Term Life Insurance for Veterans

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Updated: July 2021

As an active duty member of the military, your needs are taken care of by the government, including access to affordable life insurance- not just for yourself, but for your family.

But as you make the transition to civilian life you will have to work out a new life insurance policy.

The military offers life insurance benefits for veterans the same as active duty military, but as soon as you are no longer in service, you might want to consider buying term life insurance for veterans.

Quick Navigation

Why Veterans Might Need Life Insurance
VA Life Insurance for Veterans
Life Insurance for Disabled Veterans
The Best Life Insurance Companies for Veterans
How to Apply for Life Insurance for Veterans

Term Life Insurance for Veterans

Why Veterans Might Need Life Insurance

Term life insurance for veterans can help offset the financial difficulties associated with separation as well as the otherwise expensive premiums that you would face from commercial companies.

When you enlist, you become automatically enrolled in the servicemembers group life insurance, SGLI.  Veterans can receive coverage from the veteran’s group life insurance, VGLI.

In both cases, the coverage is a whole life insurance protection policy up to $400,000. However, veterans are not automatically enrolled in their program as opposed to active duty members. So if you want to change from your service member option to your veteran option you must make sure you do it quickly.

Veterans get life insurance for the duration of their active duty service, but the government does not provide it for life. Military members, retirees, and families are given free medical care from VA facilities, but not all benefits are available to all veterans. There is a priority system in place and those with the greatest financial need come first.

What is the Time Limit to Convert SGLI to VGLI?

You will continue to receive free life insurance coverage from SGLI up to 120 days after you separate. Following that you have another 120 days to convert SGLI to VGLI, with no medical exam.

In between this time, you won’t have coverage and if you do wait more than 8 months after your separation date you will have to undergo a separate medical examination for your new life insurance plan.

If you wait more than one year after your service member coverage has expired, you cannot convert to the veteran’s plan. One thing you want to bear in mind is that the premiums for the veteran plan are more expensive than the service member plan. The monthly cost will increase with age.

As an enlisted member your premiums top out at $29 per month even at the highest level of coverage but if you retire at 32 you could be paying $40 per month for your veteran’s coverage.

It is for this reason that military members and recent retirees should consider getting term life insurance quotes from a private insurer.

Provided you have maintained your health standards which, unless you are forced into early retirement because of failed PT, you will qualify for 20-year term life insurance policies with $400,000 in coverage for an average of $20 to $25 per month.


VA Life Insurance for Veterans

For VA Life Insurance, there are many options available:

  • Servicemembers group life insurance (SGLI), which we have discussed above
  • Servicemembers group life insurance disability extension, (SGLID) for those who are disabled and need the extension mentioned above
  • Veterans group life insurance (VGLI), also discussed above
  • Family service members group (FSMG) life insurance for families of military members
  • Servicemembers group life insurance traumatic injury protection (SGLITI) for those who have received traumatic injuries in the line of duty
  • Service disabled veterans Insurance (SDVI)
  • Veterans mortgage life insurance (VMLI)

There are a handful of options for life insurance for veterans that you might want to explore prior to separation:

  1. SGLI can be converted to VGLI without any health questions being asked so long as you apply for covered within 240 days of separation.
  2. Spouses of service members who are separating from the military and were formerly covered under the FSGLI spousal group can convert to an individual permanent life insurance plan using different private insurance companies, but they must do this within 120 days of Separation to get the benefits.
  3. Those under SGLI-DE who are 100% disabled and unable to work can apply for an additional 2 years of free coverage after that point they automatically qualify for VGLI so long as the premiums remain current.
  4. Using VMLI Service members who are severely disabled can obtain a grant to get mortgage life insurance protection which will cover the mortgage for their family home in the event that the veteran or service member dies.
  5. The VA does not actually require a 100% disability rating to qualify for S-DVI.  even veterans who have a 0% disability rating can apply so long as they meet other criteria.
  6. TSGLI will cover all service members with SGLI You were seriously injured. Any veteran who suffered a severe injury while in service on or after October 7th, 2001 can also be eligible for this coverage.

SGLI and VGLI have the option of accelerated benefits whereby the individual can access up to half of the value of their life insurance if they are diagnosed with a terminal illness or given 9 months or less to live.


Life Insurance for Disabled Veterans

Those who have retired with otherwise good health might be able to save a significant amount on their premiums especially if you choose a term life insurance policy. For those who retired as a disabled Service member, VGLI could very likely be the more financially secure option.

  • A 56-year-old leaving the military could get $400,000 worth of coverage from VGLI, paying only $268 per month.Said female could get a 20-year term life insurance policy that could cost over $300 per month for the same coverage with a private insurer.
Life Insurance for Veterans

This difference in cost is contingent upon your health conditions at the time of your application. Disabled military retirees are also able to apply for a 2-year extension for SGLI at the time of Separation so that there is significant time to find more appropriate coverage.

As a member of the Armed Forces, you are given life insurance coverage under the servicemembers group life insurance, SGLI, set at $400,000.

But, 120 days after you leave the armed services you will need a new insurance plan.

There are plenty of companies that cater exclusively to Veterans and provide life insurance policies best fit for those who have worked so hard to protect this nation.


The Best Life Insurance Companies for Veterans

Every situation is different. Below are several companies that we’ve found to provide good coverage and rates for veterans.

Speak to one of our experts to find the best policy for you, as there may be another company with better rates depending on your situation.


How to Apply for Life Insurance for Veterans

United States Veteran Looking for Insurance

When it comes to finding the best term life insurance for veterans, it is important to compare all of your life insurance options to weigh which ones are right for you.

The easiest way to do this is to work with an independent life insurance agent who can compare life insurance rates from the best companies on the market all at once.

Our agents will discuss your personal needs for life insurance coverage, your financial situation, and your health, in order to understand what the best life insurance policy is for you.

Tips for Veterans Looking for Life Insurance

When you are looking for life insurance as a veteran, it is important to start before you separate. This will help you to avoid the pressure of meeting that 120-day deadline so do you have ample time to review your different options and compare based on your current medical situation and disability level what the military options are versus private insurance options.

You might find cheaper coverage in the private sector and you might prefer having a different plan than those which are available through the VA.

Some military members want a whole life insurance policy that builds cash value so that they can borrow against it if necessary later.

People who are younger and healthier might sign significantly lower options for a 20 or 30-year term policy after they leave the military through a private insurer.

In any case, shop online and talk with independent life insurance agents to figure out what the offers are that you might receive. Look over the insurance providers listed above who specialize in military base policies so that you might be able to convert your coverage, not just for yourself, but also for your spouse and children.

Give us a call today to begin finding the best life insurance for veterans, or use our online quoting engine to compare life insurance rates instantly!