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

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.


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


  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

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.


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


  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


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.


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


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

Haven Life

Haven Life claims to make covering your family’s needs 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.


  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


  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


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.


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


  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 payout, 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 InsuranceAge
29 & Below
Age 30-34Age 35-39Age 40-44Age 45-49Age 50-54Age 55-59Age 60-64Age 65-69Age 70-74Age 75 & Over

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.


  • 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


  • 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 of combat. It is meant to help cover the service member while they recover from their injuries—this should be automatic coverage.