What those who served our country should know about how life insurance can serve you and your loved ones

Parents hold and laugh with young son

If you’re a veteran with dependents, life insurance should be top of mind.

After all, if you have people who depend on you to pay for things, they might suffer financial hardship (not to mention emotional pain) if you weren’t around to take care of them. Your kids. Your spouse. Even a sibling or aging parent.

Life insurance provides financial protection in case the worst should happen. Here’s what you need to know.

In this article:

Main benefits of term life insurance for veterans

Military members usually have life insurance coverage under the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) while in active service. If the military pays you and you meet certain criteria, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs automatically signs you up. This benefit can provide peace of mind about your loved ones while in service, but what happens when you retire or separate from the military?

One option is to consider transitioning to a commercial, or non-VA, term life insurance policy. A term life insurance policy is just as it sounds: Insurance that covers a set period of time, so long as you pay the monthly premiums. If you die during that time (called the term length), your family will receive a lump sum death benefit, tax-free, equal to the value of your policy.

Here are some reasons why term life insurance might be right for you.

Financial protection for veterans and their families

Veterans can leave service when their families are still young and growing. You can face financial pressure from raising children, paying a mortgage, and establishing a civilian career all at once.

Term life insurance provides a safety net to help ensure your loved ones are cared for should something happen to you. If you pass away, life insurance will pay your beneficiary a lump sum benefit (usually tax-free), which can help cover housing costs and the day-to-day costs of raising kids.

This payment can give your loved ones security and a range of options to solve their financial concerns. It can cover short-term costs like funeral and burial expenses, and long-term costs like mortgage payments or setting up a college fund for young children.

Coverage options and flexibility of term life insurance for veterans

You can choose a life insurance term based on when you and your family most need that financial protection. For example, you might want life insurance until your kids reach financial independence or you pay your mortgage off. At Haven Life, policies come in terms as short as 10 years, increasing by 5-year increments up to 30 years.

Perhaps best of all, term life insurance comes with affordable premiums. You can protect your family even as you work to establish your own financial security after service.

Experts recommend buying a policy 5 to 10 times your annual salary, but you can determine what policy size and payout amount is right for you and your family. Use this online calculator, and Haven Life can quickly give you an online quote for the financial cushion you need.

Peace of mind during transition and post-service life

Transitioning to civilian life and a new career can be a challenge for many veterans, and term life insurance is invaluable for this transition (and beyond). A life insurance policy’s safety net helps veterans relieve at least one worry — what might happen to their loved ones should they pass away.

Factors to consider when choosing term life insurance as a veteran

When choosing a life insurance policy, you need to assess your individual needs — not only as a veteran but as a parent and caregiver. Here are some factors to consider.

Assess coverage needs based on individual circumstances

Before choosing a policy, outline your current financial responsibilities. This can help you to determine the length of your term life insurance policy.

For example, if you have a new mortgage with a 30-year term, consider getting an equivalent policy to ensure your family has the means to pay off the house should something happen to you. If you’ve nearly paid off your home or have an accelerated mortgage, a 10- or 15-year term might do just fine.

In the same vein, think about those who rely on you. If you have an eight-year-old child, a 10-year policy will last until they are a legal adult. But if you plan on funding their education, you might want a life insurance policy that lasts 15 years or more to help ensure the money is there if they still need support to get through college.

Look at who’s around you and ask what they need from you, then ask yourself what term life insurance is right for your situation.

Examine premiums, benefits, and policy terms for veterans

One advantage of term life insurance is its affordability. Although a specific quote will depend on your application at Haven Life, a 35-year-old male in excellent health can get $500,000 in coverage for a 20-year term for $20.72 per month.

Frequently asked questions about term life insurance for veterans

Here are some answers to some common queries about veterans and life insurance.

Can veterans obtain term life insurance after service?

Veterans can obtain life insurance after they leave service. From the date you leave the military, you have one year and 120 days to apply for Veterans’ Group Life Insurance or 120 days to convert your SGLI policy to an individual civilian life insurance policy. You apply through the VA website and must sign on with a list of participating companies.

After 120 days, you can choose any insurer you wish. Haven Life offers competitive rates and a digital-first experience (including the application). Haven Life term policies are issued by MassMutual and C.M. Life, a subsidiary of Massmutual. MassMutual isan insurer with a sterling financial rating and more than a century and a half of serving customers.

What do I need to consider for service-disabled veterans life insurance?

If the VA says you are totally disabled at the time of separation, your SGLI coverage may extend for up to two years. You can still get a term life insurance policy outside the VA, if you prefer.

The same is true for the VALife program. This guaranteed-acceptance life insurance through the VA is available to veterans with service-connected disabilities. Although this may be an option for some veterans, the program’s monthly premiums might be higher, and the top benefit payout lower, than you could find in a policy from a private insurer.

Meet Haven Life

Haven Life offers affordable coverage for all walks of life, including the brave people who have served our country. With a wide range of options on term lengths and coverage amounts, including a no-medical-exam-required offering called Haven Simple, Haven Life can be the safety net you and your family are looking for. Start by getting a free online life insurance quote for Haven Term today.


Financial strength ratings are as of August 1, 2023 A.M. Best Company: A++ (Superior; top category of 15); Fitch Ratings: AA+ (Very Strong; second category of 21); Moody’s Investors Service: Aa3 (High Quality; fourth category of 21); Standard & Poor’s: AA+ (Very Strong, second category of 21). Ratings are for MassMutual (Springfield, MA 01111) and its subsidiaries, C.M. Life Insurance Co. and MML Bay State Life Insurance Co. (Enfield, CT 06082). Ratings are subject to change.

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.

Our content is created for educational purposes only. Haven Life does not endorse the companies, products, services or strategies discussed here, but we hope they can make your life a little less hard if they are a fit for your situation.

Haven Life is not authorized to give tax, legal or investment advice. This material is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or investment advice. Individuals are encouraged to seed advice from their own tax or legal counsel.

Our disclosures

Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (DTC and ICC17DTC in certain states, including NC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. In NY, Haven Term is DTC-NY 1017. In CA, Haven Term is DTC-CA 042017. Haven Term Simplified is a Simplified Issue Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC19PCM-SI 0819 in certain states, including NC) issued by the C.M. Life Insurance Company, Enfield, CT 06082. Policy and rider form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Our Agency license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas 100139527.

MassMutual is rated by A.M. Best Company as A++ (Superior; Top category of 15). The rating is as of Aril 1, 2020 and is subject to change. MassMutual has received different ratings from other rating agencies.

Haven Life Plus (Plus) is the marketing name for the Plus rider, which is included as part of the Haven Term policy and offers access to additional services and benefits at no cost or at a discount. The rider is not available in every state and is subject to change at any time. Neither Haven Life nor MassMutual are responsible for the provision of the benefits and services made accessible under the Plus Rider, which are provided by third party vendors (partners). For more information about Haven Life Plus, please visit: https://havenlife.com/plus

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