In honor of Veteran’s Day we wanted to acknowledge that veterans and active military members are often limited when it comes to life insurance. We can help.
We are proud to work with veterans and active-duty military personnel. If you have any questions about how your military status may impact your risk, give us a call!
I’m In The Military: Do I Have Life Insurance Options?
The first thing you need to know about finding life insurance as an active duty military member is that you do have choices.
When carriers assess you as a candidate for coverage, they are actually assessing your risk. Risk is based on the likelihood of you passing away before the end of your insurance policy. There are obvious risk factors, such as heart problems, diabetes, obesity, and a history of tobacco use.
There are also less obvious risk factors, such as your hobbies or your occupation. Any career that is possibly considered dangerous could bar you from coverage or limit the amount of coverage you’re eligible to receive.
So you can see why active duty military members may have a harder time finding affordable life insurance.
You can expect your coverage options will be limited depending on your specific duties in the military. If you are an active duty military member with deployment orders, you should seek out an independent life insurance agent.
Deployment and Life Insurance: What To Expect
While it may take a little time, you can find affordable life insurance, even if you’re deployed. The first things carriers will ask (besides your duties) is where you are deployed and how long your deployment is set to last.
If you are going with a non-government provider, the location of your deployment will largely determine how carriers assess your risk. Your life insurance company will look to travel advisories issued by the State Department and, depending on the State Department’s safety rating, will determine your insurability.
If your deployment is in an area the government has flagged as dangerous/an area with a long-standing risk, then your risk will, reasonably, be considered higher. In some circumstances, your life insurer will place a “war exclusion” on your policy.
Your Risk: Duties During Deployment
Let’s revisit your occupational risk. There is a chance that you won’t be declined coverage just because of your location.
For example: you could be deployed to a country with no State-issued warnings and working as a recruiter or in a desk role. However, if you are involved in dangerous activities, you will face expensive or declined coverage.
Some roles that will result in declines or table ratings:
- Delta Force
- Marine Raiders or Marine Force Recon
- Special Forces
- Air Force Pararescue
Your best option for coverage outside of givernment-sponsored coverage is to chat with an agent. The important thing to remember that the risk of military personnel are much like the risk of the average civilian applying for life insurance.
Each carrier will view your risk on a case-by-case basis, and an agent can help guide you to your best options. Let’s take a look at a few options available to active duty servicemembers.
USAA Life Insurance
USAA boasts its ability to provide coverage to all active military, even those deploying. USAA’s coverage is extended to anyone in the Army, Air Force, United States Coast Guard, National Guard, Navy or United States Marine Corps.
USAA offers term and whole life insurance policies with up to one million in coverage, and no war exclusions. Per USAA’s fine print, war exclusions don’t apply to “coverage provided under accidental death benefit riders and policies.” USAA also limits coverage, depending on rank. For example:
- Limits up to $300,000 for E1-E7
- Limits up to $400,000 for E8-03
- Limits up to $600,000 for 04-010
- Up to $1,000,000 for active duty members 04 and above
One upside to USAA’s coverage is that both pilots and paratroopers are covered, as well as infantry. If you are a pilot or paratrooper, your coverage may be more expensove than a lower-risk occupation.
Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI)
The fastest and easiest option for life insurance coverage is called Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI). Provided by Prudential, this form of life insurance is actually overseen by the United States Department fo Veteran’s Affairs.
SGLI benefits are guaranteed-issue, and go up to $400,000. Because this is guaranteed-issue coverage, you simply need to apply and pay your premiums. Additionally, there are no exclusions with SGLI coverage; you can get it at any time. The downside is that SGLI will stop covering you once you have finished active duty.
SGLI coverage comes with the option to convert; however, an individual, traditionally-underwritten, life insurance policy will always be less expensive. This is because you will be rated as a lower risk than the high-risk SGLI group coverage.
Additionally, traditional life insurance benefits are higher than what SGLI offers. For servicemembers with families, this means more protection should the worst happen. You will have to undergo a medical exam for traditional policies.
Navy Mutual offers something called an Express Term Plus plan. This coverage offers a $250,000 benefit with no medical exam – and no restrictions based on deployment status.
Navy Mutual’s options are good for those who may have health issues or for those looking for quick coverage. The Express Term Plus coverage goes into effect as soon as your first premium payment is made, and coverage can be kept even after your active service ends.
No matter the coverage you are looking for, you have options. We are honored to work with both active duty military personnel and veterans. Give us a call today to see how we can help you find the best military and high risk insurance coverage.