Minnesota Life Insurance Company has marked the golden anniversary of its relationship with AOPA by creating a $100,000 special endowment fund for the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.
"AOPA and Minnesota Life have a rare partnership: one that has prospered for half a century while meeting the ever changing needs of our members," said Phil Boyer, AOPA president. "This generous endowment to the Air Safety Foundation will provide funding for specific safety programs each year. We gratefully acknowledge this historic anniversary and Minnesota Life's generosity."
"The excellent partnership between AOPA and Minnesota Life is now enhanced with the addition of ASF programs," said Bruce Landsberg, ASF executive director. "It is in our collective best interest to continue to improve general aviation safety."
Back in 1946, AOPA established itself in the aircraft and personal accident insurance business, beginning under the initiative of Doc Hartranft. But the most difficult issue was life insurance.
In the late 1940s, life insurance was expensive and difficult to obtain for pilots flying private aircraft. After an exhaustive search, AOPA selected Minnesota Mutual to provide a life insurance policy tailored to member pilots. This pioneering group life insurance plan was first offered May 1, 1951. As AOPA and member insurance and financial needs have changed, Minnesota Life has accommodated these changes with additional product offerings such as individual term life policies.
"The AOPA group insurance policy remains vibrant today," said Jim Johnson, senior vice president, Minnesota Life. "Our unique partnership and AOPA's commitment to understanding its members' needs will ensure a vital and dynamic plan far into the future."
Minnesota Life ranks among the most highly rated insurers in the country. Rated A++ for financial condition by A.M. Best, Minnesota Life provides more than $240 billion in life insurance protection and manages $20 billion in assets.
Group and individual life insurance policies for AOPA members underwritten by Minnesota Life are an AOPA Certified service, returning a small portion of the premiums to AOPA, helping keep general aviation strong and member dues low. Some policyholders also have designated the Air Safety Foundation as a full or partial beneficiary of their policies.
AOPA was founded in 1939 to help keep general aviation flying fun, safe, and as affordable as possible. Today, AOPA represents more than 370,000 pilots, who own or fly three quarters of the nation's 220,000 general aviation aircraft.