Why was TopCover created?TopCover was designed specifically for professional pilots. It was initially created by and for the pilots of Cathay Pacific as a benefit of membership of their pilots’ association (union). TopCover has been providing benefits for pilots across the world since 1999.
TopCover is designed to protect your flying career and to provide long-term financial security for you and your family. Each section of cover is designed to protect against the different challenges that you may face following a serious illness or injury that prevents you from flying.
Who can join IPEP?If you are employed as a pilot with any of the airlines listed on this site and you have a TopCover policy then you are automatically eligible to be an IPEP member.
Who runs IPEP?IPEP is a voluntary scheme, and is administered by volunteer pilots. IPEP does not provide insurance advice, or sell insurance. IPEP assists in communicating information to members, and providing support in the event of a claim.
What insurance cover I can buy?You may select any of the benefits available to suit your own insurance needs.
Income Protection benefit :   up to a maximum of US $15,000 per month
Personal Accident benefit :   up to US$500,000 for Member and spouse
Critical Illness benefit:           up to US $ 150,000 for Member and spouse
Is the scheme regulated and protected?Yes. TopCover is a fully regulated and protected insurance scheme provided by one of the world’s most reputable insurance companies.
Your premiums are paid directly to the insurer in Hong Kong, and are protected under Hong Kong law. The policy offers full dispute resolution rights to policyholders. No claim by any pilot or Group (union or airline) has ever required any formal dispute resolutions procedure.
How do I apply?Click on the link for your airline on this website. You can obtain a quotation, and then amend your choices of cover until you are happy with the benefits and the premium. Then simply apply directly on line to the insurer.
How do I pay?All payments are made by credit card in US dollars. All payments are made directly to the insurer. Your card will not be charged until you have been accepted for cover.
Do I need to have a medical?No. Simply complete the application form, which includes a medical questionnaire. Please ensure that you declare all relevant medical history, and provide supporting medical evidence where necessary.
If you have a medical history or conditions that may increase the likelihood of you claiming in the future, the insurer may restrict your cover and / or apply exclusions.
Once your cover is accepted, it cannot be restricted in the future provided that you continue to renew your policy.
What if I already have insurance?TopCover is not affected by any Loss of Licence insurance you may have that provides a lump sum payment. Other Accident and Life insurance does not affect your TopCover benefits either. You may wish to compare the costs and benefits of any other insurance scheme with TopCover.
If you have other monthly income protection schemes that will pay you for the same cause of claim, then your benefits may be restricted to a total maximum of 75% of your gross income or $15,000 per month, whichever is the greater.
What if I am in the API scheme?If you receive monthly benefit from the API scheme for Emirates pilots, the TopCover maximum benefit limit of US$15,000 will be applied to your claim as described in the previous answer.
API is an entirely different scheme and is not a regulated insurance product. We understand that API may only pay a monthly benefit once you have lost your licence and have been terminated as a pilot by Emirates, and at the sole discretion of the API Committee.
TopCover will pay you benefit whilst you are still employed by Emirates if your income is reduced (ie during a period of long-term sick leave of more than 180 days).
The API / LIPS scheme rules change from time to time and all pilot are advised to carry out their own due diligence carefully of the merits of each plan.
What if I need to claim?It is very important that you claim as soon as you suspect that you may be off work for a prolonged period. Notify the Insurer and seek assistance from IPEP as early as possible. Please read the Claims section on this website.
Has TopCover paid many claims?Yes. TopCover has paid many millions of dollars in benefits to pilots in airlines across the world. TopCover has also paid Income Protection, Personal Accident and Critical illness benefits to members of IPEP. See Testimonials.
Do I pay premiums whilst I am claiming?If you are claiming Income Protection benefit you do not need to continue to pay premiums at the renewal date of your policy. If you are still eligible to renew your policy you are advised to consider doing so to continue your protection from all other events. If you do recover from your illness and return to work (flying for your current airline), you automatically will become on cover again if your policy is still valid and all due premiums have been paid. If your policy has expired, it can be re-issued on request and premiums will become due from the time your insurance cover commences.
You may continue with your Personal Accident insurance whilst receiving Income Protection benefit and premium payments will be due at renewal as normal. This is subject to any eligibility requirements and you are advised to seek assistance from the insurer and IPEP.
What is the Waiting Period of 180 days?This is the period of time from the date you are first unable to fly due to an accident or illness before your benefit payments commence. Six months can pass quickly so it is important to make your claim promptly. If you return to work after being paid benefit, but are subsequently sick again from the same cause within 180 days, the Waiting Period is waived.
What if I get my licence back?TopCover has helped many pilots return to flying, either with their original employer, or with a new airline. TopCover does not insure your licence. It insures your income. Therefore, if your get a new flying job after a period of disability, but at a lower salary, your Income Protection will still pay you a benefit until your new income matches or exceeds your original earnings.
What if I want to change my benefits?If your circumstances change (promotion, marriage etc.) you may wish to review your cover. You can apply to increase your benefits at any time.
If you now declare a new medical condition that the insurer wishes to restrict cover for, it will not affect any existing cover that you already have, provided you keep your cover in place.
What if I leave my current airline?If you leave your current airline, you must tell the insurer and IPEP as soon as is possible. If you join another airline listed on this website your cover will be automatically transferred. If you join another airline with a TopCover policy the insurer will try to transfer your cover subject to sufficient notice.
If you are moving to an airline that does not have TopCover, your cover will end when you leave your current employer. You may be eligible for a refund of some of your premium in accordance with the policy terms.
Why does TopCover have three integrated insurance covers?TopCover aims to provide a complete financial safety net to cover any medical conditions that you might face. Income Protection may not always cover every eventuality. For example, with a terminal illness, income protection needs to be supplemented by an immediate cash payment (Critical Illness). Sometimes a pilot has a serious illness that triggers a Critical Illness payout ( like a diagnosis of cancer for example), but then returns to flying quite quickly without triggering an Income Protection benefit. If a policyholder were to die in an accident, a Personal Accident lump sum of cash is payable to the nominated dependents The three sections of cover are all contained in the same policy and carefully designed to be integrated to allow the appropriate response to any medical disability without any clash between different insurance policies.
What is special about the Personal Accident Insurance?Pilots face a special risk when traveling the world. You may find yourself off duty down route. Are you insured through ordinary insurance if you are skiing, or hiring a motor cycle? Does your employers’ Accident cover extend to you? TopCover was designed to protect you by covering these risks. The PA insurance is very good value and is also available for your spouse.
The main exclusion is flying – including for your airline. That is invariably insured by your employers’ policy.
What is special about the Critical Illness insurance?TopCover is an OWN OCCUPATON cover – specifying your profession as a pilot. In addition to providing an immediate cash benefit for the 11 serious illnesses listed, TopCover provides benefit if you are permanently unable to fly due to any medical condition. We have had pilots claim CI benefit and be back at work within a few months, as well as pilots who have been paid a lump sum benefit after being declared permanently unfit. These early cash settlements can assist with immediate medical bills, relocation costs or whatever unexpected costs a claimant might face. This is a valuable cover and worthy of close consideration.
What is the age limit?The age limits for each section of cover are:
Income Protection:   to age 60
Critical Illness:          to age 60
Personal Accident:   to age 65
Who is the insurer?TopCover is underwritten by Starr International Insurance (Asia) Limited, a member of Starr Companies based in Hong Kong.

STARR Companies (or STARR) is the worldwide marketing name for the services offered by the operating insurance and travel assistance companies and subsidiaries of STARR International Company, Inc. and for the investment business of C.V. Starr & Co., Inc. The shared history of STARR Companies can be traced back to December 1919.

Starr is a global, privately-held insurance and investments organization with a global footprint. With offices on five continents, Starr can support our clients around the world. Through its operating insurance companies, Starr provides property, casualty, and accident & health insurance products as well as a range of specialty coverages including aviation, marine, energy and excess casualty insurance. In aviation, Starr has been a leading aviation insurer since 1961. For over 50 years our knowledge, experience and financial strength has enabled us to provide a full spectrum of aviation insurance coverage for the Airline, Aerospace and General Aviation sectors.

Starr Companies also provides a broad spectrum of insurance-related services, including claims handling and settlement, reinsurance, risk assessment, and loss control.

Starr International Insurance (Asia) Limited holds A.M. Best financial strength rating (FSR) of A (Excellent), Financial Size Category Class XV & an issuer credit rating (ICR) of “a”.

Starr International Insurance (Asia) Limited is rated A by AM Best.

I have another question?If you have another question please contact us and we will try to get an answer for you as soon as is possible.