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Life Insurance for Military Veterans


You’ve protected your country, and you want to protect your family, too. As a military veteran, you have options when it comes to life insurance. Whether you’re retired from the military or planning to retire soon, here’s what to know about life insurance for veterans.


Does the VA offer life insurance?


As an active military member, you’re actively enrolled in a group life insurance plan called Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI). SGLI offers coverage of up to $400,000. If you die while enrolled in the plan, your family will receive a cash payout of that amount. You also have the option to add on coverage for traumatic injury.


Once you leave active duty, you have the option to continue that coverage for up to 120 days. If you’re disabled when you leave active duty, you can extend coverage for up to two years. After that, you have a few options.


Convert to a veteran’s policy from the military


You can convert your SGLI policy to Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI) for up to a year and 120 days after leaving active duty. If you sign up within 240 days of leaving the military, you won’t need to prove that you’re in good health. If you sign up after the 240-day period, you’ll need to submit evidence that you’re in healthy.


Start the process of securing veterans group life insurance sooner rather than later to avoid a gap in coverage. When you leave the military, you can sign up through VGLI for coverage up to the amount you had through SGLI. You can also increase your coverage by $25,000 every five years – up to $400,000 – until you’re 60 years old.


Apply for a private life insurance policy


As a veteran, you may want to apply for a private life insurance option or supplement your VGLI policy with insurance from a private insurer. Since VGLI only goes up to $400,000, you may need more insurance in some cases to protect your family. A good rule of thumb is to have seven to 10 times your income in life insurance.

The main types of life insurance options are permanent life insurance and term life insurance, which is the most affordable and the best choice for most people. Term life insurance offers financial protection for a specific period of time, while permanent life insurance provides lifelong protection and the chance to build up cash value.


Note that you might need to take a medical exam and answer some health questions. If you have PTSD or other medical issues, this could impact your eligibility and rates with your life insurance company. That’s why it pays to shop around for insurance for veterans and their families. Some private insurers have policies specifically designed to meet veterans’ needs, so an experienced life insurance agent can help you compare plans to find the best term life insurance for retired military.


For more information about Life Insurance call JCT Insurance Agency at (626)354-2000 or email jctfinancialsvc@gmail.com

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