Do you need more life insurance?

Service members, veterans and their families may become so used to the benefits the military provides that when it comes time to look at the civilian equivalent, they don’t know what to do. One area that confuses many people – military and civilian alike – is life insurance.

In the military, you are covered from the day you join, and your family can also be covered at a very affordable cost. However, this cover may not be enough for your family – and it does not automatically continue when you separate or retire.

Life insurance is not a set-it-and-forget thing. The coverage you need will vary depending on your stage of life, your civilian job and your family’s needs. At different stages of your life, you may find that you need more life insurance coverage. Here are some of the times you should reevaluate your coverage and make sure it’s enough to protect your family.

5 times to evaluate your life insurance coverage

  1. When your family changes

A service member has drastically different needs than those who are married or have children. If your family changes in any way, it’s time to review your policy. Marriage, divorce and children are all things that can change the coverage you need. One thing to keep in mind is that stay-at-home parents still need to be insured. It costs a lot of money to hire people to do the tasks that a stay-at-home parent does on a daily basis.

  1. When your finances change

The purpose of life insurance is to cover expenses when you die. These expenses can range from paying off your house or other lines of credit to replacing your income so your family can move to a different income level. When your financial situation changes, it’s time to look at the coverage you need.

Life insurance is not a set-it-and-forget thing. The coverage you need will vary depending on your stage of life, your civilian job and your family’s needs.

If a family member needs your financial help, such as an aging parent or a spouse who stops working to stay home with children, you may also need to increase your coverage. Conversely, if you receive an inheritance or a lump sum, you may be able to reduce your cover.

  1. When faced with an implementation

When faced with a deployment, insurance is something you should check. It’s important to make sure you have the right person named as the beneficiary and that you have enough cover to support your family if something happens to you down the line.

Your service members’ group life insurance (SGLI) coverage may not be enough, so consider how many working years you have left, how old your children are, how much your house is worth, and your family’s standard of living. Is your coverage enough to support them?

  1. When you change jobs

The first thing to think about is what you will do when you leave the military. Your SGLI coverage doesn’t follow you, but you have several options. One is Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI), which provides no-exam coverage if you apply within 240 days (eight months) of leaving the service — although you can apply for coverage up to one year and 120 days after separation . This is a great option if you might otherwise find it difficult to qualify for an outside insurance policy. However, VGLI rates can be expensive, up to $400,000, and not affordable for your family.

Commercial insurance policies are also available and are often a popular choice due to their higher coverage limits and the option to add your family to the policy. The cost of these policies usually depends on age, length of coverage and health status. Navy Mutual offers an alternative to VGLI open to service members who have separated from the military within the past 120 days (four months). It is available to recently separated service members from any branch, as well as spouses who were covered by Family SGLI while the service member was on active duty, and children under the age of 21.

Your new job may also offer life insurance, but coverage often only lasts the length of your job, not covering you when you retire. If you need life insurance longer than when you are working, this may not be the best option.

  1. When your current policy expires

Just like when you’re getting ready to leave the military and your SGLI policy will end when your current policy expires, it’s time to review it and decide what’s next. Do you still need the same coverage as before? When considering this, consider why you had life insurance coverage in the first place. Did your kids move out on their own? Is your house paid off? Talk to your insurance carrier, get some additional quotes, and then make the best decision for your family.

Navy Mutual can help you protect your family, regardless of your circumstances and needs. Get a quote today!

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