Best Life Insurance for Military Families

November 6, 2018
Melissa Schreur
best life insurance for military

Best life insurance for military

Where can you find the best life insurance for military families? Whether you are active duty military, a spouse or prior armed forces member, you need to know where to find a plan.

There are a handful of companies that offer life insurance to military personnel. 

The biggest issue I see in the military community is families not having an understanding how each company works. While it’s safe to say most that offer military life insurance are good, they have key differences. 

Not everyone qualifies either at all or for the best price with some well known military organizations. If you have a health issue, it pays to use an independent broker that has more options for your specific situation. 

Often times people get denied or offered a very high price because a company has conservative underwriting guidelines. 

As a military spouse, I realized that military families could benefit from a complete overview of all their options.

insure the heroes life insurance military

Mainly because we live hectic lives and need to know the company we choose has our best interests at heart. Not a company ready to collect our premiums!

With the myriad of life insurance options out there, it can be overwhelming to find the right plan. Plus, let’s face it life insurance salespeople are a bit creepy!

Maybe it’s not the sales rep that gives you a bad feeling but the fact that you are thinking about dying and leaving your family behind.

Now that we have that out of the way…

Some general guidelines when reviewing life insurance companies are:

  • Strong financial ratings
  • Stable company history
  • No war clause for Servicemembers
  • Competitively priced plans
  • Excellent customer service

     

You’ll want to check around and see what your options are. To make this easier, I’ve compiled this list of the best life insurance for military families(past & present).

Bookmark this page for future reference or share with your favorite military family!

Not For Profit Military Organizations

Before you dig into this list of life insurance options, you will notice that many advertise themselves as not for profit. There are many military organizations that have been formed to serve military members and their families. They offer other services and products in addition to life insurance.

You can get life insurance for your military family three ways.

Either direct with the company providing benefits, an agency or agent as well as a not for profit organization.

While some organizations may function as a non profits, you must know they are still paid commissions or fees for offering life insurance products. This is an industry standard practice and truly cannot be avoided as many insurance carriers use agencies to administer their products.

There are anti-rebating laws that prevent the alteration of the fees paid to these agencies. The sale of insurance products is traditionally compensated in the form of commissions and may also include override for volume, growth and retention. If you want more information on how an organization is compensated for their life insurance offerings, just ask them for the compensation disclosure.

Group Insurance Plans

Many military friendly organizations that offer life insurance are providing group insurance plans. A group plan differs from an individual one in that it can be changed at the company’s discretion.

Although, it’s not a frequent occurrence, it is still an important factor. This means your not truly locking in a plan compared to an individual one. 

If you buy a group life insurance plan, the company can change the premiums, features, contract language etc..When you buy an individual plan it is set to never change as long as premiums are paid for the agreed upon time period.

Financial Rating Agencies

Insurance carriers are graded on their financial stability by four independent agencies.

These are A.M. Best, Moodys, Standards & Poor and Fitch. The more ratings a carrier has the better. Especially if the have consistent, stable ratings from each agency.

If a company does not have any or each agency rating, this could mean they do not meet the qualifications to go through their review process. It is also possible, they are not an insurance carrier. In this case, you can refer to their annual reports to determine their financial strength.

Reading the financial rating symbols of insurance companies can seems a bit tricky at first. A general rule of thumb is A is a good sign. There are several tiers of A ratings. Each rating firm does provide information on what these tiers mean.

If at all possible steer clear of a life insurance company that has a rating of B or lower. 

USAA

Most of know who they are. Formerly known as The United Services Automobile Association (USAA), they are the 24th largest life insurance company. USAA life insurance started operating in 1922 out of San Antonio, TX. They actually started out with a handful of Army officers forming an agreement to insure each other’s cars. USAA has continued to grow, even through the Great Depression.

They are a well respected, military friendly organization.

Financial Rating

  • A.M. Best(A++) Superior
  • Moody’s(Aa1) Excellent
  • Standard & Poor’s(AA+) Very Strong

Navy Federal aka Navy Mutual Aid Association

Another common name among the military community is Navy Federal. You may be surprised to know that the life insurance products they offered are not underwritten by Navy Federal Financial Group, LLC or Navy Federal Credit Union.

According to their website:

“Navy Mutual Aid Association, Covr Financial Technologies, LLC / MFG Group, Inc., and TruStage Insurance are not owned by Navy Federal Financial Group, LLC or Navy Federal Credit Union. Life insurance coverages are written through non-affiliated insurance companies.”

The Navy Mutual Aid Association is based out of Arlington, VA and has been serving military families since 1879. They have a 97.8% member retention rate, more than $80 million in total direct premiums, greater than $26 billion in total insurance in force, a net investment yield of 5.90% and over $3 billion in Total Assets.

Financial Ratings (Navy Mutual Aid Association)

  • Fitch(A+)

American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association(AAFMAA)

Located in Ft. Myer, VA as a member owned, mutual association. AAFMAA has 90,000 members of all American Armed Forces. The organization was established in 1879 to support military families after the Battle of Little Big Horn – “Cutler’s Last Stand.”

They are the longest-standing not-for-profit association that offers life insurance, investment management, residential mortgages and survivor assistance to military families.

Financial Ratings

AAFMAA is not rated by third party organizations such as A.M. Best, Standard’s & Poor or Moody’s due to the fact they are a member owned organization not a life insurance company.

According to their website as of 2015:

  • They hold over $1.2 billion in assets
  • Have $25.7 billion policies in force

Insure The Heroes

Owned and operated by the military spouse authoring this post, Melissa Schreur. Insure The Heroes, Inc. is an independent life insurance agency offering policies through top rated insurance carriers. Melissa has 15+ years of experience in the insurance industry and is licensed in several states across the nation.

After realizing that many military families do not carry enough life insurance, she opened her own practice. Her passion is helping them protect their home front with quality life insurance protection.

Carriers Offered & Financial Rating Summary

Prudential

  • A.M. Best(A+) 
  • Moody’s(A1)
  • Standard’s & Poor(AA-) 
  • Fitch(AA-)

Mutual of Omaha 

  • A.M. Best(A+) 
  • Moody’s(A1) 
  • Standard’s & Poor(AA-) 

Protective

  • A.M. Best(A+)
  • Moody’s(A1)
  • Standard’s & Poor(AA-)
  • Fitch(A+)

SBLI 

  • A.M. Best(A)
  • Standard’s & Poor(A-)

Minnesota Life

  • A.M. Best(A+)
  • Moody’s(Aa3)
  • Standard’s & Poor(AA-)
  • Fitch(AA)

American National ANICO

  • A.M. Best(A)
  • Standard’s & Poor(A)

Assurity

  • A.M. Best(A-)

John Hancock 

  • A.M. Best(A+)

Principal 

  • A.M. Best(A+)
  • Moody’s(A1)
  • Standard’s & Poor(A+)
  • Fitch(AA-)

North American

  • A.M. Best(A+)
  • Standard’s & Poor(A+)
  • Fitch(A+)

Banner

  • A.M. Best(A+)
  • Standard’s & Poor(AA-)
  • Fitch(AA-)

And more!

Melissa Schreur is an appointed agent with the Military Benefit Association(MBA) and the Uniformed Services Benefit Association(USBA) offering their group life insurance plans. 

Military Benefit Association MBA

MBA has been serving military members, young and old, since 1956. The organization was created by former service members and has about 100,000 members. The provide exclusive benefits, financial education and life insurance products to military families.

The life insurance products offered by the Military Benefit Association are underwritten by MetLife. MBA holds $48 Million in total assets and pays about $15 Million in claims annually.

Financial Rating(MetLife)

  • A.M. Best(A+) Superior
  • Moody’s(Aa3) Stable

Uniformed Services Benefit Association USBA

USBA was formed in 1959 with a mission to meet the needs of military members who needed life insurance plans that covered combat-related deaths. They were one of the first companies do do away with the war clause.

The life insurance products offered by Uniformed Services Benefit Association are underwritten by New York Life.

Financial Rating(New York Life)

  • A.M. Best (A++)
  • Standard & Poor’s (AA+)
  • Moody’s (Aaa)
  • Fitch (AAA)

Military Officer Association of America MOAA

MOAA was created in 1929 with the hopes the founders could provide assistance and advice to other military officers. Today, MOAA has grown to a membership of more than 370,000 members. Membership is open to active duty, National Guard, Reserve, retired, and former commissioned officers and warrant officers of the following uniformed services: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Public Health Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The life insurance products offered by MOAA are underwritten by ReliaStar Life Insurance Company, a member of the Voya® family of companies, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Financial Rating(ReliaStar Life Insurance Company)

  • A.M. Best( A) Excellent
  • Fitch (A) Stable

Armed Forces Insurance AFI

Since 1887 AFI has been in business offering a wide variety of insurance products to military families. They are owned by their policyholders by means of a “reciprocal exchange”. AFI established the Armed Forces Insurance Foundation to assist in educating the military community on a wide array of key personal financial topics to help them succeed.

Financial Rating(Armed Forces Insurance Exchange)

  • A.M. Best (B++) Good

Armed Forces Benefit Association AFBA

AFBA was created in 1947 with the support of General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower “to promote the general welfare and economic interests of its members and their families by providing superior benefits and services principally to military families during peace and war.” They have 430,000 members and $40 Billion of insurance in force.

The life insurance products offered by AFBA are underwritten by 5Star Financial, LLC and 5Star Life Insurance Company.

Financial Rating(5Star Life Insurance Company)

  • A.M. Best( A) Excellent

Conclusion

You may thinking “why do I need life insurance outside of the military benefit?” Members of the military and their dependents do get the servicemembers group life insurance sgli.

Often these plans do not offer the RIGHT amount of coverage.

Service members preparing to leave the military have 120 days of free life insurance coverage. Separating service members can participate in the veterans group life insurance vgli. The veteran affairs office provides the guidelines to the military life insurance programs.

As a military member, you may wonder whether to convert your sgli. Before you make that decision, it’s best to get a life insurance quote from a reputable company.

Don't be shy! Leave Melissa your comment or question.

Melissa Schreur

Melissa Schreur has 15+ years helping consumers choose the best insurance protection. As a military spouse, she is dedicated to delivering world-class service to her customers. Insure The Heroes Life Insurance Agency is owned and operated by Melissa. She helps military families(past & present), parents and business owners secure affordable term life insurance coverage.