I started Insurance Blog by Chris™ because I have a passion for insurance. Here at the blog, our job is to educate and inform people about the best insurance for them. Since then, we have grown into national brands with a large team of researchers helping people understand all forms of insurance.

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Written by Chris Huntley
Founder of Huntley Wealth & Insurance Services Chris Huntley

Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insu...

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Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent Rachael Brennan

UPDATED: Mar 24, 2021

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ATTENTION ALL VETERANS! Are you looking at VGLI rates? 

Please read this article before you convert your SGLI (Servicemembers Group Life Insurance) to VGLI (Veterans Group Life Insurance)!

You truly are the best of the best, and deserve the best!

If you’re retired from the military and want to provide financial support for your family through a life insurance policy, find out why VGLI may NOT BE THE BEST WAY TO GO! ​

VLGI is Easy, But VGLI Rates Are High

I’m going to give you some insider information about VGLI rates that will give you some insight into the whys and wherefores of this statement.

VGLI seems like a quick and easy option.

That being said, you may be making a very costly mistake.

Hey, don’t get me wrong. There are powerful advantages to VGLI that may fit your circumstances.

RELATED: 5 Critical Tips You Must Know Before Buying Life Insurance

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What Is Veterans Group Life Insurance?

Retiring service members are entitled to convert their SGLI to VGLI within 1 year and 120 days.

The maximum amount of term life insurance available through SGLI and VGLI is $400,000. Which doesn’t sound too bad – right?

Unfortunately, there is a catch which I will explain in more detail.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I believe term life insurance is the best option for 99% of people. It’s affordable, flexible and provides the death benefits you need should the unthinkable happen.

Now here’s the catch. VGLI isn’t pure term life insurance.

VGLI offers a product that is similar to “GUARANTEED ISSUE LIFE INSURANCE.”

VGLI Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Guaranteed issue life insurance in the private sector is generally sold to those who have serious or life-threatening health conditions that are likely to be declined for a traditional life insurance policy.

This form of term life insurance also tends to be MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE.

Guaranteed term life insurance exposes insurers to more risk and they pass that risk on to you in the form of more expensive premiums.

If the life insurance company has no medical information on you, they will not give you the best possible health rating. It just wouldn’t make sense for them to do so.

You always pay less if you get a medical exam UNLESS your health is in such bad shape that you would be declined otherwise.

RELATED: Check Sample Life Insurance Rates by Age (No Personal Info Required)

VGLI Is a Form of Group Life Insurance

It covers a wide range of people from those who are healthy to those who aren’t. The premiums offered are to make sure that money is made by the insurer, despite the influx of people with medical conditions. So, in essence, the healthy applicants are covering those who are ill.

If you have a SERIOUS or LIFE THREATENING health issue, VGLI might be the right insurer for you.

Your health condition may not be as bad as you imagine! Every insurer has different underwriting guidelines which means some are much more lenient than others. We have found affordable insurance for people with elevated cholesterol, diabetes, and even heart conditions.

If you opt for VGLI, you may be paying way more than you should! This is especially true for veterans in good health.

Did you know that:

Between 11 and 20 percent of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have PTSD, according to the United States Department of Veteran Affairs. The condition can occur after a traumatic or life-threatening experience and may cause prolonged periods of anxiety, jumpiness, bad memories and disturbed sleep. This Veteran is Helping Others Fight PTSD with Horses

Pros & Cons of VGLI Life Insurance

VGLI has its advantages, but there are also some disadvantages.

Pros of VGLI

  • Costs are the same for smokers & non-Smokers
  • No health questions are asked
  • Lab testing & Medical Exams aren’t required
  • Physical or mental issues aren’t relevant
  • Costs are the same for males & females

If you’ve sustained serious wounds or incurred a debilitating psychological condition VGLI may be appropriate for some of you.

Don’t let fear or worry keep you from obtaining all the information you need to make a fully educated choice.

The convenience of a no exam policy could cost you literally thousands of dollars? That little exam can save you as much as 30% on your premiums!

Even IF you decide you want a no medical exam policy, there are a number of private companies that offer competing life insurance. Why not find out if VGLI is offering the best possible premiums?

Cons of VGLI

  • VGLI is MORE EXPENSIVE than other equivalent policies in the private sector
  • VGLI Rates Increase Every 5 Years

VGLI rates are based solely on your age. You provide no medical information, so you know they’re gonna be on the high side to start with.

These rates are going to escalate every 5 years. VGLI terms are renewable and if that wasn’t enough, the rates RISE DRAMATICALLY!

When you purchase private life insurance you typically sign up for a guaranteed “level term”. This means your premiums remain the same for the life of the policy. Whew – now that’s a relief. Who wants to deal with premiums that are on the rise? Now that’s a drag.

Just to give you a heads up. Let’s say you are looking for 20 years of coverage. Your premiums will rise 4 times over the life of the term!


Here are VGLI rates are for a 30-YEAR-OLD VETERAN – 20 Year Term $400,000:

30-34$40.00$480.00$480 x 5 Years = $2,400
35-39$52.00$624.00$642.00 x 5 Years = $3,120.00
40-44$68.00$816.00$816.00 x 5 Years = $4,080.00
45-49$88.00$1,056.00$1,056.00 x 5 Years = $5,280.00
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Now, we ran 2 quotes for a 30-year-old for 2 types of ratings:

  • Preferred Plus Rating Non-Smoker (Perfect health)
  • Standard Rating Non-Smoker (Minor health issues)

30 Year Old MalePreferred Plus $16.98$194.00Our rate: $3,880.00
VGLI rate: $14,880.00
30 Year Old MaleStandard $31.51$350.16Our rate: $7,003.20
VGLI rate: $14,880.00
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AND if you are a female veteran, your savings will be EVEN greater!

The point is, it’s very likely that we will save you some serious cash. If you are really investigating VGLI rates this is some VERY important information. For some of you, it might be several hundred dollars – but for many others, the savings is in the THOUSANDS.

This is the number ONE reason we urge people to consult an independent life insurance agent BEFORE they click that button to convert SGLI to VGLI.

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Will A Disability Make Life Insurance Too Expensive?

You’ve got a disability, so you think your insurance is going to be expensive or maybe you will be declined altogether.

Please call us before signing up for VGLI.

The primary factor that life insurance companies consider when they look at health issues is whether or not it has an impact on your life expectancy.

If the disability you have has no impact on your life expectancy than it’s likely to have little or NO IMPACT ON THE RATES YOU PAY.

Losing a limb because of an IED is vastly different than having a limb amputated because of a medical condition such as diabetes.

This is because diabetes may shorten a person’s life expectancy.

There are many types of disabilities which fall into this category. The best advice I can give you – is to CALL us today. We can help you determine if your disability will impact your premiums.

It’s important to remember that different companies have different approaches to underwriting. You really need to speak to someone who can pick the right insurer for your circumstances.


Unfortunately, numerous America’s servicemen and women incur injuries, many of which are permanent or debilitating such as limb amputation or PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome).

The truth is, PTSD may cause you to receive a higher rating, BUT it all depends on the degree to which it impacts your life.

There are as many as 16 rating classes used by life insurers. If you have relatively mild PTSD with no hospitalization or suicide attempts and use a single medication, you could qualify for a “Standard” Rating.

This is a comparatively good rating, and much less expensive than VGLI rates.

More serious cases of PTSD need to be evaluated on a case by case basis. I urge you to call us now so we can review your personal situation.

Let’s say that your disability does have some impact on your life expectancy, but the condition is treatable. Maybe there is surgery or medication that allows for a good prognosis. If that’s the case, it’s VERY likely we can find an affordable policy for you!

Underwriting Guidelines Vary Substantially

Underwriting guidelines vary significantly from company to company. Always remember, some companies are very restrictive while others are very lenient for a variety of health conditions.

The quote for a 20-year policy may be somewhat more expensive than what you might pay for the first or second 5-year term that VGLI quotes.

VGLI rates become extortionately expensive with time.

This is because the rate we quote is guaranteed to remain the same for the full 20-year term. VGLI premiums jump significantly every time you renew the 5-year policy.

If you have a disability, please don’t assume that your premiums will be VERY expensive. Call today and speak with one of our agents. They can go through your medical and psychological history to see where you stand.

The right company can mean saving hundreds if not THOUSANDS of dollars over the course of your term!

Before Buying VGLI: Shop Around For Lower Life Insurance

Many will simply take your information and give you a quote.

We don’t apply to the first company we think of, we can create (or send out) a trial offer, and query multiple companies so we will know which carrier works best for your unique situation.

This range of offers, some of which even surprise us from time to time! It’s always a pleasure to have a quote come in that’s far lower than we expected and this happens more often than you would think!

Still looking at VGLI rates?

Call us first! All veterans deserve the best coverage and at the lowest possible rates and Huntley Wealth can help.

ONE single phone call can save you thousands of dollars on life insurance.

Think saving money on life insurance is as easy as getting a quick online quote?  Think again!  You need an expert guide.  We know the right companies for every age, health issue, and need.  It’s quick and easy!  Get started with a free life insurance quote now!

As independent agents, we are not loyal to just one insurer. Which means we have no financial incentive to recommend a company that is not right for you!

VGLI rates are high because you are just one of many clients they are insuring. Every year the risk of insuring you increases, which means they pass this cost off to you every five years to make sure they don’t lose money.

A simple exam and some transparency can save you a boatload of cash. Don’t assume a disability or a pre-existing condition means that VGLI is the only option for you. You would be shocked to see how many people we have insured that thought they would be declined (and at a reasonable cost may I add).

Call us right now at 888-603-2876!  We are happy to answer all your questions. Get a quote today to see how it compares with VGLI rates.

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