Why commercial pilots need life insurance
Commercial pilots with financial obligations like a spouse, children, or a mortgage need life insurance, just like anyone else. However, if you’re a commercial pilot, your occupation may impact which companies are the best fit for you.
Life insurance companies use a variety of factors— including age, gender, health, and lifestyle risk factors — to determine the risk of insuring you and the rate you’ll pay for your coverage.
Some insurers have stricter guidelines for commercial pilots because they view their profession as an increased risk. Other companies can offer their best rates to commercial airline pilots.
Working with an independent broker like Policygenius can help you find a life insurance policy with a company that will be the best fit for your occupation and personal circumstances.
Best life insurance companies for commercial pilots
When choosing the best pilot life insurance, we took into consideration factors like aviation exclusions, price, and convenience of application. Each company below can offer affordable and comprehensive coverage for commercial pilots.
We used industry data, pricing from Policygenius carrier partners, and third-party ratings like A.M. Best and J.D. Power to pick the best insurers on the market. Our independent recommendations will help you get life insurance coverage with confidence.
The best way to ensure you’re getting the most suitable coverage for you is to have a personalized call with a Policygenius expert.
Best term life insurance: Corebridge Financial
Most affordable life insurance: Legal & General America
Best instant decision life insurance: Brighthouse Financial
Best term life insurance for commercial pilots
Corebridge Financial (formerly AIG Life & Retirement) offers one of the best term life insurance options for commercial pilots. If you work for a major commercial airline, fly exclusively in the U.S. and Canada, and don’t fly recreationally, you can qualify for up to Preferred Plus rates — the lowest risk classification.
Most affordable life insurance for commercial pilots
Legal & General America, which also does business as Banner Life and William Penn, offers some of the most affordable rates across many risk classifications, so you may pay less with Legal & General America than another insurer. This insurer can offer its best rates to pilots who work for a major commercial airline and have regularly scheduled flights.
Best instant decision life insurance for commercial pilots
Brighthouse Financial can offer up to Preferred Plus rates for commercial pilots who work exclusively on domestic flights.
Brighthouse offers an instant-decision application process during which you answer a series of health questions over the phone instead of taking an in-person medical exam. This streamlines the application process, so you’ll have coverage sooner.
How your aviation profile impacts your life insurance application
When applying for life insurance as a commercial pilot, you’ll likely have to answer additional questions about your job, including:
Do you fly internationally or domestically?
Do you fly recreationally?
Who is your employer?
Are your flights on a regular schedule?
Insurance companies will also validate your commercial license and may ask what type of aircraft you operate. Some may also ask to see your medical certificate that deems you fit to operate an aircraft. 
Some insurance companies prefer that you exclusively fly for work as part of a commercial airline, as opposed to recreationally.
If you fly recreationally in addition to your job, you’ll answer more questions about the types of aircraft you operate, and how many flight hours you typically log in a year. You’ll also likely pay more in premiums.
What is an aviation exclusion rider?
An aviation exclusion rider is a provision that can be added to a pilot’s life insurance policy. It dictates that the beneficiaries wouldn’t receive the death benefit if the insured dies by flying a plane. Some aviation riders cover related aviation activities, too, like skydiving or parachuting.
Some insurance companies offer their best rates to commercial pilots — except they require an aviation exclusion rider, which offers you less robust coverage. In other cases, some insurers require pilots to pay a flat extra fee to account for extra risk.
Other insurers are more lenient with commercial pilots, and have guidelines that dictate flying for a commercial airline is less risky than flying privately.
Best types of life insurance for commercial pilots
The best type of life insurance for pilots will depend on your financial responsibilities and goals. Below are some of the most common life insurance options for commercial pilots.
Term life insurance
Term life insurance is one of the most affordable life insurance options on the market. It’s the best option for most people looking to protect their income and provide their family with a financial safety net to cover any debts — including a mortgage or any personal loans.
If your primary concern is providing your family with a buffer to replace your income if something happens to you, term life insurance is the best option for you.
Permanent life insurance
Permanent life insurance is appropriate for people who are already maximizing contributions to other investment accounts and looking to buy life insurance to diversify their investment portfolio, or for people who have long-term protection needs, like dependents who require lifelong care.
Types of permanent life insurance, like whole life insurance, are on average five to 15 times more expensive than comparable term life policies.
Instant decision life insurance
Instant decision life insurance typically refers to term life policies that differ from the traditional application process and offer expedited approval.
Instant decision life insurance policies don’t require the in-person medical exam. Instead, you answer additional health questions over the phone.
The insurance company then reviews existing medical, driving, and financial records to determine your eligibility and premiums.
To be eligible to apply for an instant issue policy, you typically need to have few health conditions and risk factors, but commercial pilots can still qualify for some instant decision policies.
How much does life insurance cost for commercial pilots?
A 30-year-old commercial pilot can pay between $22.37 and $27.97 per month for a 20-year term life insurance policy with a $500,000 death benefit payout. Your exact rates will depend on your qualifications, whether you fly domestically or internationally, and other factors, like your age and health.
Term life insurance rates for commercial pilots
When should commercial pilots purchase life insurance?
Generally speaking, you should buy life insurance as soon as you have the financial responsibilities that warrant a policy, or even before.
However, if you’re a student pilot in the process of obtaining your license, you’ll likely present more of a risk to insurers, so your premiums could be higher.
Some insurance companies also view younger pilots as an increased risk, so if you’re below age 26 or even age 30, you could pay more in premiums. If this applies to you and you don’t have dependents or debts yet, it might make sense to wait before applying.
Benefits of life insurance for commercial pilots
A pilot’s life insurance provides a financial safety net for their family and other financial responsibilities in the absence of their income.
Although you may have to shop around to find the best policy for you as a commercial pilot, it’s still valuable to have the financial protection you need, especially if you have children, a spouse, or others who rely on you financially.
Working with an independent broker like Policygenius can help you compare options from top insurers in one spot. At Policygenius, our experts are licensed in all 50 states and can walk you through the entire life insurance buying process while offering transparent, unbiased advice.