Life Insurance for Veterans

Service members are offered life insurance for veterans by the military. After leaving the service, veterans can receive VA life insurance. However, this type of coverage doesn’t offer as much protection as individual life insurance, and premiums increase significantly with age. Knowing your options for life insurance for veterans will ensure you choose the right plan for your future.

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Natasha McLachlan is a writer who currently lives in Southern California. She is an alumna of California College of the Arts, where she obtained her B.A. in Writing and Literature. Her current work revolves around insurance guides and informational articles. She truly enjoys helping others learn more about everyday, practical matters through her work.

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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The Rundown

  • VA-provided life insurance premiums increase significantly with age
  • Private life insurance offers more coverage and lower rates
  • VA-provided life insurance can be converted to private individual coverage

While the military provides life insurance for service members, it might not be enough coverage and rates increase as you get older. The best insurance companies offer coverage Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI) lacks. Learning more about life insurance for veterans will help you determine if you need individual life insurance.

If you’re looking for life insurance quotes for veterans, enter your ZIP code to find the best life insurance rates in your area.

Why not use your VA-issued life insurance for veterans?

Affordable life insurance for veterans is provided through Veterans’ Group Life Insurance. While acceptance is guaranteed, VGLI coverage is tied to your previously-held SGLI coverage. You can increase your coverage but only by $25,000 every five years.

Another issue with VGLI coverage is that they only consider the amount of coverage and your age. Discounts for living healthy or reducing risks won’t help you. This means that your VGLI rates can increase significantly as you age.

VGLI only offers term life insurance, which lasts for a specified period. If you’re looking for coverage that will last the remainder of your life or carry a cash value, you’ll need a life insurance company for veterans that offers permanent life insurance.

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What are the monthly rates for life insurance for veterans?

Before you consider exchanging your VGLI insurance for private life insurance, you’ll want to compare the rates to ensure they’re cheaper. The following chart shows the average monthly rates for a healthy male obtaining a $400,000, 20-year term life policy based on age.

Average Monthly Life Insurance for Veterans Rates: Male $400,000 20-Year Private Term Life and VGLI Term Life Policies
AgeAverage Monthly VGLI Term Life RatesAverage Monthly Private Term Life Rates
30$40$25.58
40$68$45.92
50$144$113.58
60$432$290.92
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As you can see, monthly rates for a private term life insurance plan are cheaper than a VGLI plan.

Can you convert life insurance for veterans to an individual policy?

VGLI might not offer enough coverage or rates might end up being too high. In this case, you can convert your VA life insurance to an individual policy through a private life insurance company. This will allow you to choose from a variety of policies.

While SGLI policyholders can only convert to a private plan within 120 days of leaving the service, VGLI policyholders can convert to an individual plan at any time. If the conversion is with a participating life insurance company, you can receive standard rates without proof of good health.

How do you get the best rates for life insurance for veterans?

One option for former service members looking to buy life insurance for veterans is to convert to the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association. The AAFMAA offers term life and whole life options to veterans, but there are other options.

If you’re happy with your VGLI coverage but are looking for lower rates, you can keep your current coverage until the rates get too high. Then you can convert your plan to a private life insurance company. This is best when you’re relatively young and healthy as you can lock in low rates with the new provider.

Both of these options allow you to purchase permanent life insurance, which builds up a cash value. Depending on the company, you can also purchase final expense or burial insurance to pay for your funeral and burial costs, taking the burden off your loved ones.

The Insurance Information Institute provides additional tips on finding the companies with the best life insurance rates for veterans.

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Life Insurance for Veterans: The Bottom Line

Veterans are provided life insurance but only term life and rates don’t consider your health. This might convince some to switch to an individual plan from a private life insurance company. Knowing why and how to switch coverage will ensure you find the best life insurance for veterans.

To find life insurance rates for veterans, enter your ZIP code for the top life insurance quotes in your area.

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