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Best life insurance for veterans

Find the best private life insurance policy after your service is over.

As a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard or Marines, you’re automatically covered under the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) program. But when you leave the armed services, that coverage expires. These are the best brands who have designed policies for veterans and their families who need life insurance.

When analyzing the best life insurance companies for veterans and military personnel, we weigh the insurer’s reputation in the industry, product selection, policy customization and underwriting standards. To determine industry reputation, our editorial team reviews the company’s financial strength, ratings and accreditations and customer reviews. We base product selection, policy customization and underwriting standards on an in-depth analysis of the insurer’s services and guidelines available on the company’s website.

What are the best life insurance companies for veterans?

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Best overall

Navy Mutual

Finder rating 4 / 5 ★★★★★

Navy Mutual offers life insurance to all active duty, reserve and retired military members, as well as honorably discharged veterans in Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. The carrier is known for its portable protection, which means your policy will stay in place even if you transition out of the military.

Best group life insurance

Uniformed Services Benefit Association (USBA)

Finder rating 4 / 5 ★★★★★

Founded in 1959, this nonprofit was formed to meet the needs of military members who required insurance that covered combat-related deaths. Backed by the financial strength of its underwriter, New York Life Insurance Company, USBA offers group term and whole life policies.

Best for returning servicemen


Finder rating 3.5 / 5 ★★★★★

The USAA aims to make the transition from military to civilian life as seamless as possible. If you buy coverage while you're still in active service, the carrier doesn't require a medical exam when you leave. And if you purchase protection within 240 days of separation, you'll be able to convert your SGLI coverage to a private USAA policy so it covers not only yourself, but your spouse and children.

Best long-term care options

American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association (AAFMAA)

Finder rating 4 / 5 ★★★★★

To apply for life insurance with AAFMAA, you need to be an active-duty military member, an Academy cadet or enrolled in the ROTC — or be within 120 days of separation. The association also opens coverage to military spouses and honorably discharged veterans in some states. All policies are portable, so your coverage will stay in effect if you leave the military.

Best for small amounts of coverage

Department of Veteran Affairs

Finder rating 4 / 5 ★★★★★

The Department of Veterans Affairs offers group life insurance through Prudential. Since it's designed to replace SGLI, you'll need to enroll in the program within one year and 120 days of separation. Better yet, if you enrol within 240 days, you won't need to undergo a medical examination. Premiums are based exclusively on age, so it's ideal for young, healthy applicants.

How do I choose the best life insurance for me?

When you’re researching companies and policy, ask these questions:
  • How much coverage can I buy?
  • Can I add riders to my policy?
  • Does the policy come with exclusions or age restrictions?
  • How flexible is my policy? (i.e. Can I buy more coverage or convert to a permanent policy later on?)
  • Can I purchase protection without a medical exam?
  • Can I combine my policy with other types of insurance?
  • What are the term lengths?
  • What kind of service should I expect?

Best life insurance options after leaving the service

These are the paths you can take to get coverage when you’re no longer in the military:

1. Convert SGLI to VGLI

You can keep the life insurance policy you had as an active-duty military member by converting to Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI). The timing is important. If you want to hold onto your benefits without going through the underwriting process, you’ll need to apply for VGLI within 240 days of leaving the service. After that, you will need to take a medical exam — and might be given higher rates or denied coverage as a result.

This option completely expires 485 days after you leave the military.

Since VGLI forgos the medical exam for the first 240 days, it’s best suited to veterans who have medical conditions that might otherwise disqualify them for coverage. This includes PTSD, disabilities, and neurological conditions. VGLI is also a solid choice for veterans in their 60s or above, who might pay a much higher premium with private life insurance.

2. Purchase private life insurance

If you opt to purchase a policy on your own, you have more control over your coverage. You can choose a term or permanent policy, and decide how much coverage you want to buy based on your family’s needs.

But to avoid any gaps in coverage, apply for a policy as soon as possible. Depending on your insurer, it can take between three and weeks to go through the underwriting process — or even longer if you have a complex medical history.

For example, if you’ve been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), your insurer might want proof that you’re working on improving the condition. This could include providing prescriptions for medication, or listing any therapy or treatments you’re undergoing.

Can I keep SGLI if I’m disabled?

If you’re totally disabled at the time of discharge, you can apply to keep your SGLI coverage for two years after your service separation date. The scheme is called Servicemembers’ Group Disability Extension (SGLI-DE), and it’s available from the VA.

If the VA has given you a service-connected disability rating, you might be eligible to receive Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance (S-DVI). This provides $10,000 in coverage. And if you qualify for a waiver of premium, you can apply for the Supplemental S-DVI program, which offers an additional $30,000 in coverage.

Bottom line

When your SGLI runs out, you have two options: convert your coverage to a low-cost VGLI policy, or go with a private insurer. The carriers on this list cater to military members and veterans by deleting common exclusions from their policies and offering perks such as survivor benefits. But if you’re in good health and willing to take a medical exam, it may be worth comparing multiple life insurance companies.

Compare top life insurance companies

Name Product Issue age Minimum Coverage Maximum Coverage Term Lengths Medical Exam Required
Policygenius - Life Insurance
18 - 85 years old
10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years
Depends on provider and policy
Compare 12+ top insurers side-by-side to get the best possible deal, and shop return of premium policies online.
20 - 60 years old
10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years
No, for coverage up to $3M
Apply for term life insurance online without the medical exam. Get an instant decision and adjust your coverage at no charge.
18 - 60 years old
5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years
Compare 40+ insurers and apply online to get the lowest possible price — no medical exam required.
Everyday Life
18 - 70
10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years.
Ladder multiple life insurance policies to save on the coverage you need for all your debts.
18 - 60 years old
10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years
Get a quote and apply.

Compare up to 4 providers

Life insurance ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

Our experts analyze life insurance companies to help you to find the strongest possible policy and premium for your family’s needs. We assess their financial strength, customer satisfaction, policy features and riders. We then give each insurer a score between one and five stars that reflects their offering and reputation in the industry.

Learn more about our methodology here.

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