Deployments, permanent station changes, and other military events teach soldiers to be prepared for the unexpected.
You may feel like you’ve left them behind when you leave the military, but civilian life can also be full of surprises. Knowing that you have the right life insurance policy in place can give you confidence and peace of mind as you begin the next chapter of your life.
Here’s what you need to know about life insurance for veterans.
Military members can count on military group life insurance during and after their service. When you joined the military, you automatically received military group life insurance. SGLI provides up to $400,000 of low-cost life insurance coverage for the duration of your military service.
Upon separation, veterans can purchase Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI). Like SGLI, VGLI provides up to $400,000 of coverage for separated service members. However, your VGLI coverage amount is tied to the amount of SGLI coverage you paid for while on active duty. So if you had $200,000 of SGLI coverage when you left the military, you will receive a matching amount when you apply for VGLI.
But, you can increase your VGLI coverage by $25,000 every five years until you reach age 60, as long as you don’t exceed the $400,000 coverage limit.
Your VGLI premiums will increase as you purchase more coverage. Additionally, younger veterans pay less than older veterans with VGLI coverage. Your premiums will increase every five years as you age. So while a 30-year-old might pay $36 a month for $400,000 of life insurance coverage, a 40-year-old might pay $64 a month, and a 50-year-old might pay $132 a month. month for the same coverage amount.
If you apply for VGLI coverage within 240 days of your separation from the military, you will not have to prove that you are in good health to receive coverage.
You must undergo a medical examination to prove your good health if you apply for coverage between 240 and 485 days after leaving the military. You will lose your eligibility for VGLI coverage if you wait any longer to apply.
Navy Mutual is offering up to $400,000 in permanent and guaranteed life insurance to veterans who are within 120 days of separation. If you had SGLI during your service, you will not need a medical exam or review by the underwriter. Additionally, spouses covered by the Family SGLI (FSGLI) program may be eligible for up to $100,000 of no-exam coverage. Children under 21 can also receive a $10,000 Family Allowance Rider.
If you have a Department of Veterans Affairs rating for a service-related disability, you may be eligible for Disabled Veterans Life (S-DVI) coverage for up to $10,000. If you are unable to work due to a service-related disability, you may be eligible for additional coverage of $30,000.
You must apply for S-DVI within two years of obtaining a VA disability rating.
However, registration for S-DVI permanently ends on December 31, 2022. Veterans Life Insurance, known as VALife, will replace it.
VA Life Insurance provides up to $40,000 in guaranteed whole life insurance coverage for veterans with service-related disability ratings. Coverage is available in increments of $10,000 and you don’t have to prove you are in good health to enroll.
VALife comprehensive coverage begins two years after enrollment. If you die before the end of the two-year period, your beneficiary will only receive the amount you paid in premiums, plus interest.
Once your coverage takes effect, it will begin to build cash value. A VALife policy will remain in effect for the rest of your life.
Calculating your life insurance needs
Online life insurance calculators can help you determine the right amount of coverage to protect your family.
These calculators can estimate the amount of coverage you’ll need based on your annual income, your family’s long-term needs, and their immediate cash needs after your death, such as mortgage payments, debts, final expenses and burial costs. They may also consider available financial resources that may offset certain life insurance needs.
If you prefer to work with an expert, consult a financial planner or life insurance representative to review your assets, debts and financial goals and get an estimate.
When estimating your life insurance needs, consider the following questions:
- How much money would your family need to maintain their standard of living?
- What investments could they rely on? Do you have investments in the market? How much money is in your savings account? Do you have other life insurance policies, perhaps through your employer?
- Is your spouse a stay-at-home parent? Consider the estimated costs needed to hire a full-time caregiver if your spouse has to return to the workforce.
- Have you considered additional expenses? It’s hard to predict additional expenses such as final medical bills, funeral costs, and college expenses, but try to factor in your best estimates.
Once you know the amount of coverage that will provide financial security for your family, you can determine which product will provide the best protection.
The Mutuelle de la Marine is here to help you
If you leave the military, it is important to determine how you will replace your SGLI coverage, whether through the VA or a private company. Navy Mutual is a nonprofit life insurer that has served current and former service members and their families for more than 140 years. We are committed to protecting your family in your absence.
To discuss your specific needs, call 800-628-6011 or schedule a consultation with a representative today.
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