’re unable to work
  • Terminal illness cover - Terminal illness cover comes free of charge with all term-based policies taken out through Reassured and select over 50’s plans. If you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness which leaves you less than 12 months to live, you’ll be able to make a claim for an early pay out. This can go towards end-of-life costs or be in preparation for when you pass away
  • Income protection - This can’t be added to a life insurance policy but can be taken out simultaneously. Income protection pays up to 70% of your income if you’re unable to work due to injuries or illness
  • Funeral cover - Funeral cover is designed solely to cover the costs that would be incurred with your funeral. Services are carried out by a trusted local funeral director and pay outs are either issued to your loved ones, or directly to the funeral director
  • Aviation insurance - This is a type of insurance designed specifically around the operation of an aircraft and other aviation risks. This can also cover the loss or damage of your aircraft. Aviation insurance can’t be secured through Reassured

Compare pilot life insurance quotes

Reassured can help find the most suitable and affordable life insurance quotes for pilots.

We can save you time and money by providing information on all your available options. We can then help compare quotes from some of the UK’s leading providers.

Our fee-free, no-obligation quotes are clearly explained, allowing you to make an informed decision about a policy that’s best for you and your loved ones.

Get in touch with our friendly team to start your life insurance journey.

Sources:

[1] https://www.sunlife.co.uk/siteassets/documents/cost-of-dying/cost-of-dying-report.pdf/

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