Universal Life Insurance for Veterans

Key Takeaway

While veterans group life insurance (VGLI) is available to all veterans, the standard product is usually a term life insurance product that expires within two years of leaving the military, and may not be the best option for veterans and their beneficiaries. Universal life insurance is a permanent life insurance product that may provide more benefits and higher amounts of coverage than a VGLI.

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Military Veteran map Pointing to Best Universal Life Insurance Option for Veterans
5/24/2024



The best life insurance policy for your needs as a veteran depends on your individual health history and financial goals or needs. This is why it’s important to explore universal life insurance resources if you’re looking for a permanent life insurance policy to help provide a safety net for your loved ones.

Whether you’re a high-income earner looking for whole life insurance or are seeking a reliable life insurance product for you and your family, veterans have much to consider when it comes to selecting life insurance.

How to Verify If You Have Life Insurance as a Veteran


Veterans have several options in regards to life insurance, and we have found that many tend to opt for policies offered through the US Department of Veterans Affairs, such as VGLI and Veterans’ Affairs Life Insurance. However, these policies are usually term life policies, meaning they will likely expire within the policyholder’s lifetime if the policyholder is under a certain age and in good health.

While you are provided life insurance during your time in the military, veterans must actively purchase life insurance within one year and 120 days after their transition date to apply and qualify for VGLI. After that time, you may need to seek other options.

But how do you know if you already have life insurance as a veteran? You can check your life insurance status by visiting the US Department of Affairs’ website. Here, you can use your file number to access your life insurance policy if it is active.

Can Veterans Purchase Private Life Insurance?


VGLI is not the only option available to veterans. Veterans can absolutely purchase private life insurance, and you may find that purchasing a universal life insurance policy in addition to your VGLI term life policy helps provide you with the security you need.

VGLI Versus Universal Life Insurance


Universal life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance product that has a cash value account attached to it. In these products, policyholders are typically covered for the duration of their life so long as the monthly premiums are paid in full and on time each month. The cash value account is the savings component to the policy, and part of your monthly premium goes into that cash value account, where it accrues interest and value. 

With universal life policies, you can withdraw or borrow against the policy’s cash value, subject to the policy terms and conditions which can give you flexibility with your monthly premium rates and may allow you to adjust the death benefit. These policies tend to be more flexible than VGLI policies, and they can last your entire lifetime.

In a VGLI policy, you can have the ability to receive up to 50% of your life insurance proceeds early if you become diagnosed with a terminal illness and have a life expectancy of nine months or fewer. Your premiums may also increase as you get older, unlike a universal policy where they can remain the same or lower, depending on how you use your cash value account.

Is Universal Life Insurance Worth It?


Universal life insurance may be a great primary option for life insurance for veterans, but it could also be a reliable supplement to your existing VGLI. However, it is important to note these will likely be separate policies. 

With universal life insurance, you likely won’t need to worry about reapplying for coverage, increasing monthly premiums, and may even enjoy additional benefits that do not come with a VGLI, such as a cash value account.


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The information above is for educational use only and does not represent insurance, tax or legal advice. It is not a recommendation or solicitation to buy insurance. Please talk to your licensed insurance agent for more information about life insurance and your needs. Please consult with the appropriate professional for tax or legal advice. Guarantees are backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company.


Article Author: Meredith Bell
Author Bio: Meredith joined Everly in 2022 and has 20+ years of experience in the life insurance industry. She has held various roles in advertising, marketing, communications, sales and distribution support, and product development. Outside of the office, Meredith lives with her daughter Kennedy and their dog Mavis. Meredith enjoys cooking, camping, gardening, hiking, and bourbon (though not always at the same time). She is a live music enthusiast and an avid reader. Her favorite quote is by Thomas Jefferson: "I cannot live without books." Meredith agrees, but would add cheese, movies, and dogs to that list.

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