For Professional Aircrew
If you were to suffer a serious illness or injury then your career could be at risk. For expatriate pilots, this risk also extends to families through every aspect of expatriate life including housing, children's education, medical cover and even the ability to stay in Hong Kong. TopCover has been designed to provide a secure, stable monthly income to enable you to have sufficient time to deal with any medical condition and to plan for the future. Its primary aim is to provide you with time to deal with your situation, without financial distress. Personal Accident and Critical Illness benefits can also provide immediate cash lump sums, even when you are in the early stages of your disability and still employed by your company. By providing financial security, pilots with TopCover are often able to return to flying - either with their current company, or with a new employer in the future, once the medical problem has been resolved.
TopCover Income Protection provides up to US$15,000 a month in benefits. These benefits are paid for up to 60 months for any one claim for the same or related cause. Monthly benefits do not have to be paid consecutively. For example, if you recover from your illness and return to work, but after a period of time you are grounded again for the same or related medical condition, then the balance of any monthly benefits not yet paid remain available to you. Any new medical disability in the future would be eligible for the full 60 monthly benefits.
There is a Waiting Period of 180 days from the first day that you are unable to fly before any benefits are paid. TopCover is designed for serious medical conditions and not for short-term illnesses or injuries, which should be covered by your employer.
Monthly benefits are paid until all 60 monthly benefits have been paid, or until age 60, or until death, whichever first occurs.
The amount of benefit paid each month depends upon the actual loss of income you have suffered. The income you can insure is your entire gross income from your employment and includes all salary, duty payments and all expatriate allowances.
If you are still employed during a claim, you are covered for your full insured benefit amount, subject to a limit of 100% of your pre-disability gross income. This means that if you are still employed by your company and receiving a lower monthly salary due to being grounded, TopCover can 'top you up' to a maximum of your full income.
If you leave your company and subsequently return to regular employment, either as a pilot or in any other role, TopCover will continue to pay benefits in accordance with the Proportionate Benefit Formula as described in the policy. Basically, your new income will be supplemented by benefit payments in proportion to your actual loss of income and the percentage of your income that you had insured. You will always be financially better off working, than not working. In this way, TopCover provides a period of financial rehabilitation to enable you to re-start your aviation career, or start a new career in any other occupation that you choose.
If you are unable to work, then benefits will be paid until the benefit period is exhausted.
TopCover offers up to US$500,000 in Personal Accident insurance for each insured person. Every employer offers some kind of Personal Accident insurance to all their staff. There are often limitation on that cover. TopCover offers worldwide, 24 hour protection with very few exclusions to the cover. This means that wherever you travel, whether on or off duty, you can be sure that you and your family are protected.
Personal accident insurance provides a cash benefit in the event of death caused by an accident, or for a permanent injury. Your policy is issued in Hong Kong which means that the full insured benefit can be released to you or your dependents without delay. To assist with faster claim settlements, we offer a Nomination of Beneficiaries form for your use (see the Claims section). Please keep this safely with your insurance documents, and remember to keep it updated. Spouses may also be insured for up to US$500,000, and this is something expatriate families should consider carefully, as the costs of additional help at home can be substantial when a spouse is killed or seriously injured. Dependent children may also be insured, meaning the whole family can be covered for personal accident, wherever you travel. TopCover personal accident cover is not affected by other policies you may have, and of course, is not affected by any income protection benefits that you may receive.
The main exclusion for accident cover is professional flying - because we know that you are covered for this by your employer's policies. (Cover is of course provided when you travel as a fare-paying passenger.) There are very few other exclusions and most sports are fully covered. The exceptions are: racing in any motor-powered vehicle, SCUBA diving below 40m, and professional sport or sport for remuneration. Please refer to the policy wording for full detail.
TopCover was originally designed to protect a pilot's income. However, when a pilot is facing a life-threatening illness, or is approaching the maximum insurable age, income protection benefits become limited in their ability to help. Critical Illness cover provides a cash lump sum of up to $150,000 if you are diagnosed with one of eleven serious medical conditions. In addition, for pilots, the policy will pay a benefit for any medical condition that permanently prevents you from flying. It is Critical Illness for pilots. A cash lump sum may assist with medical bills, or be used for any reason you see fit. If you recover and return to flying following a medical problem, there is no penalty or repayment required. Critical illness is now also available for spouses, but without the special clause for permanent disability to fly of course.
For pilots aged over 55, as each month passes, fewer monthly income protection benefits are available until the end of cover at age 60. That is why income protection premiums in this age bracket are lowered. If an insured pilot were to suffer a critical illness, even just before his 60th birthday, the critical illness benefit is paid in full. Many pilots have now been paid this benefit and several have subsequently returned to flying duties, some even within the 180 days waiting period applied to income protection benefits. Your health is critical to you as a pilot. This very special benefit was designed to extend Critical Illness cover for any health problem - illness or injury - that is critical to your ability to continue your professional flying career.
Cover does not apply if the condition is diagnosed within 90 days of first taking out the Critical Illness cover, or when death occurs from the illness within 30 days of diagnosis.
My income protection claim was approved and payments began just as they said it would. Now I'm back at work and would strongly advise my colleagues to sign up with TopCover