Life Insurance for Veterans

Here's what you need to know about the types of life insurance available to veterans and how much life insurance is necessary.
Advertising Disclosure.

Advertiser Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone. This article may contain links from our advertisers. For more information, please see our Advertising Policy.

The Military Wallet has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. The Military Wallet and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Some or all of the card offers that appear on The Military Wallet are from advertisers. Compensation may impact how and where card products appear, but does not affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations. The Military Wallet does not include all card companies or all available card offers.

Navy Mutual life insurance for veterans

Deployments, permanent changes of station and other military events teach service members to plan for the unexpected. 

You may feel like you’re leaving these behind when you transition out of the military, but civilian life can also be full of surprises. Knowing you have the right life insurance policy in place can give you confidence and peace of mind as you begin the next chapter of your life.

Here’s what you need to know about life insurance for veterans.


Service members can depend on military group life insurance during and after their time in service. When you entered the military, you automatically received Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance. SGLI provides up to $400,000 of low-cost life insurance coverage for the duration of your military service.

Upon separation, veterans can sign up for Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI). Like SGLI, VGLI provides up to $400,000 of coverage to separated service members. However, your VGLI coverage amount is tied to the amount of SGLI coverage you paid for while on active duty. So, if you had $200,000 of SGLI coverage when you left the military, you’ll receive a corresponding amount when you apply for VGLI.

But, you can increase your VGLI coverage by $25,000 every five years until you turn 60, as long as you don’t exceed the $400,000 coverage limit. 

Your VGLI premiums will go up as you purchase more coverage. Additionally, younger veterans pay less than older veterans with VGLI coverage. Your premiums will increase every five years as you age. So, while a 30-year-old may pay $36 per month for $400,000 of life insurance coverage, a 40-year-old may pay $64 per month, and a 50-year-old may pay $132 per month for the same amount of coverage.

If you apply for VGLI coverage within 240 days of separating from the military, you won’t have to prove that you are in good health to receive coverage.

You must undergo a medical exam to prove your good health if you apply for coverage between 240 and 485 days of leaving the military. You’ll lose your VGLI coverage eligibility if you wait longer than that to apply. 

Navy Mutual offers up to $400,000 of permanent, guaranteed issue life insurance to veterans who are within 120 days of separation. If you had SGLI while in service, you won’t need a medical exam or an underwriter review. Additionally, spouses covered under the Family SGLI (FSGLI) program may be eligible for up to $100,000 of coverage without an exam. Children under age 21 may also receive a $10,000 family benefit rider.


If you have a Department of Veterans Affairs rating for a service-connected disability, you may be eligible for up to $10,000 of Service-Disabled Veterans Life Insurance (S-DVI) coverage. If you’re unable to work due to a service-connected disability, you may be eligible for a $30,000 coverage supplement. 

You must apply for S-DVI within two years of obtaining a VA disability rating. 

However, enrollment in S-DVI permanently ends on Dec. 31, 2022. Veterans Affairs Life Insurance, known as VALife, will replace it.

VA Life

VA Life insurance provides up to $40,000 in guaranteed whole life insurance coverage to veterans with service-connected disability ratings. Coverage is available in increments of $10,000, and you don’t have to prove you’re in good health to enroll.  

Full VALife coverage becomes effective two years after enrollment. If you die before the two-year period ends, your beneficiary will only receive the amount you have paid in premiums, plus interest.

Once your coverage becomes effective, it will begin to build cash value. A VALife policy will remain in effect for the rest of your life. 

Calculating Your Life Insurance Needs

Online life insurance calculators can help you determine the right amount of coverage to protect your family.

These calculators can estimate the amount of coverage you’ll need based on your annual income, your family’s long-term needs and their immediate cash needs after your death, such as mortgage payments, debts, final expenses and burial expenses. They may also account for available financial resources that can offset some life insurance needs.  

If you’d rather work with an expert, consult a financial planner or a life insurance representative to review your assets, debts and financial goals and obtain an estimate.

When estimating your life insurance needs, consider these questions: 

  • How much money would your family need to maintain their standard of living? 
  • What investments could they rely on? Do you have any market investments? How much money is in your savings account? Do you have other life insurance policies, perhaps through your employer?
  • Is your spouse a stay-at-home parent? Consider the estimated costs required to employ a full-time caregiver for your kids if your spouse needs to return to the workforce.
  • Have you considered additional expenses? It’s hard to predict additional expenses such as final medical bills, funeral costs and college expenses, but try to factor in your best estimates. 

Once you know how much coverage will ensure the financial security of your family, you can determine which product would provide the best protection.

Navy Mutual Is Here to Help

If you are transitioning out of the military, it is important to determine how you will replace your SGLI coverage, whether that’s through the VA or a private company. Navy Mutual is a nonprofit life insurer that has served current and former service members and their families for over 140 years. We promise to protect your family in your absence.

To discuss your specific needs, call 800-628-6011 or schedule a consultation with a representative today.

About Post Author

Get Instant Access
FREE Weekly Updates! Enter your information to join our mailing list.

Reader Interactions

Leave A Comment:


About the comments on this site:

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

The Military Wallet is a property of Three Creeks Media. Neither The Military Wallet nor Three Creeks Media are associated with or endorsed by the U.S. Departments of Defense or Veterans Affairs. The content on The Military Wallet is produced by Three Creeks Media, its partners, affiliates and contractors, any opinions or statements on The Military Wallet should not be attributed to the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, the Dept. of Defense or any governmental entity. If you have questions about Veteran programs offered through or by the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, please visit their website at The content offered on The Military Wallet is for general informational purposes only and may not be relevant to any consumer’s specific situation, this content should not be construed as legal or financial advice. If you have questions of a specific nature consider consulting a financial professional, accountant or attorney to discuss. References to third-party products, rates and offers may change without notice.

Advertising Notice: The Military Wallet and Three Creeks Media, its parent and affiliate companies, may receive compensation through advertising placements on The Military Wallet; For any rankings or lists on this site, The Military Wallet may receive compensation from the companies being ranked and this compensation may affect how, where and in what order products and companies appear in the rankings and lists. If a ranking or list has a company noted to be a “partner” the indicated company is a corporate affiliate of The Military Wallet. No tables, rankings or lists are fully comprehensive and do not include all companies or available products.

Editorial Disclosure: Editorial content on The Military Wallet may include opinions. Any opinions are those of the author alone, and not those of an advertiser to the site nor of  The Military Wallet.