29 March 2013 0 Comments

The Price of Work and Flying Too High

private aircraftIn my last entry I discussed how avocations can affect life insurance premiums.  Now I move on to occupations as a hazard as well as aviation.

Some jobs will be the cause for policies to carry an extra premium per thousand of benefit.  For example, if you are an astronaut you might expect to pay an extra $10 per thousand, so on a $500,000 policy you’d be adding $5,000 to the normal annual premium.

Some occupations that you might expect would carry a surcharge do not.  Municipal firemen, police officers, commercial fishers, most military personnel, nuclear energy workers, electrical power line maintenance workers and commercial airline pilots are not usually charged extra for their life insurance.  However, if you are a professional motorboat racer you might be charged an extra $25.00 per thousand; jockeys pay about $7.50 extra; rodeo performers an extra $2.50; electrical tower erectors and linemen get hit with $2.50 extra; steeplejacks with about $7.50 extra and lumber industry high climbers, riggers and toppers are topped off with a surcharge of $3.75 per thousand.

A few years ago I was able obtain a policy with no extra charge for a well known Hollywood Producer/Director who was known for his deep water filming explorations.  He had been hit with a $5.00 per thousand extra by a major insurer before I saw the application.  It was a matter of carefully documenting the case and the experience of the applicant.  Be sure you work with your agent to get the very best offer if you are being hit with an occupational extra charge.  What I’ve quoted here are only estimates.


As stated above, most commercial pilots are not charged extra, but some might be who are flying other than fixed wing planes and non-scheduled routes to regions that, in themselves,  are hazardous.

Private flying is another matter.  There is often an extra charge for private flying based on the number of hours of experience and anticipated future flying hours.  Student pilots are charged the most.  The insurance application will include a question that asks if you intend to fly.  If your intentions are nothing more than a Walter Mitty dream, with no formal inquiry to flight schools, keep those dreams to yourself.

If you don’t want to pay the extra premium, many insurance companies will drop the extra charge if you include an aviation exclusion rider on the policy.  This means that if death occurs while the insured is piloting or performing other crew member duties, the death benefit will not be paid.  This exclusion rider might be used by a licensed pilot who has been hit with an extra premium, but insists that he no longer intends to fly.  If that’s the case, the exclusion rider makes sense.  Just stay out of the cockpit!

Coming up:  Do You Have Analysis Paralysis or Procrastination Infestation?

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