No matter how bad the economy gets, there are certain industries which just seem to be operating in somewhat of a bubble, one of which is the one I’m in the very heart of – aviation. I’m not even just talking about it from the point of view of commercial aviation, but also as it exists in the form of military aviation, private aviation and even diplomatically; the transportation of government officials, etc.
I won’t go all the way to say that the likes of me will always have a job, but I can quite honestly say that much like how getting something like a degree in medicine is one of the safest bets you can make by way of getting a qualification with job security in mind, getting your pilot’s licence is also a relatively safe bet. I say relatively because I’ve come to realise that pilots get all the perks we do for a reason, that being that we should make full use of them while we can and whenever we get the opportunity.
I won’t lie, it really is a great position to be in knowing that you can pretty much choose to travel and live anywhere in the world, even when you’re off-duty and, having collaborated with other pilots from all around the world I sometimes even envy those who work for private clients, like those who fly the private jets of billionaires.
Thinking about all the perks we get however gave me a sort of insider’s point of view on issues like travel insurance. I mean for me travel insurance is sort of built in to my salary package and all the benefits that come with it, so I know I would never have to worry about how to proceed should the worst happen and I became incapacitated for example.
The average hard-working person who isn’t in the upper echelons of the aviation industry would have to think a little differently about something like travel insurance however and really take the time and make the effort to unpack just exactly what it is your travel insurance covers. Does the insurance pay out in cash for example if you’ve suffered personal injury while abroad and do they perhaps even cover the legal costs associated with soliciting the services of an injury attorney?
These aren’t very comfortable questions to have to consider, but they’re necessary considerations nevertheless because anything can happen and you just have to be prepared should something happen.
So my advice to anybody who is taking out travel insurance is that they should model what they get in coverage around the perks which are afforded to a pilot. In other words, you should make sure that your travel insurance is comprehensive enough to cover you in the same way that a pilot is covered under the conditions of their employment and deployment.
You might have to supplement some areas with stand-by services like having the contacts of personal injury attorneys who don’t charge an upfront consultation fee, for example, perhaps to make up for the short fall of your travel insurance not covering such legal fees.