02 Dec 7 Steps to Getting Life Insurance for Veterans
Life insurance pays a benefit to your beneficiary in case you die, as well as serving as an investment and savings instrument. Your life insurance rates rise based on your health, prescriptions, and other factors as you get older. Due to your time in the military or battle injuries, you may have health concerns or disabilities when you depart. These factors can make it difficult to acquire affordable life insurance.
When it comes to life insurance, active-duty service members, veterans, and their families have a variety of alternatives, including government-sponsored programs and private-sector coverage. It is crucial to understand what your insurance policy covers, regardless of which coverage you select. Follow these steps to learn how to make an informed decision.
1. Decide What Type of Life Insurance You Need
Don’t be perplexed by the various forms of life insurance policies. Term and permanent life insurance are the two most common types of coverage. You can learn more about the types of life insurance suitable for you by conducting some online research.
- Term Life Insurance: A term life insurance policy is the most cost-effective and popular choice. It covers you for a set amount of time, usually between 10 and 30 years. The benefits stop once the period is over. The purpose of term life insurance is to offer financial support to your chosen beneficiaries. For instance, if you die during the term, your spouse or children will inherit the benefits.
- Whole Life Insurance: A permanent insurance plan charges the same premiums each year and accumulates cash value. If you buy insurance from a mutual firm, you can often collect dividends on your coverage. Several whole life policies require you to pay the premiums until the policyholder passes away, while others require you only to pay for a specific period.
Here’s a quick rundown of how term life and whole life insurance work to help you understand the differences.
|Policy feature||Term life insurance||Whole life insurance|
|Initial premium||Low||Usually higher than term insurance|
|Premium overtime||Over time, it may increase or decrease||Ensured to remain the same|
|Length of coverage||Typically, 10 to 30 years. Work-sponsored coverage is generally valid for a set number of years until termination.||Providing payment is made on time, coverage is a lifetime.|
|Health exam required||For the most part, but it depends on the amount taken out||Yes|
2. Calculate How Much Life Insurance You Need
Consider the following factors when determining how much life insurance coverage you need and for how long:
After your death, what financial resources will be available to your survivors?
The financial resources that your loved ones inherit after your death include:
- Social security benefits and other retirement-related survivor benefits.
- Group life insurance.
- Other assets and resources.
Are there any financial needs your survivors will have after your death?
For ease of comparison, let’s divide requirements into three categories:
(1) final expenses;
(2) debts; and
(3) income needs.
You can determine the costs you’ll leave behind using the “DIME” method. It stands for:
- D – Debt
Credit cards, mortgages, private student loans, auto loans, etc.
- I – Income replacement
Consider your spouse, dependents, or anyone who relies on your income. Would you like to replace your payment for the rest of their lives?
- M – Mortality
Overview of burial options and costs.
Do you wish to put money aside for your children’s education? What about children’s services?
Calculate the correct level of coverage by subtracting the number of resources from the value of financial demands. Insurance Information Institute research indicates that most people overlook this step and end up underinsured. Consider your priorities when determining how long you require coverage. You need permanent insurance rather than a term policy if you plan to establish a financial asset and provide lifetime coverage for your family.
Also Read: How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?
3. Determine the Right Policy Length
Term life insurance policies are typically purchased in five-year increments, with the most common policies lasting 10, 20, or 30 years. Your insurance should cover you for as long as you expect your family to rely on your income.
How do you figure out how long it will take? Determine the length of time you’ll be responsible for your most significant financial obligation, which is typically a mortgage. Take into account your kids’ ages as well. In general, the younger they are, the longer the duration is required.
Whole life is the best option for certain veterans because it lasts a lifetime. If you leave the military, you may be able to convert your SGLI insurance to a VGLI policy, which will allow you to keep your coverage when you retire (for more information on VGLI, go here).
4. Shop Around To Compare Life Insurance Quotes
The next step is to identify a few life insurance providers that you like. When selecting a life insurance provider, conduct a web search and review the policy possibilities.
Get quotations from each organization after you’ve narrowed down your list of probable providers. Because most organizations do not list premium prices on their websites, collecting estimates will help you determine which supplier can provide you with reasonable pricing. Most major life insurance companies feature an online quote generator where you may acquire an instant rate quote straight on their website. If not, contact a representative.
When you request a quote, you will most likely be required to provide personal information, including your name, address, and gender. If necessary, you will also need to provide primary medical information. Typically, questions regarding your lifestyle, smoking history, previous surgeries, and medications are requested. For most quotes, there is no need for official medical records. The insurance company will next compute your rate based on the information you’ve provided.
5. Complete an Application
You can fill out an application after you’ve found a supplier that meets your criteria. A basic personal information form, your Social Security number, and your driver’s license number will be required. The insurance company may ask you for an Attending Physician Statement (APS) to evaluate your medical history as part of your application.
The APS guarantees that you receive the correct policy and is used to determine death benefits. Online applications for life insurance are typical, and the process usually goes smoothly.
6. Schedule the Medical Exam
Before being approved for coverage, most life insurance companies demand that applicants undergo a physical exam. Life insurance medical exams are similar to a regular doctor’s appointment, except the examiner comes to your home or office. They’ll take your vitals, such as your height, weight, and blood pressure, as well as draw blood. You can schedule the exam during your phone interview, and it typically takes about 30 minutes.
7. Pay Your First Premium
You can’t use the policy until you make the first payment. It usually takes 3 to 8 weeks to get approved.
Your insurance payment might be deducted from your bank account automatically every month. Generally, it is better to pay annually rather than in installments, since paying smaller amounts more frequently typically incurs relatively large additional charges.