Affordable life insurance for veterans is an important part of preparing for the future. Life insurance for veterans and family is more complex than other types of life insurance. Some plans have limited windows, such as only applying during your service.
The type of VA life insurance coverage also changes with the plans. Veteran life insurance falls under three categories. Term life insurance covers a specific period of time and has the lowest initial premium. Permanent or whole life plans have premiums you pay until you pass, but build more savings for your family. Variable plans use a flexible structure, allowing you to treat your insurance more like an investment plan.
Typically, the best life insurance for veterans and family who are actively serving is SGLI. For many veterans, it is considered the default life insurance option. This is because you are automatically enrolled if you meet the necessary requirements. The eligibility requirements for SGLI are mostly the same across all branches, but there are a few differences.
SGLI is a term life insurance, lasting for as long as you are enrolled in the military. Veterans group life insurance (VGLI) will allow you to rollover your SGLI benefits after you retire, but it counts as a separate plan and uses different rates.
SGLI is automatically applied if you are an active-duty member serving in either the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard. You are also eligible if you are either a member of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) or the U.S. Public Health Services. You are eligible for SGLI whether you are a cadet in a military academy or serving overseas.
VA life insurance is different if you are part of the Ready Reserve or National Guard. You can still apply for SGLI, but you must either be in authorized training or be scheduled to perform for at least 12 periods of inactive training each year. If you are in nonpay status in the Ready Reserve or National Guard, you can still get SGLI benefits if you are drilling for points and meet the previous training requirements.
SGLI is considered the best term life insurance for veterans because of the benefits it provides. Coverage is available starting at $50,000, up to a maximum of $400,000. While you are serving in the military, you can freely make changes to your level of coverage. If you do not want to pay any monthly premiums, you can refuse coverage.
As of writing, the current monthly premium is six cents for every $1,000 of coverage, plus an additional $1 each month for Traumatic Injury Protection coverage (TSGLI). This means the maximum level of $400,000 costs $25 each month, while the minimum of $50,000 costs $4 each month.
In addition to SGLI being cheap life insurance for veterans, it is the easiest plan to manage. You can check your status and make any changes by using the SGLI Online Enrollment System (SOES). Your SOES account uses the same credentials as your CAC and DS Logon. You can also speak with your unit’s personnel office to get advice and make any changes to your SGLI.