Finding the best life insurance as a veteran can be overwhelming. The VA offers low-cost term life coverage through Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) when you are in the service, with the option to convert the coverage to a VA Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI) after your service is complete.1 Once you leave the service, your SGLI life insurance does not continue without this conversion.
While the VGLI plan has its advantages, it may not get you the best price long term.2 But what are the options? What else is available and how do you find the policy that best fits your needs for valuable life insurance?
To help, we reviewed over 25 top life insurance companies, including life insurance programs that are geared specifically for veterans, and compared them for price, coverage options, and customer satisfaction in this comprehensive list of the best life insurance for veterans.
The 8 Best Life Insurance Companies for Veterans in 2020
- New York Life: Best Overall
- MassMutual: Best for Cash Values
- Northwestern Mutual: Best for Young Families
- Prudential: Best Term for Senior Veterans
- USAA: Best Price
- USBA: Best Group Plan
- Navy Mutual: Best for No Medical Exam
- Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance (S-DVI): Best for Disabled Veterans
Learn More: Read our life insurance methodology to see how we rated each company.
Best Overall: New York Life
New York Life Insurance Company was founded in 1845 and is highly rated in customer satisfaction for both product and pricing in the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Life Insurance Study.3 New York Life also has the highest financial strength rating of A++ (Superior) by AM Best and an excellent track record of very low complaints filed with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
Overall, New York Life offers a robust selection of coverage plans, SGLI and VGLI conversion, riders that can save you money—and they also pay dividends. They were the top-ranked life insurer in our life insurance reviews. All of these benefits make them our best overall life insurance choice for veterans.
The company is listed as one of the participating companies for SGLI and VGLI benefits conversion by the VA and also offers civilian life insurance options in term, whole, and universal life.
New York Life offers riders to add coverage at a later time without having to take a new medical exam. Living benefits riders for chronic or terminal illnesses are also available.
To obtain quotes from New York Life, you can speak to an agent or ask to be connected with a local financial professional who can work with you to find the best plan. There are no New York Life quotes online.
Read full review: New York Life Review
Best for Cash Values: MassMutual
MassMutual has been doing business since 1851 as a common insurance agency, implying that qualified policyholders get profits. The organization has an AM Best money related quality rating of A++ (Superior) and a superb reputation with the NAIC for low degrees of objections year after year.
We picked MassMutual as best veterans extra security for building money esteems because of the support in profits, a decent determination of lasting life coverage choices, and access to living advantages.
MassMutual offers a wide range of extra security, including term, entire, and general life. The organization likewise offers riders including:
- Long haul care
- Quickened benefits (on the off chance that you are determined to have a terminal or basic sickness)
- Ensured insurability
- Sustainable term
- Extra security supplement
- Waiver of premium on death of protected rider
MassMutual doesn’t offer military program cites on the web, however you can find support from a money related consultant with respect to the transformation of SGLI, VGLI, or Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (FSGLI). MassMutual offers standard Direct Term cites on the web.
Peruse full audit: MassMutual Review
Best for Young Families: Northwestern Mutual
Northwestern Mutual is the biggest extra security supplier in the U.S. also, the first class insurance agency for consumer loyalty. Established in 1857, it is a settled and regarded common protection company.7 Northwestern Mutual additionally has the most noteworthy budgetary quality rating of A++ (Superior) from AM Best, and as a shared safety net provider, shares benefits with qualified policyholders through dividends.
We picked Northwestern Mutual as the best for youthful families in this audit on account of the profit alternatives, which assist you with building money esteems after some time, and different highlights that permit you to begin with littler restrictions of protection and purchase more inclusion as your family develops.
As the biggest life back up plan in the U.S., Northwestern Mutual offers in excess of twelve disaster protection strategy alternatives for all spending plans, including an exceptional mixed entire life and term strategy that offers choices to join term and entire extra security with quickened passing advantages intended to take care of long haul care costs later on.
Northwestern Mutual additionally offers a few riders, including:
- Living advantages
- Extra buy advantage, which permits you to include inclusion without evidence of insurability up until age 38.
We cited Northwestern Mutual life coverage internet utilizing the adding machine on their site, bringing about value gauges between $1 per day and $3 every day, contingent upon your age, for $400,000 of term extra security. Be that as it may, you despite everything need to address a money related proficient so as to purchase an arrangement or get a definite value breakdown.
Peruse full survey: Northwestern Mutual Review
Best Term for Senior Veterans: Prudential
Prudential was built up in 1875 and is evaluated #1 in the Life and Health classification of Fortune’s 2020 rundown of The World’s Most Admired Companies. Prudential is the third-biggest merchant of individual disaster protection in the U.S. what’s more, has an AM Best monetary steadiness rating of A+ (Excellent).9 Overall, the organization’s protest patterns with the NAIC are acceptable comparative with its size.
We picked Prudential as the best term for senior veterans due to the capacity to change over your SGLI or VGLI to an arrangement with level premiums for as long as 30 years. For instance, at age 45, you could secure a pace of $74 every month up to age 75. This gives veterans a preferred position over other term life approaches whose premiums increment at regular intervals as you get more established.
Prudential offers all inclusive life and term disaster protection plans. The Prudential disaster protection plans have discretionary riders for living advantages, incidental demise advantages, and waivers of premium for handicap. Prudential additionally offers a couple of domain arranging riders, including a home assurance rider, no-pass ensure, and over-advance insurance choices on the widespread life arrangements.
You can get a regular citizen Prudential statement on the web, or reach one of their specialists to get the best rates for SGLI or VGLI change choices.
Peruse full survey: Prudential Review
Best Price: USAA
USAA is a notable protection name for military gathering protection, established in 1922 by a gathering of armed force officials who pooled together to safeguard their own autos. The organization has developed from that point onward, offering items in each region of protection. USAA has an AM Best evaluating of A++ (Superior) and an incredible reputation with low grievances with the NAIC.
We picked USAA as the life coverage strategy for veterans with the best cost since, when contrasted and other extra security organizations, including those contribution military gathering protection transformation plans, USAA offered probably the most minimal rates after some time, beginning with costs under $20 per month on level term premiums.
USAA extra security has both changeless and term life coverage strategy alternatives. The lasting extra security plans incorporate an ensured money esteem development highlight. The streamlined disaster protection plan has level premiums and lifetime inclusion. The organization likewise offers a general life choice with movable advantages and premium adaptability.
USAA riders incorporate ensured insurability for a long time or up to the age of 45, Military Protection Plus riders for transformation strategies, Severe Military Injury Benefit riders, handicap riders, and youngster or spousal riders, which permit you to guarantee your family on a similar arrangement.
While USAA offers cites on the web, your military data is required to get a statement.
Peruse full survey: USAA Review
Best Group Plan Options: USBA
The Uniformed Services Benefit Association (USBA) was founded in 1959 and is a not-for-profit association providing insurance solutions for military personnel, national guard, federal employees, and reservists. Underwritten through New York Life Insurance, USBA offers six different term life insurance options and three whole life policy plans, including life insurance for children and a joint life insurance plan known as the Two for One.
USBA has an online quoting tool that gives you life insurance pricing for all the plans. You can access the rates for term, whole life, and the Two for One family plans in one easy step, with a chart that makes it easy to compare, and see the price range for various options.
Sample pricing for USBA for $400,000 of coverage ranges from $24 a month (under 31 years old) to $532 a month (at age 69) for the Two for One (joint life insurance) plan. The simplified issue policy for age 50 plus offers premiums starting at $56 a month at age 50, up to $171 for age 69 for a sample male, at $25,000 of whole life coverage.
To qualify for a plan, you must be a member of USBA, however, membership is free and there are no dues. Policies are available in 50 states as well as DC, Puerto Rico, and Canada. We chose USBA as the best group plan for veterans because of the number of plan options and simplicity in getting quotes and comparing information.
Best for No Medical Exam: Navy Mutual
Navy Mutual was formed in 1879 and is the nation’s oldest Veterans Service Organization. It has high customer service ratings from policyholders and a financial strength rating of A+ by Fitch Ratings.
Navy Mutual offers three term life insurance policy options with both convertible and level premiums. It’s Express Term policy is a 10-year term policy that includes $250,000 in benefits. The policy is an instant issue policy with no medical exam, which you can buy while in service and continue when you are a veteran. Policies can be issued from ages 18 to 55. There are no restrictions for war, aviation terrorism, or travel clauses for those on active duty.
Navy Mutual offers riders for accelerated death benefits, guaranteed convertibility, child benefit riders, and paid-up additions riders.
All U.S. military members who are active duty or retired, or separated within 120 days from service, may buy their products, as well as Navy Mutual members regardless of service status. To obtain a quote and full details of qualification requirements, you must speak to a representative. You can also get a quote online by filling in your information, including military service.
Best for Disabled Veterans: VA Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance (S-DVI)
Getting life insurance for disabled veterans can be tricky. Even though some policies don’t require medical exams and have simplified underwriting, there are still medical questionnaires, and you may be denied coverage for certain disabilities, including PTSD.12 For those who have trouble getting coverage elsewhere, the VA offers insurance for disabled veterans who are in good health (other than their disability). This can help ensure you get life insurance coverage even when other life insurance companies deny coverage.
In some cases, totally disabled veterans may be eligible for free coverage and can purchase additional coverage through the program. The program offers up to $10,000 of coverage and the possibility to increase coverage by up to $30,000 if you become totally disabled and are unable to work. There are nine plans to choose from, with issue ages up to 70 years old. Plans include a five-year level term and some permanent life options with cash values.
To be eligible, you must apply within two years from the date the VA grants your new service-connected disability. There are no online quotes, but they offer a brochure with premium and plan options with rates per $1,000 of coverage. You can apply for policies online through your VA online account.
What Is Life Insurance for Veterans?
Life insurance provides payment in the form of a death benefit to your beneficiary if you die and can also be used as an investment or savings tool. Life insurance rates increase as you get older, and depend on your health condition, medications taken, and other criteria. When you leave the military, you may have health conditions or disabilities due to your time in service or injuries acquired in combat. These conditions can make it hard to find good life insurance at a good price.
Fortunately, as a veteran, you have many choices for life insurance:13
- Continue your group plan with the VA
- Find private insurance
- Supplement your VA group insurance with private insurance
- Convert your policy with private life insurers who participate in conversion programs
How Does VGLI Compare to Civilian or Private Life Insurance?
If you have health issues, or you miss your conversion period, there are a lot of advantages to the VGLI policy. However, if you’re younger and in good health, you can save a lot of money on insurance premiums by shopping around and investigating options.
- Same rates for smokers and non-smokers
- Same rates regardless of health
- No investigation of health history within 240 days of separation
- Same rates regardless of sex
- No health questions if you apply within 240 days of separation
- Term life insurance only, no cash values
- Policy premiums increase every five years based on age
- Maximum coverage is $400,000 or the same amount you had on your SGLI plan (if less than $400,000)
Private Life Insurance
- Rates based on smoker or non-smoker status
- If converting SGLI with a participating conversion company, no medical exam
- More policy options available, including permanent policies
- More riders available
- Possibility of dividends on whole life policies
- Possibility of terms up to 30 years
- Coverage not limited to a maximum of $400,000, can go to several million depending on the company
What Life Insurance Does the VA Offer?
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers several life insurance plans to cover active servicemembers and their families, disabled veterans, and veterans. Life insurance overage offered by the VA includes:14
Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI): For active service members, no health requirements to obtain coverage, it is automatic. Coverage is $25 a month for $400,000 of coverage.15
Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI): You can convert your SGLI policy when you end service to a VGLI policy. This is a renewable term policy, premiums increase every five years at renewal.
is life insurance provided to spouses of active duty service members. This coverage can be converted within 120 days of separation.
Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance (S-DVI): For those who have received a VA service-connected rating in the last two years and are in otherwise good health.
Veteran’s Mortgage Life Insurance: This coverage is available for severely disabled veterans who have a Specifically Adapted Housing grant.
What Does Life Insurance for Veterans Typically Include?
Life insurance coverage for veterans through private insurers or membership plans may include a death benefit, cash value accumulation, investment options, and the ability to collect dividends, all depending on the insurance company and policy type you choose.
Some policies have riders, such as living benefits, that allow you to access part of the death benefits in the event of critical illness or terminal illness. Other policies may allow you to add coverage for your spouse or children. Each life insurance company will provide different options, which is why it is worthwhile to shop around to find the best plan for your needs.
What Does Life Insurance for Veterans Typically Exclude?
Veterans life insurance (as well as civilian life insurance) may exclude coverage in certain circumstances, including:
- Waiting period clauses that limit the death benefit payout in the first two years to premiums paid (unless death is accidental). This is often found in policies that have no medical exam or are guaranteed issue.
- Contestability or Suicide clauses: These may deny payment for various reasons, including suicide in the first two years of the policy. Other reasons for denial of payment may include alcohol or substance abuse and illegal activity.
- Some life insurance companies may exclude coverage for suicide entirely.
It has been found that some veterans with PTSD have had challenges obtaining life insurance. Some companies may not agree to offer coverage, while others require additional underwriting. If you can show your condition is stable, or you are in treatment, they may be more willing to accept your application, but there are no guarantees.
What Are the Expected Costs of Life Insurance for Veterans?
The cost of veterans’ life insurance will depend greatly on the type of policy you choose. For example, term life with level premiums may cost you the same amount for up to 30 years. Whereas a renewable term policy, one that renews every five years like VGLI, will start off at one rate, but then goes up every five years until age 75, at which point it is $1,840 per month.
VGLI Five-Year Renewal Term Insurance Rates 2020
- Age Policy Value $400,000
- 29 $32 per month
- 35 $52
- 40 $68
- 45 $88
- 50 $144
- 55 $268
- 60 $432
- 65 $600
- 70 $920
- 75 $1840
Compared to other insurance companies we reviewed, where there were options for level term premiums at $75 a month for 30 years (ages 45 to 75), there’s a significant range difference in premium options.
What Is the Time Limit to Convert SGLI Coverage to an Individual Policy?
Transformation is the way toward changing your SGLI inclusion to a private safety net provider or to a VGLI plan without giving verification of good wellbeing. So as to profit by transformation, you should do as such inside explicit courses of events:
- 140 to 240 days after the finish of deployment ready to change over your SGLI to a VGLI (with no clinical test), and 240 to 485 days with a clinical test.
- 120 days after the finish of deployment ready to change over your SGLI to a private arrangement without a clinical test with private back up plans. The taking part private safety net provider may ask you to answer wellbeing inquiries, however the VA expresses that you are not obliged to answer those wellbeing questions.13
- You can change over a VGLI to an individual arrangement whenever.
How We Chose the Best Life Insurance for Veterans Companies
To locate the best disaster protection organizations for veterans, we investigated in excess of two dozen extra security organizations for notoriety, item choice, endorsing inclinations, and cost. We additionally broke down the insurance agencies refered to by the VA as alternatives for continuation of inclusion, alongside other non-benefit and part bunch plans. We checked every one for estimating, consumer loyalty, grumblings, and inclusion choices to concoct our outline of the best life coverage organizations for veterans.