More on Life Insurance
Coverage and Cost
Life insurance overview
How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?
How much life insurance do I need?
What does life insurance cover?
Risks of not having enough life insurance coverage
How to avoid a life insurance coverage gap
Do I need $1 million in life insurance coverage?
Is it possible to have too much life insurance?
Do I need a per capita or per stirpes death benefit?
How Long Should My Coverage Last?
How long should my coverage last?
What happens if you outlive your term life insurance?
Life insurance laddering strategy
How Much Does Life Insurance Cost?
How much does life insurance cost?
How your job affects your life insurance rates
Do pilots pay more for life insurance?
Life insurance for military personnel
Life insurance for veterans
Life insurance for business owners
Does where you live affect your life insurance policy?
How your half birthday affects life insurance cost
What is a life insurance rider?
Life insurance calculator
Policygenius Life Insurance Price Index
Military personnel who want to apply for life insurance have a few extra considerations to make, but getting covered doesn't have to be difficult.
Updated August 19, 2020
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Service in the military can be a test of strength and resolve for anyone. Outside of the obvious demands of combat, there’s also the strain that military service puts on families across the country.
That’s why life insurance is especially important for military personnel. They’re in a high risk profession and having a financial safety net to protect their families is crucial. Because of this high risk, many members of the military may think they don’t qualify for life insurance.
Luckily, that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are a few things that military personnel applying for life insurance have to keep in mind, but these key pieces of advice will allow any member of the military to apply for life insurance and start protecting their family today.
Military personnel looking to apply for life insurance need to be aware of "knockout criteria" – that is, circumstances that will automatically disqualify them from coverage. Life insurance companies will want to know about the details of your military service, and each answer will lead to a different outcome.
The two primary questions a life insurance carrier will ask are:
Life insurance companies will do a thorough examination of your military status to determine your eligibility for coverage. Depending on your answers to the following questions, you can either be approved or rejected for a life insurance policy.
It’s important to keep in mind that, depending on the your answer, you may be automatically declined, but you won’t be automatically accepted. Clearing these knockout criteria just allows you to continue with the application process, and your rates and coverage limits will be decided by your rank and underwriting outcome.
Having deployment orders doesn’t immediately disqualify a member of the military from getting life insurance coverage. However, where he or she is deployed can play a role in coverage availability.
Life insurance underwriters use guidelines set by the State Department to decide whether deploying to a foreign country will disqualify a military applicant from getting a life insurance policy. The State Department assigns countries one of two classifications: warnings and alerts. Warnings are generally longer-term, in places experiencing dangers such as unstable governments or civil wars. Alerts are more often short-term concerns, like elevated terror threats or health alerts.
When an average citizen is applying for life insurance, it’s a simple matter of figuring out how much coverage they need, and the amount of coverage they can afford.
For military personnel, though, there’s an extra consideration. There will be coverage limits based on the applicant’s rank, regardless of military branch. The exact coverage limits will vary by carrier and individual situations, but every carrier will offer the same ballpark coverage amounts that will look similar to the following:
|MILITARY RANK||LIFE INSURANCE COVERAGE LIMIT|
|WO1 – WO2||$1,000,000|
|O1 – O3||$1,000,000|
|O4 – O6||$1,500,000|
|E1 – E2||$100,000|
|Academy or ROTC Cadet||$250,000|
|E3 – E5||$250,000|
|E6 – E7||$500,000|
|E8 – E9||$750,000|
|Officer Candidate School||Based on enlisted rank|
|WO5||See income replacement scale|
Methodology: Military ranking quotes are based on policies offered by Policygenius in August of 2020. Quotes are averaged from our 11 partner life insurance companies: AIG, Banner, Brighthouse, Lincoln, Mutual of Omaha, Pacific Life, Principal, Protective, Prudential, SBLI, and Transamerica.
Note: Reserve or Guard members that are alerted or mobilized have the same by-rank coverage as listed above.
The reason for these coverage limits is based on the same logic life insurance carriers use for classifying citizens: the higher the risk of dying during the term of a life insurance policy, the more concerned the carrier is. Higher-ranking officials are less likely to see the same sort of combat dangers as lower enlisted servicemen and servicewomen, which puts them at a lower risk.
Like WO5 rank limits, coverage limits for ranks O7 and higher are based on income replacement multiples, for example:
|Age||Multiply income by:|
|40 and under||x25|
Note: Reserve or Guard members not alerted or mobilized follow the carrier’s same income replacement guidelines.
As mentioned above, Special Forces, Rangers, SEALS, Marine Force Recon, Marine Raiders, Delta Force, Air Force Pararescue, and other similar units will be immediately declined even if they don’t have active deployment orders.
The best life insurance companies for military personnel to apply through will always be the ones that can provide the best rates and coverage amounts while accommodating your individual situation. The most highly rated life insurance companies for military personnel include Protective, Lincoln, and Prudential.
Getting life insurance coverage involves a few more considerations for military personnel than it does for the average citizen, but getting a policy is well within reach. The most important thing is for members of the military to not automatically assume that they’re uninsurable because of their profession.
Rather than writing it off entirely, military personnel should get a life insurance quote and talk to a licensed expert to get an idea of what their coverage options look like.
Still need help? Find the best life insurance company for you.
Colin Lalley is the Associate Director of SEO Content at Policygenius in New York City. His writing on insurance and personal finance has appeared on Betterment, Inc, Credit Sesame, and the Council for Disability Awareness. Colin has a degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.