Happy Veteran’s Day!
This Veteran’s Day, we want to discuss some available senior veteran life insurance options. There are many misconceptions surrounding life insurance for active duty and veteran service members. We are honored to work with senior veterans to help find the best life insurance policies out there.
I’m a Veteran and a Senior: Am I High Risk?
The first thing you need to know about getting life insurance as a senior veteran is that you may be considered more high risk than civilian seniors applying for life insurance.
While age alone is not enough to disqualify you for affordable insurance coverage, there are many factors to consider. Serving in the military, unfortunately, comes with risks. Long term health risks due to injury or exposure to certain chemicals or diseases will be considered when underwriting you for coverage.
Don’t let this deter you from looking for coverage. A qualified agent knows how underwriters assess risk, and will help you find a few options to suit your needs. Let’s take a look at a few options for senior veterans.
American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association, or AAFMAA, has been in business for over 140 years and is one of the go-to life insurers for senior veterans. The company was founded in 1879, and offers term and whole life insurance options specifically geared toward veterans.
Their Level Term I plan offers coverage up to the age of 50, and their Term II plan ranges between 5 and 30 years of coverage. According to their website, a 55-year old nonsmoker looking for $150K in Level Term II coverage can expect to pay around $86.70 in monthly premiums. Whole life insurance policy premiums through AAFMAA start around $300/month.
AAFMAA’s coverage is not available in the following states:
- New York
- New Jersey
- Washington D.C.
AAFMAA’s options for senior retired service members include SeniorSurvival Plan, Wealth Builder Life, Simple Term Life and ANNUTYLife coverage options.
As opposed to VGLI, or Veteran’s Group Life Insurance, AAFMAA offers no medical exam life insurance coverage with cheaper premiums. In fact the premiums with AAFMAA are often up to 14% less expensive than VGLI’s monthly premiums. Quotes are available instantly through their website.
Veteran’s Group Life Insurance (VGLI)
The United States Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) offers coverage to all service members in the form of Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance. Under this option, active-duty members – as well as National Guard and reserve members – are offered up to $400,000 in life insurance coverage.
Once you leave the military, you are given the option to convert your SGLI coverage into Veteran’s Group Life Insurance coverage (VGLI). This allows you to continue your policy after leaving the service. The benefit size is typically the same, or less, than the benefits for SGLI insurance.
The premiums for VGLI are based on your age. As a senior, chances are you have exited the military before September 1, 2005. This means that you are only eligible for $250,000 in maximum coverage. According to the chart on the VA’s website, a healthy individual of 55 can expect to pay $167.50 a month in premiums for $250,000 in coverage. An individual over 60 cna expect premiums to start around $270.00/month.
If this seems high, that’s because it is! If you are participating in group life insurance of any kind, you are paying the premiums of the most at-risk person in the group. You are almost always better off going for a traditionally underwritten life insurance policy – no matter your age or condition.
You can always convert your VGLI to a commercial life insurance policy at any time – without having to prove you’re in good health. For these conversions, you can expect to be rated in a Standard Premium category.
The only caveat of this conversion: you must convert this coverage to a whole life insurance or a permanent form of coverage. Additionally, supplementary policy benefits, such as Accidental Death and Dismemberment riders or or Waiver of Premium for Disability aren’t considered part of this conversion.
If you wish to purchase another term life insurance question or have questions about your VGLI coverage, give us a call! We frequently work with veterans and are familiar with all the options available to you.
Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance
Also known as S-DVI, Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance is for those who have been given a service-connected disability rating from the VA.
The basic version of this coverage is also known as RH Insurance and it covers eligible veterans for up to $10,000 in coverage. If you have qualified for this coverage and are totally disabled, you may be eligible to have your premiums waived. In this situation, you may apply for an additional $30K in coverage under the Supplemental S-DVI program. Unfortunately, premiums for this cannot be waived, regardless of circumstance.
In addition to being a United States armed services veteran, you need to meet the following criteria to qualify for S-DVI coverage:
- Must have a service-connected disability rating
- Must be in good health – save for service-related conditions
- Must apply within 2 years from the date the VA grants your disability rating
- Must have been released from active duty on or after April 25, 1951
- Must not have been released on dishonorable conditions