Life Insurance For Veterans

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    Life Insurance For Veterans: An Overview Of Options For Military Personnel

    As a service member, you may be worrying about how you're going to provide for your family if you die during active military service. Fortunately, there is no shortage of options for life insurance for veterans!

    This guide will differentiate VA insurance from its traditional counterparts and hopefully help you choose the best VA life insurance for you. Read on to learn more about coverage, special exemptions, and eligibility.

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    How Does Life Insurance For Veterans Differ From Standard Life Insurance?

    Unlike regular policies, veteran life insurance is specifically available to military service members who are active, retired, or injured. Military personnel can apply with the Department of Veterans Affairs or receive coverage automatically, depending on their circumstances. 

    There are many different life insurance policies for veterans, from term life insurance to more permanent coverage. We’ll go into detail about them later in the guide.

    What Does VA Life Insurance Entail?

    There are many different types of whole and term life insurance policies for veterans, and they’re notably different from regular life insurance offerings. Here’s what you can expect in terms of coverage, special exceptions, and cost.

    Coverage

    If you're an active-duty service member, you are automatically eligible for life insurance coverage up to $400,000 through Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI). 

    You can even continue accumulating coverage beyond this amount even after you are discharged. If you die within 120 days of your final discharge, your family becomes eligible to receive a tax-free lump-sum benefit of $100,000 to help cover expenses.

    If you need more than what your life insurance plans can provide, you can also get add-ons, like:

    • Military burial insurance: Up to $10,000 for cremation or funeral-related expenses.
    • Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D): Additional death benefits if you die or become dismembered due to an accident.

    Disability & Terminal Illness Exemptions

    Disabled or terminally ill veterans are eligible for two life insurance types – Service-Disabled Veterans Life Insurance and Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance. If you have a total disability, you might be able to waive premium payments or receive up to $30,000 additional coverage.

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    Costs & Fees

    An insurance company will price premiums according to your age. For instance, if you are below 30 and receive $400,000 worth of coverage, you can expect to pay a $32 monthly premium. A veteran above the age of 75 receiving the same amount of coverage will pay significantly more at $1,840 a month.

    How To Apply For VA Life Insurance

    Depending on the type of veteran life insurance you buy, the application process may differ. For example, SGLI term coverage is automatic. On the other hand, other insurance types, such as VGLI, require applicants to fill out a form online and undergo a medical exam. Naturally, the more healthy, the more life coverage you are eligible to receive. 

    Military community members who don’t want to take a medical exam also have other options. This includes level term or simple term life insurance programs with the AAFMAA (American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association).

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    Types Of VA Life Insurance

    If you’re seeking financial security for your spouses or dependent children, there are several life insurance programs by the AAFMAA to choose from, including the following:

    Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI)

    This is a low-cost, automatically provided life insurance policy for active service members. Beneficiaries can receive up to $400,000 in $50,000 increments. Military personnel who become totally disabled in action can qualify for more coverage. National Guard members who don't qualify for full-time coverage can still receive partial coverage.

    Veterans' Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI)

    If you are a disabled veteran and eligible for a federal government housing grant, you can get additional support from the AAFMAA. This veterans insurance option is designed to help veterans afford specially-adapted housing – helping them transition to ordinary life. This can be used to pay for ramps, lower counters, wider spaces, and other disability accommodations.

    Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI)

    Veterans' Group Life Insurance acts as an SGLI replacement for veterans who are leaving the military. Veterans can only take out VGLI if they apply within one year and 120 days (~16 months) of leaving the military. Those who apply for VGLI within this period won't have to provide additional medical information or undergo an exam to qualify.

    Service-Disabled Veterans' Life Insurance (S-DVI)

    You can apply for this type of term coverage with the AAFMAA if you contract a service-related disability within two years of leaving the military. You must be otherwise in good health and have not received a dishonorable discharge to receive support.

    Family Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (FSGLI)

    Are you leaving behind a spouse or dependent children? If so, consider getting FSGLI. With FSGLI, you can provide up to $100,000 for your family, given that you don't exceed your SGLI benefits. If there are minor children in your family, they receive coverage automatically.

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    How To Choose The Right VA Insurance

    The varying VA level term life insurance options are designed to cover different needs. Here’s a quick rundown of the different life insurance benefits and who is eligible for them:

    • SGLI provides automatic coverage for all active-duty veterans.
    • FSGLI is designed for veterans who want to cover their families.
    • In most cases, the AAFMAA will happily provide VGLI to those in good health and complete their services without bad conduct. 
    • VMLI is best for veterans who need assistance paying for special-needs housing.
    • If you become terminally ill, injured, or disabled while fulfilling your services, you can work closely with the AAFMAA for specially-crafted life insurance options.

    Where To Apply

    Veterans can apply for the appropriate government-provided life insurance online. Alternatively, you can download an application form from the AAFMAA website, fill in the appropriate information, and mail your documents to the Office of Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance.

    In Conclusion

    Taking out the appropriate VA life insurance contract can give you peace of mind. Ultimately, the type of policy you pursue will depend on whether you're an active service member, are looking to provide for your family, or are suffering from a service-related injury.

    For service members looking to explore their life insurance options, contact us at Wesley LLC! Our consultation services can help you determine what type of coverage best suits your particular life insurance needs. 

    Written By Cameron McDowell
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