Best Motorcycle Insurance for Veterans

There’s nothing quite like the freedom you feel riding down the road on your brand new motorcycle until you wreck it and don’t have the right insurance to cover it.

If you’re a veteran or currently serving, you can get coverage at a better rate or extra benefits, depending on who you go with. Keep reading to learn about the best motorcycle insurance for veterans and military personnel.

Our Top Rated Motorcycle Insurance for Veterans – Service Members

1. Progressive

We’re going to go out a limb here and say, you probably knew Progressive was number one for motorcycle insurance. If you’re looking for full replacement cost, meaning your parts don’t depreciate, then Progressive might be a company you want to look into. They also offer accident forgiveness, which means if you don’t have an accident after four straight years of coverage, your rates won’t go up, no matter how much the claim costs Progressive. However, if you do have an accident, but it’s a small one—less than $500—your rates won’t go up after your first accident either.

Pros

  • When you renew your policy, you can get a discount—if you never filed a claim
  • LoJack® devices give you a discount
  • If you paid all your premiums on time, you can get a discount
  • Homeowners get a discount
  • They offer total loss coverage
  • Full replacement cost is available and no depreciation for parts
  • Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts are replaced with OEM
  • parts and custom parts are repaired with custom parts
  • Military members can get a discount in some states

Cons

  • There are several negative reviews about their customer service
  • They take a long time to finish claims and work hard to try and prove they don’t owe you anything
  • They use your credit score to determine your payment, if you have a bad credit score, you will pay more (This is standard, but not everyone puts as much emphasis on it) 

2. Dairyland Auto-Cycle Insurance

Dairyland’s motorcycle insurance is known for being on the cheaper side of coverage. And while that may sound a little sketchy, it doesn’t mean they don’t provide good coverage. They provide Collision, Comprehensive, and Bodily Injury, as well as Replacement Cost, Rental Reimbursement, Roadside Assistance, and Optional/Special Equipment coverage. They also offer discounts to anyone who’s taken the military’s safety riding course. Keep in mind, however, Dairyland Motorcycle insurance is a better option for infrequent riders. If you’re out riding every weekend or using your bike as primary transportation, you’re better off going with a different provider.

Pros 

  • They offer full coverage, including collision and comprehensive
  • They offer coverage in 42 states
  • They cover passengers as well
  • Homeowners get a discount
  • They have a pay-as-you-go option

Cons

  • There are several reviews saying their customer service isn’t very good
  • If you’re a frequent rider, there are cheaper options

3. Harley-Davidson Insurance 

If you’re looking for motorcycle insurance, why not get it from the people who know all about motorcycles? If you’re cruising the streets on your brand new Harley, with genuine Harley-Davidson parts, they’ll replace them with those same parts. So, unlike some companies who’ll give you the cheapest version of what you need, H-D will do exact replacements.

As far as discounts go, H.O.G members get one, as well as anyone who goes through their riding academy. And if you’re deployed while purchasing a H-D, you’ll get an additional year of free membership with H.O.G. once you’ve returned home.

Pros

  • They’ve been in the market since 1903
  • They have an A+ rating
  • They offer a multitude of discounts

Cons

  • If you’re looking to bundle auto and motorcycle, you can’t do it with H-D—but that shouldn’t be a surprise
  • If you want minimum coverage, you can find it at a better price elsewhere

4. Markel

Markel is an insurance company that wants your business, so much that they’ll give you a discount just for switching over to them from a different provider. They also offer customized coverage, and since they specialize in motorcycle insurance rather than home, auto, motorcycle, renters, etc., they claim they’re able to serve you more quickly.

Pros

  • They offer accident forgiveness
  • They offer Roadside assistance
  • You can save up to 35% with discounts
  • They offer mechanical breakdown coverage

Cons

  • Markel offers a lot of discounts, but without them, things get pricey
  • Several complaints have been filed about Markel not providing the coverage they promised

How much is Motorcycle Insurance

Motorcycle insurance varies from state to state. It also depends on your age, gender, credit score, driving history, location, and any discounts you qualify for. So, giving an exact amount is impossible. For example, if you live in a city where you’re more likely to crash or have your bike stolen, you’re going to pay more for coverage. However, if you live somewhere in the country where there isn’t a lot of traffic and you don’t ride very often, your coverage will cost much less. Motorcycle insurance is pretty much the same as car insurance.

Cheap Motorcycle Insurance

Finding cheap motorcycle insurance isn’t the hard part. It’s deciding how much coverage you actually need. Yes, you can pay almost nothing and have liability coverage only—that’s cheap. But, if you crash and total your motorcycle, will it really be that cheap in the end? Luckily, there are plenty of companies out there willing to let you customize your coverage. Most states require liability insurance, but providers are there to help you pick and choose between collision, comprehensive, parts replacement coverage and so much more until you find the coverage you want at the price you’re comfortable with.

USAA Motorcycle Insurance

You’re probably wondering, why is USAA not at the top of our list, especially if we’re talking about what’s best for our veterans. USAA is a great bank, insurance provider, loan provider, etc. They seem to always be at the top of the rankings when it comes to anything military/veteran related—which we love—however when it comes to motorcycle insurance, they don’t actually provide it. Instead, they outsource to Progressive—who we’ve listed as number one. However, your best option is to go through USAA to get to Progressive, because you’ll get a 5% discount if you’re a USAA member.

Other Motorcycle Insurance Providers

  • Geico Motorcycle insurance
  • AAA Motorcycle Insurance
  • Nation Wide Motorcycle Insurance
  • Allstate Motorcycle Insurance
  • State Farm Motorcycle Insurance

Motorcycle Insurance Coverage

Liability coverage

Liability comes into play when you’re the at-fault driver. In most states, it’s a minimum requirement for legally driving a motorcycle. Basically, if you do something stupid, like run a red light and T-bone a car, your insurance can pay for the damage you caused, the medical cost of the other driver and their passengers if need be, and even their lost wages.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Pretend for a moment, that not everyone has insurance. Okay, now let us inform you of a small fact, there are a LOT of people out there driving illegally, with no insurance. What does that mean for you? Well, it means if they hit you and don’t have insurance, you’re pretty much screwed, and not in a good way. Or even if they have insurance, but they don’t have enough, you might be stuck paying for the damages. However, let’s say you have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. If the other driver or rider is at fault, it will take care of what the other person’s insurance couldn’t. The downside to this coverage, it costs more in states where there are more uninsured individuals, and it won’t help in cases where you’re the reason the accident happened.

New Bike Replacement Coverage

Have you ever totaled a bike? Then you were left trying to find the funds to replace what you had. This can be a difficult task. Good thing there’s something called new bike replacement coverage. This coverage ensures you get a brand new bike, not the depreciation value of the old one.

What is the difference between collision and comprehensive insurance?

Collision insurance helps replace or repair damage to your bike because of a collision with another vehicle or object—no that poll didn’t come out of nowhere, no it didn’t hit you, you hit it, but yes collision insurance would cover that. Collision insurance does not cover the damage you might do to another vehicle.

Comprehensive coverage is the opposite of collision insurance; it’s what you need when you don’t have a collision. For instance, say you woke up and your bike was stolen. Comprehensive insurance would help you pay for a new bike. If you out of the bar at 2am and your bike had been vandalized while inside, your comprehensive insurance would help pay to replace or repair it. What comprehensive insurance doesn’t do is pay for damaged not caused by a collision. If your bike was stolen, damaged from fire, vandalism or falling objects—such as a tree or hail—then you would need comprehensive coverage to help replace or repair your bike. 

Is it worth it to have collision coverage?

Is it worth it to have good health? I don’t know, that’s up to you. If you get in a wreck and don’t have collision insurance, here’s what could happen. Pretend you’re involved in a hit and run. You don’t have a name, license plate or even a vehicle description, what you do have is about $5,000 worth of damage. If however, you have collision coverage, you’ll be fine, or at least your bike will be. Collision coverage does come with a deductible, talk to your agent to see home much this will be for you.

Is it worth it to have comprehensive coverage?

Again, like most things in life. Only you can answer the “is it worth it” question. I mean, was it worth it when you missed curfew back in ’69. Was eating that gas station sushi worth it? We could probably guess the answers, but in the end, only you can decide what’s best for you. If that’s not a good enough answer how about this one…

Do you live in an area where your motorcycle is susceptible to natural disasters? Do you live in a flood zone? Do you have an inevitable hailstorm every July? If this is you, comprehensive coverage might be worth it. Why, because comprehensive coverage is meant specifically for damage that didn’t happen during a collision. Of course, if you own an older bike, it might not be worth it. For example, if it would be less expensive to replace your bike if it was totaled in a flood than it would be to have comprehensive coverage, then you might want to think twice.

Comprehensive coverage also only pays your bike’s depreciation value. So, if your bike was stolen the day after you purchased it, you’ll only get back how much it’s worth, not how much you paid for it.

Can an insurance company cancel your policy?

Yes, it’s true; an insurance company can cancel your policy. It’s not their fault you’re a terrible rider, and they don’t want to pay the price because of it. If you’re out there getting DUIs, reckless driving tickets, crashing into other riders or drivers, etc., there’s a good chance your insurance provider won’t want to cover you anymore, because you’ve become a hazard to their bank account. Simply put, the higher your chances of making the insurance company payout, the higher your chances are of being dropped by the said company.

If you’re looking for car insurance too, why not look at bundling with one of the companies we talk about in this article.

Comcast/Xfinity Denver | Our Honest Review

If you’re looking to get business internet installed in Denver, or anywhere else for that matter, chances are you looked into Xfinity/Comcast services.  If you’re wondering whether or not they are the best option available, let us save you some much wasted time and energy and tell you that going with them will be the biggest mistake you could ever make.  Let me explain why:

Our First Issue With Comcast

Our first issue with Comcast began three years ago when we moved from our old warehouse to our new place.  The move ended up being a last minute move so we needed internet fast.  One of our employees was tasked with getting internet set up and listened to the Comcast sales rep who convinced him that getting the TV/Phone/Internet package is the best option.  That combined option ended up costing the company $236/mo.  When the owner found out about the combined account he called Comcast to try and change the monthly bill to just internet.  Comcast informed him that he was locked into that price for three years!  They said they wouldn’t change his account even though he didn’t need the phone or TV service.  So we ended up paying $236/mo for internet for three years.  Mind you the internet continually failed, went out and was extremely slow.

When we went to move into our new warehouse a few weeks ago we called Comcast to change over our service.  The sales rep tried to initially convince us to stay with Comcast but we explained to her how they were unwilling to cancel our TV/Phone service before.  She said the rep who we spoke to actually misspoke and that we could have actually updated our billing to drop the phone and TV service every 6 months.  So we were, in fact, paying for the TV and phone services for three years when we could have changed it the entire time.  Well played Comcast, the good ol bait and switch.   After some serious frustration, we told Comcast that we would most likely cancel their services.  We were informed by the rep that if we decided to cancel our services they would continue to charge us for 60 days because we had to give them 60 days notice!  When we protested she said “it’s not my fault you don’t know how to read a contract”.  Thanks Kelli, that’s some solid customer service.  So if we did choose to go with another internet provider we would have to pay an additional $472 just to get rid of Comcast.  That’s even after they knowingly overcharged us thousands of dollars for the services we didn’t need.  Again, solid customer service guys.

We decided to look for other internet providers in Denver and after a lengthy process it turns out that Comcast/Xfinity is literally the only internet provider that we are able to use.  So we ended up having to go to Comcast for further services.  Now I should mention this initial contact was made on January 9th, it’s now January 17th and we still have no internet.  Not only that, we don’t even have an installation date.  Not only do we not have an installation date, we don’t even have an estimate of when we might get a date for the installation.  Think about that.  Over two weeks later and we don’t even have a date to get a date for our installation date.  Again, smooth move Comcast.

Our Current Issue with Comcast

So let’s take a look at how this process has now played out because I’d like you to know what to expect in the event that you have to end up dealing with Comcast…

Kelli said she would offer us internet for $81/mo.  I’d like to pause for a second and mention that had we been paying $236/mo when we could have been paying $81/mo for three years.  That’s an overcharge of $155/mo for 3 years… That’s $5,580 overcharges made to Comcast and they wouldn’t even cancel our account for free when we asked for it.  Absolutely unreal.  Sorry, I digress….

Ok, so Kelli gets us set up with internet at $81 a month and sends the request for installation over to the service team.  We get connected with a guy named Alexander H. who we tell that we need a fast installation because we are moving businesses locations soon.  His response?  “Well if you need the internet now why are you just telling us?  It’s like calling the movers the day before you move.”  Once again, Comcast nailing that customer service.  Alexander states that because we are at a new location that we need wiring installed before they can come and install the internet.  So we need an installation before our installation.  He says to get the installation before the installation will take a while and can’t give us any date and that it could be anywhere between 60-90 days before they could even get the installation.  Now if this sounds confusing it’s because it is.  Well, a few days go by and we hit up Alexander for an update.  He writes back and says:

“The most important info I got is that it does NOT go thru construction, will be quick… they have meeting this afternoon…”

Wait… What?  What in the world does that even mean?  So Alexander gives me a number to call for the construction installation which we call.  They tell us that we had told them at some point that we didn’t want anything installed until after January 23rd…. Wait??? WHAT?!  So now just to get someone to do the preinstallation we are told we had to wait till the 23rd. Luckily a guy named Eric helped us out and got us a prewiring installation that took place two days ago.  When we just called we were told it takes 7 days for the pre-wire installation into their system and then after that, they could potentially schedule us to get our actual internet installed.  So here we are two weeks later and we can’t even get a date for our installation.

Ok so, are you having issues keeping up with this?  Don’t worry.  So are we.  Comcast has displayed some of the most unprofessional customer support we have ever seen.  It’s an absolute joke and after over paying $5,500, we can’t even get someone to give us the time of day.

So here we are, writing this review.  If you are looking to get Comcast run, run far away.  If you don’t believe us keep in mind that there is a whole episode on South Park that is about how terrible Comcast’s service is.  There are memes all over the internet on how bad Comcast is.

So if you’re a Comcast agent and you want to make things right?  Let us know.  Until then we will keep this blog up for all to read.

 

7 Best Home Security Companies for Veterans and Service Members

You’ve spent your career making sure our country is secure, now it’s time someone starts doing the same for you. Companies like ADT, Vivint, and LifeShield are just a few hi-tech security companies out there whose entire purpose is to give you the security you deserve. Unfortunately, all the choices can make it hard to pick the best service. That’s why we’ve decided to put a small list together on 7 of the best home security companies for veterans and service members.

Top Home Security Companies for Veterans and Service Members

1. FrontPoint

There’s nothing like making a purchase on something that sucks but you can’t return. FrontPoint is not one of those purchases. In fact, you can have a security system installed, keep it for 30-days, decide you hate it and then return it without all the hassle. Not to mention, these guys are known for their awesome customer service—because no one likes dealing with someone who doesn’t actually care about your purchase or satisfaction.

 Pros

  • Known for excellent customer service
  • Free 30-day trial and a money-back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied
  • Home automation devices are available
  • Self-Installation is an option

Cons

  • While FrontPoint is affordable, the affordability comes with a 3-year contract (this is average)
  • The base plan does not include mobile access

2. ADT 

ADT has been around for a long time, as in, longer than anyone else. Which means they know how security works and more so, they know what their customers are looking for. In fact, we wrote an article you can read about ADT, including their history, what they offer and reviews from everyday users.

Pros

  • A professional will come to your home and do the set-up, hassle free
  • You can control your system from your phone
  • Equipment included

Cons 

  • ADT’s a big company, which means they come at a bigger cost than other security companies
  • ADT is not a self-install system

3. Protect America 

Home security isn’t cheap. Whether your security is in the form of guns and ammo, high-tech security installation, or both—it’s going to cost you. Fortunately, Protect America is a home security company that thrives on affordability. We know as a service member, you already aren’t making that much, so why spend more than you have to.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • DIY set-up, meaning no installation fees
  • All equipment has a lifetime warranty
  • They will price match

Cons

  • If you break your contract, you’ll be required to pay out 100% of the remaining months of service you signed up for. However, if you are breaking a contract due to military service, this does not apply.
  • They don’t have a large selection of equipment compared to some companies

4. Vivint 

Personal experience here, Vivint has great customer service. If you’re looking for a company that will work with you during a PCS, they will make it easy for you. When I left the military, I couldn’t take Vivint with me because they weren’t servicing the tiny town I grew up in. They let me out of my contract, didn’t charge me any extra fees, and I was a happy customer in the end. It was so easy and the customer service was exceptional.

Pros

  • Professional will come to your home and give you a quote—it’s free
  • You also have the option of online quotes, which is simple to navigate
  • Easy to break the contract when PCSing due to orders
  • You can transfer your system from one home to the next

Cons

  • The touch screen system didn’t work well
  • Unlike most companies who have a 3-year contract, Vivint has one of the highest at 5-years
  • Must pay for equipment up front

5. LifeShield

LifeShield has gone through a lot of changes over the years. They’ve been sold, been under new management and even took on some terrible reviews. However, we’ve included them here because things are looking up. Also, they’re a DIY installation security system. Which is great, because not everyone wants a stranger coming into their home. Also, unlike many security companies, they’re transparent about their prices, which we really like. Because let’s be honest, if the price isn’t listed, it’s generally expensive. You can read our full review on LifeShield here.

Pros

  • Cheaper than most major companies
  • Offers 4-layers of protection
  • DIY installation
  • Transparent about their prices
  • Offers a non-contract option
  • You don’t have to pay extra for fire and carbon monoxide monitoring
  • They offer services for rental properties
  • The company’s customer reviews have been more positive with new ownership

Cons 

  • A lot of negative reviews overall
  • Customer service isn’t great, depending on where you live
  • Equipment failure has seemed to be a common complaint over the years

6. Link Interactive

Link Interactive may not be as well known as ADT, but that doesn’t mean they can’t offer you some good deals. The great thing about these guys is their contract. Many contracts are 3-years, some more, but you’ll get options with Link Interactive. They let you choose a contract length for as little as 1-year. So, while you’re still locked in—excluding military obligations—it’s not near as long as contracts with other providers.

Pros

  • Customized solutions for your individual home security needs
  • 1, 2, and 3-year contracts available
  • 100% cellular connection to monitoring
  • Standard 3-year warranty on all equipment and 3-year price lock guarantee

Cons

  • You can ask for a shorter contract, but if you don’t, you’ll automatically be locked into a 3-year contract
  • You have to pay for equipment up front

7. SecurityPricer

SecurityPricer is more like a resource, in that they can get you to the company you’re looking for. It’s kind of like Progressive, but with home security. Meaning, you start out by telling them what you’re looking for and then they give you your best option.

Pros

  • Free home security estimates from experts
  • Compare plans and prices from the top home security companies
  • Fire protection, video surveillance, 24/7 monitoring
  • Option to self-install or have a professional do it for you

Cons

  • You can’t get a lot of information from their website
  • You have to give them all your information and get a quote to see what’s available to you

DIY Home Security

LifeShield is our winner for DIY Home Security, because well, that’s what they’re known for. While you have the option of scheduling an appointment for a professional to come in, you don’t have to. This is especially a great option for individuals who are tech-savvy. If you’re not, they claim anyone can set up their system easily—most within an hour—without a lot of hassle. Another great upside to this option is, you don’t have to worry about some stranger coming into your house, tracking mud around, and then leaving knowing all your security information—because you had to give it to them to set the system up. Either way, it’s good to have options, especially when those options come at a decent price.

Pet-Friendly Home Security

If you have a pet, you might be thinking that you can’t get those fancy little motion detectors because your cat or dog will set it off. However, security companies are one step ahead of you on that one. Both ADT and LifeShield are an example of companies who’ve thought that one out. Of course, if your pet is over 80-lbs, you might have some difficulty, since most cameras are rated around this weight range.

Mobile Monitoring

Times are changing. We’re becoming a society that relies heavily on our phones, but for more than talking and texting. We now use our phones for GPS, Internet usage, games, and even monitoring our homes. If you have an approved security camera, you can watch what’s going on in your home from your phone. And some even record, so you can watch everything later. If that’s something you want, there are definitely security companies providing these services. Link Interactive, ADT, and LifeShield are only a few of them.

Home Automation

Just when you thought things couldn’t get much better, someone goes and makes it so you can change the temperature of your home, turn on the lights, and even start the washer from your phone—miles away. ADT and Front Point are a couple of those companies who provide such a luxury.

Security Cameras

ADT has some top of the line cameras, they also offer several types. They provide both an indoor and outdoor camera. Even a doorbell camera. Which is actually pretty cool. If someone rings your doorbell, you can see who’s there without leaving your couch. Or, if you’re not at home, you can do the same thing using the ADT Pulse app.

ADT Indoor Security Cameras

ADT also offers Indoor Security Cameras. If you purchase ADT Pulse +Video, you get this option. Because your indoor cameras are motion activated, the pet-friendly motion sensor comes in handy. If it senses something other than your dog, it will send you a video clip automatically. If you have more than one indoor camera, you can always shift between them. You also have the option of recording.

ADT Outdoor Security Cameras

Outdoor Security Cameras are where it’s at. These cameras let you see who’s coming up to your property and when they leave. It’s also a great deterrent for burglary, both inside and outside the home. Combined with your ADT app, you can see your camera’s video footage at any time. The outdoor camera is similar to the indoor version, but with weather in mind. Outdoor cameras are snow, rain and humidity resistant. The cameras also come with a built-in heater, to guarantee function at temperatures as low as -40 degrees.

Security Signs

Sometimes the best deterrent is nothing more than that, a deterrent. Security signs aren’t going to physically keep an intruder out, it won’t shoot someone who breaks in and attempts to harm your family, and they won’t record the incident or report it to the police. However, simply having a sign in your front yard or stickers in your window is enough to make an intruder think twice before he enters your home unannounced and unwelcomed. While we don’t recommend this be your only layer of home protection, it might be a good place to start if you don’t have the money for more.

Top Life Insurance Companies for Veterans

The Best Veteran Life Insurance Companies of 2019

Let’s face it; you’ve spent most, if not all of your adult life in the military. Pretty much everything you needed was provided to you. You didn’t have to worry about health insurance, dental insurance and definitely not life insurance.

Unfortunately, because you didn’t have to worry about it, you most likely didn’t learn anything about it either—because everyone gets their chance as a bright new recruit to sign-up for things like SGLI.

But, your military career has come to an end, or maybe it’s about to and you have no clue what to do next. You don’t know how much insurance should cost, where to get it, how much to get, or if you really even need it.

Most of us know this feeling, including myself. So REFT is here to give you a little advice on the best life insurance companies for veterans.

Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ericka Engblom/July 16, 2016

RE Factor Tactical Top Picks

Before we get into the details of insurance, we’d like to take a moment to point out a few Insurance companies that you should consider looking into that aren’t with the VA, and why. Then we’ll go into the finer details of insurance, why you should get it, how to get it, you know, all the fun stuff.

Top Life Insurance Companies for Veterans

1. AIG Direct

You’ve probably seen the commercials on television for AIG Direct. They’ve been around a while, which means they know what they’re doing when it comes to life insurance. Luckily, all that experience means they can offer you a lot more than some of the other guys. For instance, they offer whole life insurance up to age 85 without any medical examinations. This means, if you’re a disabled veteran or a veteran in poor health, you’ll still get coverage. The downside, well if you die as a result of “travel outside the earth’s atmosphere,”—as they state in the fine print—you won’t get a payout—we’re going to go out on a limb and say, chances are that’s not you.

Pros

  1. They offer a variety of life insurance plans
  2. You don’t have to get a medical exam

Cons

  1. They will give life insurance to anyone, meaning even though they are affordable, you can get a better price elsewhere
  2. If over 50, you can only get up to $25,000 of coverage in whole life insurance

2. Health I.Q.

Health IQ might be an intelligent choice for life insurance, especially if you’re in great shape. While this may not encompass all veterans, they will cover prior service. Let’s say you get out and you continue your healthy lifestyle. IF you want to become a national weightlifting champion, not only will they cover you, they’ll fairly take into account your BMI as a result. Despite being very health conscious when it comes to selecting their clients, their tailored underwriting will make sure you get the best deal you can.

Pros

  1. Great for individuals in excellent health
  2. Tailored underwriting, so you get the best deal 

Cons

  1. Must have a minimum coverage amount of $100,000
  2. They put a lot of emphasis on health, if you aren’t healthy you might want to look elsewhere

3. Bestow

Bestow might be the easiest life insurance to get. You don’t have to do any medical examinations—so it’s good for disabled veterans—you can get coverage in 10-minutes, and you don’t have to talk to anyone to get it. If that’s not easy, I don’t know what is. The downside, they give coverage based on age.

Pros

  1. Offers short-term coverage, as few as 2-years
  2. No medical examinations required and can get coverage within 10-minutes online

Cons

  1. Bestow’s policies have age restrictions
  2. They do not offer a 30-year policy

4. Haven Life

Haven Life claims to make covering your family’s need through life insurance easy. Of course, being able to select up to $3 million in coverage is a pretty big deal too. If you need big coverage, then Haven Life will have your back.

Pros

  1. They have competitive rates, meaning more people can afford life insurance
  2. Not all coverage requires a medical exam; veterans in poor health have a better chance of getting insured

Cons

  1. You’ll have to go through a rigorous underwriting process
  2. Finding information on their website is difficult, you’ll have to apply for a quote or call to get details

5. Ethos

If you have a lot of assets, say $10 million worth, Ethos is probably a good choice for you, because that’s how much coverage you can get. We couldn’t find any information specifically related to being a veteran, but we still think they’re a good choice for the veteran community—unless that community is in NY, because you aren’t covered there. Otherwise, unlike those pesky salesmen, Ethos isn’t one of them. They’ll sell you what you need and nothing more, which we like.

Pros

  1. Can purchase up to $10 million in coverage
  2. They don’t upsell since their employees are paid a salary

Cons

  1. Ethos is available in every state but New York
  2. You don’t actually talk to a person if you need support in filing a claim, it’s all done through email

What is VA Life Insurance?

Another option for veterans that you might not know about is life insurance through the VA. Now, before you start on your rampage, because we all know the VA sucks, we aren’t talking about your daily medical care. This is life insurance, it’s what your family gets after you’ve passed away. The entire point of getting life insurance is so your family can continue to survive, especially if you’re the breadwinner of the family, or you have a lot of debt your kids or spouse would have to take over as a result of your death. You’re doing this for them. If you’re still not trusting of the VA, at least keep reading before you make your decision.

VA Life Insurance vs. Private Life Insurance

Why Should I Consider VGLI

Have you sustained considerable health issues as a result of your service or are you in great health? Do you smoke, or no? Are you over 60? How you answer these questions can increase or decrease your monthly payment when it comes to life insurance, and sadly, it can increase your chances of not getting the coverage you need.

However, the VA can make things a little easier. Let’s say you did sustain considerable health issues while you were serving. With the VA, as long as you apply for their life insurance within 1 year and 120 days of separation from the military, and you were discharged with anything other than dishonorable, you qualify. This coverage is called term life insurance, meaning you can increase or decrease your coverage every 5 years. The only qualification is that you be a qualifying veteran, it doesn’t matter your health. Your age is also the only determining factor when it comes to your monthly premium, not your gender, not your health, not even if you’re a smoker.

Unlike some insurance companies, which require you to get a physical, provide medical documentation and then determine the price based on age, gender, medical history, smoking history, and your physical results, the VA won’t prod into your life near as much, at least not if you apply within 240 days of separation—after this, you’ll have to answer questions about your health.

VGLI: Is it Worth the Price

The price of life insurance can be a reasonable one, especially if you’re young and in good health. But, where you might see a bit of concern, is when you reach 60, at least under VGLI terms.

Depending on your age and health, the price of life insurance through the VA can be competitive. Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t find insurance at a lower price, but the real advantage comes if you have health issues, you’re a smoker, or you can’t get insured elsewhere. Once you’re over 60 the prices raise considerably, and the competitive part goes out the window, especially if you’re over 75. Again, this is a good choice if you can’t get life insurance elsewhere because of your current health condition.

Life Insurances: Is it Necessary

Another thing to keep in mind is your need for life insurance. There may come a point in your life where you don’t need the coverage anymore.

Let’s say, you’re 65, all your bills are paid off and there’s no one depending on you for financial support, then life insurance may not be necessary. Remember, life insurance isn’t for you, it’s for your family. If you don’t want your family having to worry about paying off the rest of your house, your car, paying necessary bills, putting food on the table, your kid’s college getting paid off, etc., then having life insurance is for you.

Now, let’s say you’re in great health; you’re 65 but haven’t paid off all your bills. Using the VA might be a financial burden because it’s considerably more expensive than getting life insurance through someone else. If you’re 70 or older, your premium rate will also increase. However, if you don’t have any financial burdens, then life insurance probably isn’t necessary.

However, let’s say you did your 20 years (maybe more, maybe less) in the military, you got out, you’re 40 years old, have one kid in middle school, two kids in college, you just purchased a new home, and your spouse stays at home as a result of a physical handicap. In a scenario like this, you are the breadwinner, if you were to pass away, your living spouse would not be able to pay the mortgage, keep food on the table, keep your kids in college, or provide the essentials for him or herself and your kid who just started the 6th grade. This isn’t a scenario any of us wants to picture, but it is always a possibility. This is why life insurance is important. If you truly care to provide for your family, life insurance is there to make sure they’re still provided for even after you pass.

Why the cost of VGLI Increases Drastically at age 75

There are actually a few reasons VGLI increases so drastically, especially at age 75. The main answer is, the likelihood of you passing during your coverage has increased drastically as well. Just as bad health increases your chances of death, so does age. And if an insurance company is expecting to pay out, they’re going to raise the cost of coverage to help ease their own burden. A second reason is that the VA doesn’t require a physical exam. Because the VA doesn’t require you to get a physical exam, it means they are covering any and all qualifying veterans, and that means their chances of paying out, in general, are much higher.

Therefore, if you want a reasonable price on life insurance at an older age, your best option is to go with a provider who requires a physical exam—assuming you’re in good health. This is because they don’t insure just anyone. By ensuring only people who are in a higher bracket of health, they don’t have to worry about paying out as much in the event of a death, meaning they can afford to offer lower premium rates. So, if you don’t smoke (because smokers pay more) and you aren’t out there doing high-risk activities (because you’ll pay more there too), then an option outside of VGLI might be a better choice.

How much does life insurance cost?

Below is the list, per the VA of cost per amount of coverage, based on age:

Amount of Insurance Age
29 & Below
Age 30-34 Age 35-39 Age 40-44 Age 45-49 Age 50-54 Age 55-59 Age 60-64 Age 65-69 Age 70-74 Age 75 & Over
$400,000 $32.00 $40.00 $52.00 $68.00 $88.00 $144.00 $268.00 $432.00 $600.00 $920.00 $1,840.00
390,000 31.20 39.00 50.70 66.30 85.80 140.40 261.30 421.20 585.00 897.00 1,794.00
380,000 30.40 38.00 49.40 64.60 83.60 136.80 254.60 410.40 570.00 874.00 1,748.00
370,000 29.60 37.00 48.10 62.90 81.40 133.20 247.90 399.60 555.00 851.00 1,702.00
360,000 28.80 36.00 46.80 61.20 79.20 129.60 241.20 388.80 540.00 828.00 1,656.00
350,000 28.00 35.00 45.50 59.50 77.00 126.00 234.50 378.00 525.00 805.00 1,610.00
340,000 27.20 34.00 44.20 57.80 74.80 122.40 227.80 367.20 510.00 782.00 1,564.00
330,000 26.40 33.00 42.90 56.10 72.60 118.80 221.10 356.40 495.00 759.00 1,518.00
320,000 25.60 32.00 41.60 54.40 70.40 115.20 214.40 345.60 480.00 736.00 1,472.00
310,000 24.80 31.00 40.30 52.70 68.20 111.60 207.70 334.80 465.00 713.00 1,426.00
300,000 24.00 30.00 39.00 51.00 66.00 108.00 201.00 324.00 450.00 690.00 1,380.00
290,000 23.20 29.00 37.70 49.30 63.80 104.40 194.30 313.20 435.00 667.00 1,334.00
280,000 22.40 28.00 36.40 47.60 61.60 100.80 187.60 302.40 420.00 644.00 1,288.00
270,000 21.60 27.00 35.10 45.90 59.40 97.20 180.90 291.60 405.00 621.00 1,242.00
260,000 20.80 26.00 33.80 44.20 57.20 93.60 174.20 280.80 390.00 598.00 1,196.00
250,000 20.00 25.00 32.50 42.50 55.00 90.00 167.50 270.00 375.00 575.00 1,150.00
240,000 19.20 24.00 31.20 40.80 52.80 86.40 160.80 259.20 360.00 552.00 1,104.00
230,000 18.40 23.00 29.90 39.10 50.60 82.80 154.10 248.40 345.00 529.00 1,058.00
220,000 17.60 22.00 28.60 37.40 48.40 79.20 147.40 237.60 330.00 506.00 1,012.00
210,000 16.80 21.00 27.30 35.70 46.20 75.60 140.70 226.80 315.00 483.00 966.00
200,000 16.00 20.00 26.00 34.00 44.00 72.00 134.00 216.00 300.00 460.00 920.00
190,000 15.20 19.00 24.70 32.30 41.80 68.40 127.30 205.20 285.00 437.00 874.00
180,000 14.40 18.00 23.40 30.60 39.60 64.80 120.60 194.40 270.00 414.00 828.00
170,000 13.60 17.00 22.10 28.90 37.40 61.20 113.90 183.60 255.00 391.00 782.00
160,000 12.80 16.00 20.80 27.20 35.20 57.60 107.20 172.80 240.00 368.00 736.00
150,000 12.00 15.00 19.50 25.50 33.00 54.00 100.50 162.00 225.00 345.00 690.00
140,000 11.20 14.00 18.20 23.80 30.80 50.40 93.80 151.20 210.00 322.00 644.00
130,000 10.40 13.00 16.90 22.10 28.60 46.80 87.10 140.40 195.00 299.00 598.00
120,000 9.60 12.00 15.60 20.40 26.40 43.20 80.40 129.60 180.00 276.00 552.00
110,000 8.80 11.00 14.30 18.70 24.20 39.60 73.70 118.80 165.00 253.00 506.00
100,000 8.00 10.00 13.00 17.00 22.00 36.00 67.00 108.00 150.00 230.00 460.00
90,000 7.20 9.00 11.70 15.30 19.80 32.40 60.30 97.20 135.00 207.00 414.00
80,000 6.40 8.00 10.40 13.60 17.60 28.80 53.60 86.40 120.00 184.00 368.00
70,000 5.60 7.00 9.10 11.90 15.40 25.20 46.90 75.60 105.00 161.00 322.00
60,000 4.80 6.00 7.80 10.20 13.20 21.60 40.20 64.80 90.00 138.00 276.00
50,000 4.00 5.00 6.50 8.50 11.00 18.00 33.50 54.00 75.00 115.00 230.00
40,000 3.20 4.00 5.20 6.80 8.80 14.40 26.80 43.20 60.00 92.00 184.00
30,000 2.40 3.00 3.90 5.10 6.60 10.80 20.10 32.40 45.00 69.00 138.00
20,000 1.60 2.00 2.60 3.40 4.40 7.20 13.40 21.60 30.00 46.00 92.00
10,000 0.80 1.00 1.30 1.70 2.20 3.60 6.70 10.80 15.00 23.00 46.00

RE Factor Top Picks Summary

Best Life Insurance for Disabled Veterans

S-DVI is available to any veteran with a service-connected disability, even if you have a 0 percent rating. The only exception is you need to have good health, outside of anything service-connected. And like all benefits used with the VA, you have to be discharged under anything other than dishonorable.

Best Life Insurance for Veterans

To recap, the VA offers VGLI, for veterans of any health condition. Depending on what your current health looks like and how old you are, should determine if this is a good option for you. If you’re older and have poor health, the steep prices of VGLI might be your only reasonable offer, especially if you can’t get covered elsewhere. Simply remember, if you want to apply without having to answer questions about your health you must apply within 240daysy of separation from the military. And if you aren’t supporting anyone financially and all your bills are paid off, you might not need life insurance at all.

Pros

  • Cost effective for the younger generation of veterans, especially if in poor health
  • Older generations of veterans in poor health are eligible, even when most companies won’t provide coverage
  • No proof of good health required if applied for within 240 days of separation
  • You can increase your coverage by $25,000 every 5 years, up to $400,000

Cons

  • Expensive for the older generation of veterans in good health
  • Doesn’t require a physical exam, therefore lower prices can be found with other providers
  • Not always the best option if you’re in excellent health
  • You can only enroll up to the amount of life insurance you were covered for under SGLI (after 5 years you can increase the amount)

Best Life Insurance for Active Duty Service Members

The VA actually offers a variety of life insurance options. There’s the Service members’ Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection or (TSGLI), which is available to anyone who’s serving with the SGLI, who has also received a traumatic injury. This includes all traumatic injuries, including those as a result from combat. It is meant to help cover the service member while they recover from their injuries—this should be automatic coverage.

Veterans United Lighthouse Program

The American dream typically looks like this: buy a house, live happily ever after. Okay, maybe there’s more to it than that, but home buying is a pretty big deal to most of us. It’s a pretty standard dream to one day have your own place. If you’ve spent any amount of time in the military, this dream might feel a little bigger. You’ve spent your entire career moving between homes and states and it would feel nice to just settle down and not have to worry about moving again. Fortunately, for service members, there’s a VA Home Loan, which helps more veterans qualify for home loans. Unfortunately, being a veteran doesn’t automatically qualify you for a VA Home Loan, especially if you don’t meet your lender’s qualifications first. That’s where the Veterans United Lighthouse Program can help.

The Lighthouse Program is actually a pretty easy concept. You want to buy your first home, you’re serving or served in the United States Military, but you don’t have a qualifying credit score. Or, you do have a qualifying credit score, but it’s low and you’d like to raise it, in hopes of getting a better interest rate on your home. Because lower interest means lower payments.

If this is you, the Lighthouse Program, offered through Veterans United will help you work toward raising your score. They do this by looking over your credit report and seeing where you have room for improvement. Then, they give you advice on how to make those improvements.

For example, let’s say that you have a low credit score, and a derogatory mark saying that your credit usage is too high. To make this a little easier, you have three credit cards: A Visa, Master Card, and an American Express. Your visa has a credit limit of $10,000, your Master Card has a limit of $2,000, and finally, your American Express has a credit limit of $6,000. That’s a combined credit limit of $18,000. Of that $18,000, you’ve maxed out your Master Card, spent $4,000 on your American Express and your Visa, you’ve spent $5,000 of that. That’s a combined $11,000 out of your total $18,000 that you’re limited too.

Now, you might be thinking, okay, so I still have another $7,000 I can use! I make my monthly payments on time for each card, so there shouldn’t be a problem. Well, this is where someone from the Lighthouse Program might tell you-you’re wrong. Instead, they might tell you to start paying your credit cards down, until you’ve only spent 20% of your limit, instead of over half.

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Who Benefits from the Lighthouse Program

The example above is a pretty common one, and chances are you already knew that you aren’t supposed to max out your limit. However, that might also leave you thinking that you don’t need the Lighthouse Program because you could technically find all the answers on how to improve your credit on the Internet.

It is true, you could probably find all the answers you’re looking for a few clicks away from this article. But, with something like the Lighthouse Program, you’re getting a professional’s opinion, and you’re getting it for free, as a thank you for your military service. That’s a lot different than free advice from your uncle Bob, who’s still living in his mom’s basement.

Really, at the end of the day, only you can decide if you need the program. If you don’t know a lot about credit scores, you’ve claimed bankruptcy, you’re not good with your finances, or maybe you just can’t figure out how to boost your credit those last few extra points, then maybe this is the program for you.

Veterans United Lighthouse Program Reviews

The Lighthouse Program, unfortunately, has mixed reviews—however, remember it’s a free service—if you do a quick search on Google you’ll see some reviews that aren’t so appealing. However, the complaints are from a few years ago. Complaints such as, they won’t let me out of my contract just isn’t true; they offer the service both at no cost and no obligation. If they aren’t holding up their end of the deal, then you have no obligation to stay with this company as your lender. At least, that’s what they tell us.

How the Lighthouse Program uses your FICO Credit Score

Now that you know what the Lighthouse Program is, you might be wondering, what are they are using to determine your credit score. The answer is your FICO credit score. Your credit score typically comes from three sources, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. In some cases, when you check your credit, you might only see one of those reports. However, your FICO credit score sees all three and combines them for an average. Meaning, if you have a credit score of 650, 675, 648, your FICO credit score would be the average of those: 657. So just think of your FICO score as your average.

How to Improve your Credit Score with the Lighthouse Program

Once your FICO score is determined, you can start looking at improving your credit score, maybe it’s above that 620 mark, there are still a lot of different routes you can take in order to improve that score, and the Lighthouse Program can help you do that.

Remember, just because you reach a 620 and can apply for a VA loan, it doesn’t mean you want to stop there. Typically, the higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate will be. Some places offer discounts or fee exemptions if your credit score is high enough. Meaning, keeping working to improve your score even after you hit 620.

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Check for Accuracy

The first step in reaching your 620 goal, or any credit goal is to check your credit report. Unfortunately, these reports aren’t perfect. More unfortunate, it’s not a rare thing to see derogatory stuff on your credit that isn’t true. Sites like Credit Karma, let you check your score for free without hurting your credit and then lets you dispute anything you don’t agree with. It’s actually a really easy process compared to what you might think. This is one of those things I know from personal experience, and I expected it to be a huge hassle, and it really wasn’t. The Veterans United Lighthouse Program can not only help you read your credit report, but they can help you understand it, and keep you on track to make improvements.

Collection Accounts

Once you’ve made all your disputes and corrections have been made, you’ll be left looking at your real credit report, and you’ll be able to accurately determine what you need to work on. For instance, do you have a lot of late payments, paying those off will help your score.

Fixing your late payments is a pretty big deal. When you’re late on a payment, this will get reported to collections. Once that happens, you’ll start to see your credit score drop, which isn’t something you want. So start making those payments, and as they fall off your report, you’ll start to see improvement.

Credit Age

Unfortunately, the Lighthouse Program can’t increase the age of your credit, but know that it is a determining factor in your credit score. The older your credit, the better it is for your credit score. If your credit is under 10 years, it’s not a bad thing, but it’s also not helping your credit. This is a reason why you shouldn’t just keep opening credit card accounts every year, it lowers your credit history’s average, which can lower or keep your credit score from rising. Unfortunately, this isn’t something you can just go and fix, you have to wait it out. If you open a credit card today, you can’t just wave a wand and make it 10 years old. You have to wait until it matures a little before it makes your credit look good.

Credit Inquiries

Along these same lines, limiting your credit application is a good idea too. Of course, every time you open a new account it affects your credit age, but it also puts a ding in your credit score. Every time you have a hard inquiry, your credit score will drop. This is why companies like Credit Karma can show you your credit score anytime you want without hurting your score, because it’s not a hard inquiry. But, let’s say you want to go out and buy a new car. Unless you’re paying cash, you’re going to have a hard inquiry on your credit score. The more often you have credit checks like this, the more your credit score will drop. So, if you’re trying to raise your score to buy a home next year, you probably don’t want to go out and buy a new car or open a new credit card account.

Credit Utilization

This leads to the next topic of credit utilization. You might have grown up your entire life being told, don’t get a credit card. Unfortunately, you can’t build credit without going into a little debt. For example, the first major purchase a person makes is typically a car. You need to buy a car, but you can’t buy a car without credit, and you can’t get credit until you buy the car. Paying in cash isn’t smart either, because that doesn’t build credit. And unless you’re going to buy a house in cash, not building credit is a bad idea. So, sometimes the best option is to open a credit card first. The key, however, is to keep it paid off and never utilize 100% of your limit. This looks bad, even if you’re paying it off. Eventually, you’ll have a credit score, but it might not be very high. You can finally buy that car you wanted, but it might be at an 18% interest rate, but at least you’ll have the car. Unfortunately, you’ll also start putting yourself into debt—and who said being an adult wasn’t fun?

However, despite the debt, creditors like seeing you can pay stuff off, and that happens by putting yourself into debt. But, do this by having no more than 10-29% of your credit limit used up. If you have a credit card with a $1000 limit, never used more than $300 on it. At least, that’s a general idea. Of course, we don’t expect that you’ll never spend more than $300, but just try and keep it paid off so it’s not over that amount. Most credit lenders recommend, that you don’t use up more than 30% of your credit limit. However, the ideal limit is 10%. So, if you must use your credit cards, 20% is a good cushiony area to be in.

Depending on your personal circumstance, the Lighthouse Program can guide you in the direction that’s right for you. They can let you know if it would be wise to open a new account, or to hold off on that a little longer. They can let you know where you stand on your credit utilization, and help you set goals in getting yourself to that ideal percentage.

Other ways of Improving your Credit Score with the Lighthouse Program

  • Don’t Let Old Mistakes Unfairly Haunt You: The Lighthouse Program experts can look for this
  • Get a Credit Card: The Lighthouse Program experts will advise if this is the right step for you
  • Open a Secured Credit Card: The Lighthouse Program experts will advise if this is the right step for you
  • Limit Credit Applications: The Lighthouse Program experts can let you know what makes a hard inquiry
  • Fix Your Credit Utilization Ratio: The Lighthouse Program experts can let you know where you stand

How long to improve your credit with the Lighthouse Program

Raising your credit score doesn’t happen overnight, even with the Lighthouse Program. And while it may seem like your credit score drops overnight, that doesn’t happen either, well it does, but not overnight after opening a new credit card account or getting a loan, or not paying a bill. It takes time for these things to reach your account, but when they do, you’ll notice. Things like paying off your car will cause your credit score to drop, but it won’t happen the day after you pay off the loan. The same happens when you start building credit. Just because your credit card account matured to the recommended age today, does not mean you’ll check your score and it will be improved tomorrow. It can be frustrating, we know, especially if you’re right on the cusp of good or excellent credit or that 620 mark most lenders require for a VA Home Loan.

At the end of the day, whether you’re looking to improve your credit score through the Lighthouse Program, or you’re doing it on your own, these things take time. Be patient, it will move, just not within 24 hours.

Top VA Home Loan Lenders of 2019

  1. Veteran’s United
  2. JG Wentworth
  3. Quicken Loans
  4. Lending Tree 
  5. NASB
  6. Cross Country
  7. Rocket Mortgage