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Life insurance for disabled veterans

Fact-checked with HomeInsurance.com

    Article Highlights

    Life insurance is an important investment in anyone’s life but especially so for members of our military who are in harm’s way more frequently than the average civilian. Life and disability insurance offers the peace of mind that military members and veterans need so that their families will be taken care of after they are gone. 

    However, military life insurance is not like your run-of-the-mill, everyday life insurance policy, and it can be even harder to find when you require disabled veterans life insurance. Even some of the best life insurance companies will not be able to offer the support required from life insurance for disabled veterans, but there are a few who particularly excel in this area.

    Veterans life insurance companies

    One major issue with insurance for veterans is that they can sometimes be declined for coverage based on existing physical or mental health issues. This is even the case with veterans and car insurance. However, there are companies that not only accept current and former military members but also cater to them with specialized coverage and custom benefits through their life and disability insurance.

    Coverage evaluated insurance for veterans, looking for the best life insurance companies for disabled veterans. We analyze critical features such as coverage, availability, pricing and industry ratings to ensure that you gain a broad comparison of the nation’s leading companies offering life insurance to disabled veterans. 

    These are the best companies for life and disability insurance in 2021.   

    ProviderStandout FeatureProsCons
    SGLIBest for active-duty militaryFree coverage for 120 days 
    2-year extension for disabled vets
    Part-time coverage available for reservists
    Extremely limited window to sign up
    Not available to veterans
    Prudential Veteran’s Group Life InsuranceBest for lifetime coverage Guaranteed lifetime coverage
    No medical exam
    Limited exclusions 
    Must apply with 485 days of leaving service
    Limited customer service
    Army & Air Force Mutual Aid Association (AAFMAA)Best for senior veteransSpecial benefits for seniors
    Cheap premiums
    Option for no medical exams
    Limited service area
    Medical exam required for some plans
    United Services Automobile Association (USAA) Best for disabled vetsExcellent benefits for disabled vets
    Affordable to add children to policy
    Guaranteed SGLI replacement upon retirement
    Medical exam required
    Process takes a few weeks
    Uniformed Services Benefit Association (USBA)Best for familiesGreat for families
    Plans available for married couples 
    Coverage for children
    Not available in all areas
    Can become pricey for larger families
    Military Benefit Association (MBA)Best for the long haulSupported by MetLife
    Coverage up to age 90 
    Added support for children
    Whole life insurance not available
    Child coverage is limited

    SGLI

    Best for active-duty military

    Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) is a form of military life insurance that is issued to active-duty members of the military by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). There is automatic enrollment for those who are eligible, and policies include Traumatic Injury Protection coverage (TSGLI). Term life insurance benefits include up to $400,000 in coverage and are valid until 120 days after departure from service. After 120 days of leaving service, you have the option to convert your SGLI policy into one of your choosing.  

    When you retire from the military, you can apply to convert your life insurance benefits to a Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI) policy, which includes up to $400,000 in coverage. You have one year and 120 days from the date that you leave the military to apply for your VGLI policy.

    NOTE: There are deadline extensions currently in effect due to COVID-19.

    Servicemembers’ Group Disability Extension (SGLI-DE)

    When you experience a disability due to service-related injuries, the VA allows you to retain Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) coverage for up to two years after leaving the military. This is known as a Servicemembers’ Group Disability Extension (SGLI-DE) and is free for eligible service members.

    Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance (S-DVI)

    Your SGLI-DE doesn’t last forever, so after the two years are up, disabled veterans can find low-cost healthcare through Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance (S-DVI). You must apply within two years of leaving service.

    For those with a disability that prevents them from working, S-DVI can include up to $30,000 via S-DVI supplemental coverage.  

    Prudential Veteran’s Group Life Insurance

    Best for lifetime coverage

    Prudential Veteran’s Group Life Insurance is a flexible provider with no exclusions for mental health, PTSD, or a traumatic brain injury (TBI) – all conditions that other life insurance companies frequently deny. Regardless of health or employment status, Prudential guarantees lifetime coverage as long as you maintain your policy. Enrollment is limited to one year and 120 days after you leave the military, and there is no medical exam if you apply within 240 days of departure. 

    To receive a quote for disabled veterans life insurance, you can apply online via the Prudential or Veterans Affairs websites, email, or you can call 800-419-1473 during regular business hours. 

    Army & Air Force Mutual Aid Association (AAFMAA)

    Best for senior vets

    Army & Air Force Mutual Aid Association (AAFMAA) has been around for more than 140 years and has made a name for itself as the leading life insurance provider for senior veterans. Part of the reason why is that AAFMAA offers special programs like ANNUITYLife and the Veteran Survivor Plan, both of which do not require medical exams. AAFMAA’s real standout is its low price, offering affordable veteran life insurance at up to 75% less than traditional VGLI policies. Plans are split into two products, the Level Term I that caters to those up to age 49, and then the Level Term II, which offers term life insurance available from five to 30 years.

    To sign up for life insurance for disabled veterans, customer support by phone is available during limited hours, but you can always use the online quote tool on the website for 24/7 service.

    United Services Automobile Association (USAA)

    Best for disabled vets

    USAA offers life insurance to both active-duty and veteran servicemembers with several plans offering term, whole and universal life insurance. These life insurance plans are especially popular for disabled veterans because USAA doesn’t penalize you for having a disability. Instead, vets can convert their SGLI policies into new policies with ultra-low premiums. Term life insurance policies are guaranteed after military service, and retiring servicemembers can lock in their active-duty rates when they switch their policy to USAA – regardless of disability. However, a free medical exam is required.

    USAA offers online quotes with an account, by phone, or through its mobile app for quick and easy service.

    Uniformed Services Benefit Association (USBA)

    Best for families

    Founded in 1959, Uniformed Services Benefit Association (USBA) carries the backing of New York Life Insurance Company, which underwrites your life insurance policy. With USBA, you have the option to replace your SGLI policy with either term or whole life insurance. Its policies are designed to also embrace the spouse with equal protection, a single premium and first-to-die coverage under the USBA Double Value Two for One Family Group Level Term Life Plan. If you have children, they can be added to your policy for just a nominal additional fee.

    You can apply online or by phone to check your options for insurance for veterans.

    Military Benefit Association (MBA)

    Best for the long term

    Military Benefit Association (MBA) is another company offering insurance for veterans that is underwritten by another household insurance name, this time MetLife. MBA’s protections are intended to serve either as an alternative or an addition to traditional VGLI coverage. Plans are available for 10-year or 20-year term life insurance policies with seniors eligible for coverage up to the age of 90. Where MBA really shines, however, is in its extended coverage for children and seniors. Spouses can receive up to $1 million in coverage, while children may be covered up to $12,500 without additional cost or penalty. Children don’t age out, either, with parents able to add children up to 25 years old and children eligible for their own MBA membership at age 25.  

    To get started on your policy for disabled veterans life insurance, visit the online application or apply via phone.

    Life insurance considerations for veterans

    If you have served in the military, you likely carry more than a few bumps and bruises that you have accumulated over the years. Life insurance is not the easiest to obtain when you are a current or former member of the military because you don’t have access to many of the same providers that civilians do. Many insurance providers are hesitant to insure those with a higher risk of past, current, or future injury, so they may hit the rejection button instead. 

    Be sure to consider any exclusions that a provider may have. Not all insurance providers will be willing to extend coverage, and it’s always better to have a provider who understands the unique needs of insurance for veterans, anyway. 

    The takeaway

    • The VA’s automatic life insurance, SGLI, expires soon after service.
    • A VGLI policy is an automatic next step for many leaving the military unless you miss the enrollment date.
    • A life insurance policy for disabled veterans is available through other providers and may not even require a medical exam.
    • Some disabled veterans life insurance providers will offer protection for spouses. 
    • Children may be able to gain coverage and even their own membership, depending on when they enroll.

    The federal government protects its servicemembers with SGLI and VGLI insurance, but it doesn’t last forever, and the clock starts ticking the minute you leave the military. A major obstacle that many veterans face when shopping for life insurance is the number of exclusions insurance companies included, refusing coverage for PTSD, TBI, or a history of suicide. 

    Although sometimes challenging, finding life insurance for disabled veterans is far from impossible. The best companies for military life insurance are able to accommodate disabled military servicemembers and veterans with comprehensive and reliable life and disability insurance for all of their days to come.

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