Income Protection for Commercial Pilots

Is income protection available to commercial pilots in Australia?

Commercial airline pilots may want to consider income protection insurance policies that are designed specifically to meet the needs of their particular profession. Statistics have shown that every working Australian has one in three chance in becoming disabled for up to three months before turning 65 (Institute of Actuaries of Australia, 2000), and commercial pilots are at no lesser risk. Income protection can provide you with a peace of mind in the form of a replacement income should you become incapacitated due to an illness or injury.

It is important to note that income protection cover may only be made available to commercial pilots that meet a set of specific criteria. However, if you work as a pilot for charter planes, fixed wing aircrafts, or helicopters, your eligibility may be assessed differently by insurance providers.

What are the eligibility requirements for pilots taking out income protection?

Due of the nature of the occupation, there are only a handful of insurance companies that will provide income protection insurance policy options to commercial airline pilots. In order to be eligible for cover, there are a specific set of criteria to comply with, which include:

  • You are an Australian citizen;
  • Are residing in Australia permanently;
  • You must hold an Australian Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL);
  • Have a Class 1 medical certificate issued by the Civil Aviation Safety Association (CASA) that is current (less than 12 months old);
  • Be in employment with a recognised commercial airline operating within Australia with a Regular Public Air Operators certificate, holding the status of Captain, or First Officer, and whose responsibility includes carrying fare paying passengers in accordance with fixed schedules, to and from certain terminals with specific routes.

Comminsure Aviation Cover: Income Protection Designed for Pilots

Aviation Cover from Comminsure is an income protection policy that is specifically designed to meet the needs of pilots, flight engineers, and flight attendants. It provides a replacement income of up to 75% of your monthly wage if you are unable to work due to a temporary disability. Aviation cover is available from both Comminsure’s income protection plans - Income Care and Income Care Plus.

Some of the key features of Comminsure Aviation Cover include:

  • High benefit amount: With Comminsure Aviation Cover, you can apply for up to $30,000 per month or $2million for the duration of cover.
  • Total disability benefit: Your monthly benefit will be payable if you are totally and temporarily disabled and are unable to work.
  • Partial disability: You will be entitled to a monthly benefit payment even if you are able to work at a reduced capacity and/or hours as result of an illness or injury.
  • Choice of agreed or indemnity value: You have the flexibility to choose the premium structure most suited to your needs and financial situation. With indemnity style policy, your monthly benefit will be determined at the time of claim, based on your income at the time. On the other hand, your monthly benefit is determined at the start of your policy with agreed value, using your current income at the time of application.
  • Automatic indexation benefit: Cover will be automatically increased each year in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to keep up with the inflation rate.
  • Recurrent disability benefit: In the event that you suffer from a relapse of a disability, of which a claim was lodged previously, when you return to full-time work, you will be entitled to your monthly benefits without any waiting period.
  • Guaranteed insurability benefit: You can increase your benefit cover by up to 10% every three years without the need to provide further medical evidence.
  • Premium waiver benefit: Your premiums will be waived at the time you are receiving your benefits.
  • Waiver of premium when on maternity leave or unemployed: Comminsure will waive your premiums for up to three months over the life of your policy if you are on maternity leave or have become involuntarily unemployed.
  • Death benefit: A lump sum benefit will be payable in the event of your death.
  • Crisis benefit: If you suffer one of the 18 medical events specified in the policy, Comminsure will provide a lump sum benefit (for up to 6 months).
  • Rehabilitation benefit: Comminsure will reimburse any rehabilitation and treatment expenses that are incurred.
  • Accommodation benefit: Provides cover for a family member’s accommodation costs who is away from home to care for you while you are ill or injured.
  • Family support benefit: When a family member has to take time off work to care for you, Comminsure will cover the loss of income.
  • Overseas assist benefit: In the event that you are temporarily disabled outside of Australia, Comminsure will reimburse the expenses incurred from your travel to return home.
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TopCover AirCrew Insurance Policy

What is the TopCover Insurance Policy?

TopCover is an Income Protection Insurance scheme introduced by the APIP to provide Australian airline pilots with adequate protective cover. Introduced in 2003, all members covered under TopCover are automatically insured for the group minimum income protection cover of $1,000 per month. TopCover is an "Own Occupation" style policy provided by one of Australia's most recognized insurers AIA. This policy is only available for professional airline pilots.

Why was TopCover Designed?

TopCover was designed to provide specialist cover for commercial pilots or flight engineers to account for the increase in loss faced by these professions in the event that they suffer a serious illness or injury.

Are there additional benefits available?

All members can apply for additional cover of:

  • $15,000 per month in income protection cover
  • $500,000 in personal accident cover
  • $80,000 in critical illness cover

Who is Eligible for TopCover?

TopCover is available for members of the Australian International Pilots Association(2003). This includes members of Qantas Airways Limited and their subsidiaries. This includes pilots and flight engineers employed by Jetconnect, Jetstar and QantasLink.

Income protection insurance for commercial pilots contains many different provisions compared to other professions due to the nature of the work involved. Therefore, it is essential to consider income protection as a form of personal insurance to protect you and your family should you be ill or injured for an extended amount of time. With income protection, you can keep on top of your financial commitments and focus on what is most important - your recovery.

What's next?

  • Learn more about Income Protection and download the free guide
  • Why tailor your Income Cover to suit your occupation?
  • Income Protection Insurance and GST

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Coverage is the amount of money that you will be paid in the event of a claim. An insurance consultant can help you determine an appropriate amount. Calculator
Provides a lump sum payment if you become totally and permanently disabled and are unable to return to work.
Provides a lump sum payment if you suffer a serious medical condition. Cover can be taken out for 40-60 medical conditions depending on the policy you choose.
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Income Protection
Income Protection
Cover up to 85% of your income up to $10,000 per month if you can't work due to sickness or injury. Cover for over 1,000 jobs and full-time, part-time and self-employed.
  • Monthly benefit up to $10,000
  • Cover for applicants up to age 60
  • 30 day cooling-off period
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Income Protection
Income Protection
Receive up to 75% of your income each month to a maximum of $25,000 if you can't work due to serious illness or injury.
  • Monthly benefit up to $25,000
  • Available for applicants up to 59 years old
  • 21 day cooling off period
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William Eve

Will is a personal finance writer for specialising in content on insurance. While he cannot give personal advice to clients, Will enjoys explaining the intricacies of different types of protective cover to help individuals and businesses find affordable cover that won't leave them underinsured.

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