Can life insurance be affordable?

The answer is yes. Planning for the future often takes a backseat to the more immediate financial obligations that individuals and families have. VA offers several life insurance options to consider when financial planning.

Life insurance provides important protection from financial loss resulting from death and is often affordable for a wide array of income levels. Having the right policy can provide funds for end-of-life costs, an inheritance for loved ones, or cover some outstanding debts.

Life insurance premium costs vary depending on several factors. Generally, the younger and healthier the person, the lower the monthly premium rate. However, those two factors alone do not paint the whole picture.

So, which factors determine the cost of life insurance?

Type of policy

VA life insurance options are offered in differing types of coverage: term life and whole life. With a term life policy, coverage lasts for a set term (e.g., 10, 15 or 20 years), and only offers a death benefit. Because of the shorter term of coverage, term life insurance rates are typically lower compared to whole life. However, it also provides higher coverage amounts. VA offers term life coverage through programs such as Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI), which allows transitioning service members to convert their Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) coverage into a term life policy.

Whole life policies provide coverage for the entire life of the policyholder as long as premiums are paid; and because it builds cash value, premiums are typically higher. VA’s newest whole life offering—Veterans Affairs Life Insurance (VALife)—will launch Jan. 1, 2023. VALife will offer guaranteed acceptance whole life coverage, up to $40,000, to Veterans with any level of service-connected disability. VA’s current offering for service-connected Veterans—Service-Disabled Veterans Life Insurance (S-DVI)—will close to new enrollment after December 31.

Amount of coverage

How much coverage someone selects depends on what they want their policy to cover. If a policy is intended solely for funeral costs, the coverage amount could be less than a policy that is intended to cover all end-of-life costs. A different policy may be appropriate for an inheritance, supporting income to loved ones, or an amount needed to pay off all outstanding debts.

Demographics and lifestyle

Those who are younger and healthier tend to have lower premium rates. The older a person is, or the more medical conditions they have, the higher the rates may be. For most private sector offerings, women tend to pay less than men due to a longer average life expectancy. Many VA Life Insurance programs do not make these demographic distinctions.

Across all programs, VA does not consider gender when determining life insurance premiums, meaning men and women get the same competitive rates. VA’s newest life insurance offering—VALife—will be available Jan. 1, 2023 and has no medical requirements for enrollment. For transitioning service members, VGLI also has no medical requirements for enrollment as long as Veterans apply within the first 240 days of separation from the military.

The provider

All insurance providers have different standards and guidelines that dictate their life insurance rates. This means that for the same type of policy, an individual could receive different rates from different companies, underscoring the importance of looking at several options before making a final decision about which policy to purchase.

Learn more

Veterans, service members and their families can begin their life insurance journey by calculating their needs using the VA Life Insurance Needs Calculator.

To learn more about VA Life Insurance programs—including the new VALife program, which launches Jan 1, 2023—visit the VA Life Insurance website.

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10 Comments

  1. Dwight David Hollenbach August 7, 2022 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    Why don’t you have a calculator that shows me what my insurance cost would be for a prescribed amount? I know how much I need but I don’t know the monthly premium or the length of the policy. As a 68 year old veteran, can I get a term insurance policy beyond 70 years old? Answer those questions.

  2. J.Birch August 5, 2022 at 8:40 pm - Reply

    If this site is really for the benefit of our service members (not just a corporate sales vehicle) it would reasonably start with an informative/educational introduction to the legitimate reasons for having life insurance, and the goals that life insurance can economically achieve. The money made from service members should provide true and comparable value to them. At some point in the process you presumably expect ‘clients’ to follow, you will hand them off to a disinterested commercial insurance product sales agent, who’s fiduciary responsibility is to maximize profit and minimize cost to his employer, not us, his clients. The only service you could provide is first education and guidelines and standards by which to intelligently judge the products that will be available. Knowing that death can be behind the next door, has hyper-sensitized many combat members to the risk that is to our dependents, which yields importance of life insurance. There is no replacement for our life in theirs, so the only “necessary benefit” of “life insurance”, is only “income insurance” for our dependents, until they are no longer dependent on our income. The calculation of that dollar value is not of our lives, but of our reasonably expected salary and other fiscal/physical benefits into a possible future without us. That calculation is complex and even more difficult for the emotional burden it imposes. The military has limited financial advisors with fiduciary interest in our members, who can provide individual guidance in performing those calculations, and should be the first step in clarifying this unnecessarily difficult process of calculating, selecting, and planning our insurance needs, before being left at the door of the insurance industry. As a nurse, I have seen, and experienced too many, funneled by agents, into financial quagmires and sorrow by their “own” avoidable mistakes. … Ask more, waste less. Be effective stewards of your resources.

  3. James McMahan August 5, 2022 at 4:11 pm - Reply

    I’m 74 are there options for me?

  4. Mark DOnofrio August 4, 2022 at 8:06 pm - Reply

    I want insurance on my wife

  5. Darrell Hampton August 4, 2022 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    You provide little to no information or costs on the insurance
    Your crazy if I’m going to subject myself to a sales rep without knowing anything
    Waste of time

  6. Siu August 4, 2022 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    Veteran seeking life insurance. Discharged for over 6years and no life insurance. Are there any insurance available for these Veterans?

  7. James Aiello Jr. August 4, 2022 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    If my survivors need $18000 a year for 10 years, THEN HOW CAN THE INCOME REQUIREMENT BE ZERO!!!?? THIS CACULATOR IS BULLSSHT.

  8. Ricardo Garza August 4, 2022 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    Send me some life insurance options for an old guy over 67 years old

  9. Stacy Severn-Klingenstein August 4, 2022 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    Do you have to be a veteran or can you be the daughter of a veteran to receive Life Insurance through this company?

  10. Roberto Samer August 4, 2022 at 10:52 am - Reply

    Hello, retired air force reservist and wondering is there no other type of life insurance I can purchase through the VA that is not related to any disability or recently separated veteran?

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