On this Veterans Day, we wanted to give some recommendations to Veterans that may be shopping around for life insurance.
We chose 5 companies that are highly recommended for U.S. veterans, each offering different types of policies to cater to various needs:
1: Prudential Veterans’ Group Life:
Recognized as the best overall option, Prudential Veterans’ Group Life is particularly noted for its range of policies suitable for active military members and veterans. They have a strong reputation for customer service.
What are some of the reasons we chose Prudential Veterans Group Life?
Eligibility: VGLI is available to veterans who had a Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) policy while in the military. After leaving the military, veterans have a 1-year and 120 days window to apply for VGLI without having to answer health questions. However, if a veteran applies after the first 240 days post-service, they must answer a health questionnaire.
Coverage: VGLI offers lifetime coverage as long as premiums are paid. Veterans can choose coverage amounts in increments of $10,000, up to a maximum of $400,000. The coverage amount can be equal to or less than the amount of SGLI they had while in service.
Premiums: The cost of VGLI premiums is based on the veteran’s age and the amount of coverage they choose. Premium rates increase as the insured veteran gets older. The premiums are typically higher than SGLI, reflecting the change from an active service member to a veteran status and the increase in age.
Conversion to a Commercial Policy: Veterans with VGLI have the option to convert their policy into a private life insurance policy with any participating company at any time. This option can be valuable if a veteran seeks a policy with different terms or benefits.
No Health Questions for Early Applicants: If a veteran applies for VGLI within 240 days of leaving the military, they are not required to answer health questions, making it easier for those with health issues to obtain coverage.
Online Management: Veterans can manage their VGLI policy online, including making premium payments, updating beneficiary information, and monitoring their coverage.
Death Benefits: In the event of the policyholder’s death, VGLI provides a tax-free death benefit to the beneficiaries. The amount of the benefit is equal to the coverage amount selected by the veteran.
VGLI is a valuable option for many veterans, especially those with health conditions who might have difficulty obtaining life insurance elsewhere. It offers a straightforward transition from SGLI, with the added benefit of lifelong coverage. Veterans considering VGLI should assess their individual insurance needs, especially as they relate to their health, age, and financial goals. Learn more here.
2: New York Life
This company is recommended for the best whole life insurance, providing policies that offer lifelong coverage and can build cash value over time.
What are some of the reasons we chose New York Life?
New York Life is one of the oldest and most reputable life insurance companies in the United States, offering a variety of products including whole life insurance, which is particularly beneficial for veterans. Here’s a closer look at what they offer:
- Whole Life Insurance: New York Life’s whole life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance that provides coverage for the insured’s entire life, as long as premiums are paid. This is different from term life insurance, which only covers a specified term.
- Cash Value Accumulation: One of the key features of whole life insurance from New York Life is the accumulation of cash value. This means that a portion of the premiums paid goes into a cash value account, which grows over time, tax-deferred. The policyholder can borrow against this cash value or even withdraw it under certain circumstances.
- Dividend Payments: New York Life is a mutual life insurance company, which means it pays dividends to eligible policyholders. While not guaranteed, these dividends can be used to reduce premiums, purchase additional insurance, accumulate at interest, or be received in cash.
- Flexible Premium Payments: Their policies offer flexibility in premium payments. Policyholders can choose the standard level premium payment plan, or they can opt for a limited payment plan where premiums are paid for a set number of years.
- Customization Through Riders: New York Life offers various riders that can be added to a whole life policy for additional protection. These can include options like chronic care riders, disability waivers of premium, or term conversion riders.
- Financial Strength: New York Life has a long-standing reputation for financial strength and stability. This is important for life insurance policyholders because it speaks to the company’s ability to pay claims in the future.
- Suitability for Veterans: For veterans, New York Life’s whole life insurance can be a solid choice, especially for those looking for lifelong coverage with an added benefit of cash value accumulation. It can provide financial security for their families and also serve as a financial tool during their lifetime.
- Customer Service and Support: New York Life is known for its customer service and support. They offer personalized service through their agents and financial professionals, who can help veterans tailor policies to their specific needs.
Veterans considering New York Life should assess their long-term financial goals and insurance needs. Whole life insurance from New York Life is more than just a death benefit; it’s a financial tool that can play a key role in a veteran’s overall financial planning strategy. Learn more about New York Life for Veterans here.
3: American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association (AAFMAA)
AAFMAA is highlighted for offering the best term life insurance, which is typically more affordable and covers a set period.
What are some key features and why did we choose AAFMAA?
The American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association (AAFMAA) is a not-for-profit, member-owned association providing life insurance, financial services, and survivor assistance to the American armed forces community. Here’s a detailed look at what AAFMAA offers, particularly in terms of life insurance:
- Membership and Eligibility: AAFMAA membership is available to current and retired members of all branches of the U.S. Armed Services, including the Coast Guard, National Guard, Reserves, Public Health Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Spouses and children of members are also eligible.
- Life Insurance Products: AAFMAA offers a range of life insurance products tailored to the unique needs of military families. This includes term life insurance, which provides coverage for a specific period and is generally more affordable than permanent life insurance. They also offer whole life and universal life insurance options.
- Term Life Insurance: Their term life insurance is especially notable for its affordability and flexibility. It’s designed to provide financial protection during periods when expenses might be higher, such as when raising a family or paying a mortgage.
- Whole and Universal Life Insurance: These policies provide lifelong coverage and can build cash value over time. They are suitable for long-term financial planning, offering both death benefit protection and a savings element.
- Survivor Assistance Services: AAFMAA provides survivor assistance services, helping families navigate the complexities of military survivor benefits. This service is invaluable for families dealing with the loss of a loved one, as it includes assistance with government benefits, claims, and other administrative tasks.
- Financial Planning and Wealth Management: Beyond insurance, AAFMAA offers financial planning, investment management, and trust services. This holistic approach helps military families manage their finances effectively throughout different stages of life.
- Specialized for Military Needs: AAFMAA’s products and services are specifically designed for the military community. They understand the unique challenges and opportunities that come with military life, including issues related to deployment, moving frequently, and transitioning to civilian life.
- Commitment to Members: As a member-owned organization, AAFMAA’s primary commitment is to its members, not to shareholders. This focus is reflected in their customer service, product offerings, and overall mission.
- Educational Resources: AAFMAA provides educational resources on financial planning, insurance, and retirement, catering to the diverse needs of military families at different life stages.
For veterans and military families considering life insurance, AAFMAA offers tailored solutions with a deep understanding of the military lifestyle. Their range of products, combined with survivor assistance and financial services, makes them a comprehensive choice for those associated with the armed forces. Learn more about the AAFMAA here
Known for its long history of serving military members since 1963, USAA is praised for its excellent financial ratings and superior service. They are a top choice among service members for life insurance.
What are some features and benefits for choosing USAA?
United Services Automobile Association (USAA) is a highly regarded financial services group that caters specifically to U.S. military members, veterans, and their families. Here’s an in-depth look at USAA’s offerings, particularly in the realm of life insurance:
- Target Audience: USAA’s services are exclusively available to current and former members of the U.S. military, their spouses, and children. This focus enables them to tailor their products and services to the unique needs of the military community.
- Life Insurance Options: USAA offers a variety of life insurance policies, including term life, whole life, and universal life insurance. Each type of policy is designed to cater to different needs and financial situations.
- Term Life Insurance: Provides coverage for a set period and is often the most affordable option. It’s ideal for those seeking temporary coverage, for instance, during child-raising years or while paying off a mortgage.
- Whole Life Insurance: Offers lifelong coverage with the additional benefit of cash value accumulation. Premiums for whole life insurance are higher than term life but remain constant over the policyholder’s lifetime.
- Universal Life Insurance: Provides flexible coverage with the potential for cash value growth. Policyholders can adjust their premiums and death benefits within certain limits.
- Military-Specific Benefits: USAA’s life insurance policies include features specifically tailored for military members, such as coverage during war and an option to increase coverage after leaving the military without a medical exam.
- Financial Planning and Advice: USAA provides comprehensive financial planning services, helping military members and their families understand and plan for their insurance needs as part of their overall financial strategy.
- Customer Service: Known for its exceptional customer service, USAA offers support that is attuned to the challenges faced by military families, including deployments and frequent relocations.
- Financial Strength: USAA is renowned for its financial stability, which is crucial in ensuring that they can meet their long-term commitments to policyholders.
- Additional Services: Beyond life insurance, USAA offers a wide range of financial products and services, including banking, investment products, auto and home insurance, and retirement planning. This comprehensive approach allows members to manage most of their financial needs under one roof.
- Educational Resources: They provide a wealth of educational resources on financial matters, helping members make informed decisions about insurance, investments, and other financial concerns.
USAA’s dedication to serving the needs of the military community, combined with its range of life insurance products and other financial services, makes it a popular choice among service members, veterans, and their families. Their specialized understanding of the challenges and lifestyle of military personnel adds a layer of personalization and relevance to their offerings. Learn more about USAA for Veterans here
5: Veterans Affairs Life Insurance (VALife)
VALife is a guaranteed issue whole life policy offering protection amounts ranging from $10,000 to $40,000. This policy is designed specifically to help disabled veterans cover funeral costs, with no health questions or exams required for qualification
Why did we choose VALife as one of our top picks?
Veterans Affairs Life Insurance (VALife) is a program specifically tailored to meet the life insurance needs of U.S. military veterans. Here are the key aspects of VALife:
- Target Audience: VALife is designed for veterans, particularly focusing on those who may have difficulty obtaining traditional life insurance due to service-related injuries or other health issues.
- Guaranteed Acceptance: One of the primary features of VALife is that it offers guaranteed acceptance for eligible veterans. This means that veterans can obtain this life insurance without having to undergo a medical exam or answer health questions, as long as they apply within certain time limits after leaving service.
- Whole Life Insurance: VALife provides whole life insurance coverage, which means it offers permanent protection that lasts for the lifetime of the policyholder, as long as premiums are paid.
- Coverage Amounts: The program offers different levels of coverage, typically in increments such as $10,000, $20,000, $30,000, or $40,000. Veterans can choose the amount of coverage that best suits their needs and financial situation.
- Premiums: The premiums for VALife are based on the age of the veteran at the time of policy initiation and the amount of coverage selected. Since the policy is designed to be accessible to those with health issues, the premium rates may be higher compared to standard life insurance policies.
- Permanent Coverage: As a whole life policy, VALife provides permanent coverage. This means it doesn’t expire after a certain term, as long as the premiums are paid. This can provide long-term security and peace of mind for veterans and their families.
- Death Benefit: In the event of the policyholder’s death, VALife pays a death benefit to the beneficiaries, which can help with expenses such as funeral costs, debts, and living costs for dependents.
- Exclusivity for Veterans: This program is specifically aimed at veterans, acknowledging the unique challenges they might face in obtaining life insurance, especially those related to health issues stemming from their service.
- No Health Questions for Eligibility: A key benefit of VALife is that it doesn’t require health questions or medical exams for eligibility, making it an important option for veterans who have service-connected disabilities or other health issues.
VALife is a valuable option for veterans, especially those who might find it challenging to secure life insurance through traditional channels due to health conditions related to their service. It offers a way for veterans to ensure financial protection for their families, recognizing and accommodating the unique sacrifices and challenges faced by those who have served in the military. For more info, go here
Those were our top pics but you should also check out some other notable providers: Companies like MassMutual, Haven Life, Guardian, and Northwestern Mutual also offer life insurance policies tailored to veterans’ needs. These providers are worth considering as they provide various coverage options and rates suitable for different situations