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blank 10/01/09 04:04PM Aircraft Insurance, Business Insurance, Pilot Life Insurance

Pilot Life Insurance
Low Rates from PIC

Pilot Insurance Center

Low Rates from PIC

Pilot Insurance Center has convinced some underwriters that most pilots needn’t pay higher life
premiums just because they fly.

If you fly for fun or for a living and you have shopped for life insurance, you probably heard the
agent draw a breath when he learned you were a pilot. If you fly, you pay more for life insurance. A lot more.
My own experience in buying life insurance is typical. After asking my age, weight, whether I smoked
and a number of other health-related questions, the agent quoted me the company’s most attractive rates,
with all the appropriate disclaimers.

When we met to complete the application,things changed. The agent asked if I engaged in any hazardous
activities, including motorcycle riding,scuba diving, skydiving or rock climbing. Then, looking around at
the pictures of airplanes on the wallsand the real airplanes outside thewindow, he dropped the big one: Do
you fly? Yourself I mean?

When I told him that I did, theagent said that the application would have to be submitted to the underwriters
and not too much later he sent me a questionnaire to fill out about my flying. When I received the
company’s offer, it was 30 percenthigher than the agent first quoted.

Enter Bill Fanning of Pilot Insurance Center. Fanning worked as a broker selling life insurance and
doing estate planning beginningin 1982. From his own experience buying life insurance as a pilot, he
believes that insurance companies didn’t know enough about flying totell the difference between a good
risk and a bad one.

Fanning looked at accident numbersand decided that life insurers were missing a lot of good safe pilot
clients and he set out to prove it to them.

Using accident data from the NTSB and other traditional sources,he was able to convince a number of
life insurance carriers that he could differentiate between various levels of risk associated with different types
of flying, types of aircraft and levels of pilot experience and charge accordingly.

PIC is a brokerage rather than an insurance company, but it has agreements with several companies
including Allstate, AIG and Prudential that give it rating discretion.

“We try to rate every case basedupon risk,” Fanning told us. “Our guys have a conversation with you about your flying if you call us for a
quote. We act as your advocate with the insurance company. Our agents are specially trained and know the
difference between CFIs who teach primary students all day long and CFIs who do the occasional flight review
or instrument proficiency check.

They know the difference between a helicopter air ambulance pilot picking up people beside the road in the
middle of the night and a fixed-wing air ambulance pilot flying a Learjet from A to B at flight level 410. Our
rates reflect it.”

Fanning claims he can usually get you a better rate than you’d get anywhere else and can sometimes get
you coverage when everybody else declines you. “You’re never going to do any worse with us and we use the
very best companies in the business.
There’s no downside.”

What’s the Catch?
Although we are naturally skeptical about things that have no downside,Fanning’s claims made sense to us so
we shopped around some. Boiled to its essence, the philosophy of the Pilot Insurance Center is to continue to underwrite
where life insurance company underwriters stop and not to penalize pilots for risk that isn’t real.
Based upon the data gathered, Fanning’s company has come up with underwriting guidelines that allow
it to look critically at each pilot’s situation, rather than treating all of them as if they faced the same risks.

Aerial application pilots are an example of how looking at a pilot’s specific flying profile can make a difference.
In general, ag pilots either get declined or pay the standard smoker rate, the highest rate class there is.
Fanning looked at ag accidents and found that the odds got much better once a pilot had logged around
3000 hours and for pilots who flew purpose-designed turbine-powered ag airplanes. For pilots who meet
these criteria, PIC moves them down a rate class, which saves over $1000 dollars per year in premiums. PIC
also distinguishes between flight instructors who are teaching primary students and those who are strictly
teaching advanced ratings, or those who occasionally do flight reviews or instrument competency checks.

PIC also gives pilots credit for instrument ratings. Private pilots who fly certified airplanes and who
have at least 250 hours and are instrument rated and current will pay  the same rates as non-pilots under
the PIC exclusive program. Pilots of amateur-built airplanes will usually pay more, as will aerobatic pilots.
PIC has dozens of classifications for pilot experience levels, types of flyingand aircraft.
Fanning told us he had clients that ran the gamut from student pilot to space shuttle pilots
and everything in between.

Because of the way the application process works, we were unable to prove everything that Fanning
told us.

When talking to life insurance agents, we had trouble finding any who had enough experience
writing insurance for pilots to tell us what the outcome of the application  process would be for different pilot
scenarios. In order to find out, we would have needed to file an application and submit it to company
underwriters for each quote.

We did, however, do the next best thing, which was to visit numerous internet quoting sites.

When looking for life insurance,we think it pays to do your homework
and shop around. While theinternet has made it seem easier to
instantly get quotes, we don’t think that life insurance is a commodity.
We recommend that you find a good
broker or agent.

Apart from price, there’s a bewildering array of products out there and an agent you trust who is willing
to talk to you long enough to find out what you really need will be a help in your search We also recommend
that you buy your coverage from an insurer with good financial ratings. And if you’re a pilot, you’re
going to need some help. We think that an agency that specializes in insurance for pilots

Pilot Insurance Center seems like a good
bet. They will save you money, time and find you a top-ranked company in the bargain

Pilot Insurance Center

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