Life Insurance for Veterans
It is never fun to talk about life insurance. But, for veterans with families it is a very important topic. Life insurance provides financial support to family members should anything happen while a soldier is actively serving. Most active duty understand their automatic Service Group Life Insurance plan benefits (SGLI). However, once military service ends and a serviceman is discharged; few know what types of life insurance are available for them. This article will provide a quick overview of plan options and types of coverage available.
Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI) is an fast and convenient life insurance plan for veterans already familiar with their SGLI benefits. The Veterans Group plan gives servicemen the opportunity to convert their active duty life insurance into a renewable term insurance policy within either 120 days or a year. Veterans can apply for coverage within 120 days and not have to submit proof of good health. For veterans waiting beyond 120 days, up to one year, proof of good health is require. Once the application is submitted and approved, a veteran can receive life insurance coverage for a specified number of years. One important thing to note is that VGLI insurance maxes out at a $400,000 benefit. For those needing more coverage, an independent term life insurance provider will provide more options.
Independent insurance companies (or civilian insurance providers) can provide multiple types of policies. Younger families often opt for term life insurance since there may be mortgages, college educations, and other debts that require funding. Term life insurance is offered for a specific amount of time and is typically less expensive since the term will ideally end at some point before death. Normally, the term range is between 10 and 30 years depending on the types of debts that may need to be paid after death, and the financial risk to the family without the deceased person’s income. Permanent life insurance is another option; however, it carries a steeper premium. Insurance providers offering permanent life insurance know that a death claim will be made at some point, requiring a pay-out. Important side note: For active military that are looking for more coverage, make sure you check if the policy has a war clause. Many permanent life insurance policies will NOT payout if a soldier is killed as a war casualty.
It is important to keep in mind that all insurance companies will require some sort of medical history review depending on the type, length, and coverage your family requires. An inside tip: most insurance companies participate in the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) so they can share the results of their applicants. Therefore, if your application has been denied from one insurance firm, it will likely be denied by the rest if they are utilizing the MIB system.
When planning for your future, it is important to thoroughly research all of the life insurance options available. This overview offer a few basics, but there are many different options available in each insurance category: term, permanent, etc. In addition to considering life insurance, it would be wise to check into the Aid and Attendance pension benefit for veterans and spouses as well. There could be money available to you or your family member to help them pay for senior housing or in-home care. Only you can choose what will best work for your financial needs.