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Military life insurance: All you need to know

As an armed forces member, you’ll know all about being exposed to risk. As a result, it’s essential to ensure that your family and loved ones are financially protected by military life insurance cover should something happen to you. Here, we delve into the different army life insurance options, life insurance benefits and help you decide whether you should take out life cover.

What is military life insurance?

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Like a standard life insurance policy, an armed forces life insurance product provides cover to military members. In the event that you pass away prematurely, your family and loved ones will receive a lump sum payment to help them cover various costs, including mortgages, debt, and living expenses.

Although you could opt to go through a company that specialises in armed forces life insurance, most standard insurance providers offer cover to military applicants. Military life insurance pays out whether you die on active duty or at home, so you won’t have to get a separate live cover policy to cover you whilst you’re on leave.

How do I get military insurance?

Although you can get life insurance as a member of the armed forces, it can be difficult when you’re about to be deployed. Insurance providers will take into account the usual factors when assessing life insurance applications, including age, medical history, smoking status, and health. They’ll then factor in your role in the military and when you’re being deployed. If you’re going to a warzone shortly after taking out a policy, the insurance provider will likely increase your premium for the following years.

Also, your role in the armed forces will affect your life insurance cost. If you’re in a bomb disposal unit or part of a special forces unit, you’re likely to encounter higher premiums and fewer companies willing to provide you with cover.

If you do secure cover, your policy will include any war-related risks, so if you die on active duty, your loved ones will still receive a payout. When you’re on leave and back in the civilian world, the same rules as a standard life insurance policy apply.

How much is military life insurance?

We compare plans from the leading life insurance providers

As previously mentioned, the cost of your policy will depend on various factors. Insurance providers will consider your role in the military and when you’re being deployed. Before calculating your risk, insurance companies will assess your age, health, medical history, and smoking status. The type of life insurance policy you choose and the coverage term will also affect your premium. Since there’s no one shoe fits all cost, you’ll need to discuss your requirements with an insurance provider to get a better understanding of what you’ll be paying.

You should always get multiple life insurance quotes to compare various insurance providers. Companies can be flexible with their prices, so shopping around is a good idea. To lower costs you should also consider quitting smoking and following a more healthy lifestyle.

Do you need military life insurance in the UK?

Although there is no legal requirement that forces you to take out an armed forces life insurance policy, it’s still a good idea to consider it. If you were to die during active duty or at home, would your family and loved ones be in a position to deal with the loss of income?

Could they keep making mortgage payments and covering household bills? Life cover would ensure that they would have financial support if the worst were to happen. It can also help cover inheritance tax and other expenses that might arise as a result of your death.

Do military members get free life insurance?

Unfortunately, you can’t get armed forces life insurance for free. It wouldn’t be sustainable for an insurance provider to give away an insurance product to high-risk clients. However, you can still take out life insurance cover if you’re in the military. Going through a specialist provider is the best way to get your application approved with competitive premiums.

How much life insurance does the military get?

The UK’s armed forces – Royal Navy, Army, and Royal Air Force – don’t receive any life cover as standard with their work contract. They do get death in service benefit, which provides a lump sum payment to their family and loved ones if they die on active duty.

The level of cover that you receive will depend on your role in the armed forces. Generally, you’ll receive the same life cover as civilians unless you have a dangerous position in the military. In that case, you’ll find that companies will lower the amount of cover than you can opt for.

Armed Forces critical illness cover

In addition to your military life insurance policy, you should consider adding critical illness cover. This life cover add-on provides you with a lump sum payment if you are diagnosed with a severe illness during your life insurance term.

As a member of the armed forces, you’ll often be exposed to severe conditions and different types of diseases that could potentially put you out of work for a considerable period. Critical illness cover ensures that you have financial support to cover expenses and any costs that arise from your illness.

Military Life Insurance: Policy Options

When choosing armed forces life insurance, you’ll likely find yourself choosing between a short term policy and a longer-term product.

Short Term armed forces insurance

Short term military insurance will be far more expensive than taking out a long term insurance product. It’s common for military personnel to take out a short term policy to cover a deployment, with the intent to cancel the policy once they go on leave. However, if you’re only planning to get life cover for a short while, it could end up being cheaper in the long run.

Long term armed forces insurance

Longer-term life insurance options are also available to military personnel. It’s unlikely that an insurance company will approve a whole of life insurance policy if you have a dangerous role in the armed forces. This type of policy lasts for the rest of your life and pays out regardless of when you die.

On the other hand, you could opt for term military insurance, which covers you for a predetermined period agreed on between you and the provider. This is a fantastic option if you have a mortgage to pay, debts to cover, or young children that will be financially dependent on you for the foreseeable future.

Comparing Military Life Insurance Policies

It’s essential to compare military insurance policies before deciding on a provider. Shopping around is usually the best way to get yourself a good deal. You could find a company willing to include critical illness cover for a reduced cost or other add-ons such as terminal illness cover or waiver of premium for free.

You should also look into specialist insurance providers that have a history of working with armed forces members. Typically, these companies will offer affordable life insurance and be better equipped to deal with claims if you pass away whilst on active duty.

How life insurance for the Armed Forces works

Like a standard life policy, armed forces life insurance pays out if you die whilst on active duty or at home on leave. The policy will usually include various risks related to your specific role in the military. However, when you’re on leave, you’ll be subject to the same rules of a standard life insurance policy, which excludes specific causes of death.

To ensure that your family successfully makes a claim, always go through the life insurance contract and check the small print in detail.

Do you need another type of life insurance?

Depending on your requirements, you might need a different type of life insurance product. Typically, military life insurance is a term policy covering a specific period. If you’re an older member, or perhaps you’re retired, you could instead opt for an over 50s life insurance policy. This is a type of whole life insurance primarily used to cover funeral costs. There are no medical questions, and for most companies, approval is guaranteed.

If you are retired from military service, you should still consider life cover, especially since you are no longer eligible to receive a death in service payment if you pass away. You might also decide that you want additional add-ons to tailor your life insurance policy to your specific needs. In addition to critical illness cover, you can have:

Terminal illness cover

This add-on provides you with a lump sum payment if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness and given less than 12 months to live. The cash can be used to cover medical expenses and other costs that can improve your quality of life.

Waiver of premium

A waiver of premium add-on will ensure that you won’t lose your life insurance coverage if you fall ill or are injured and can no longer go to work. The add-on will cover the cost of your monthly premium for a predetermined period.

Family income benefit

If you’d prefer that your family receive monthly instalments instead of one large cash lump sum, you can choose to add family income benefit to your life policy. Doing this can help your family better budget funds and provide financial support until your children are financially independent.

Writing your military life insurance in trust

You can write your military insurance in trust like a standard life insurance policy. There is a range of benefits to doing this, including:

Inheritance tax

If you don’t write your life insurance military policy in trust, the payout will be considered part of your estate. As a result, your loved ones will need to pay tax on it if your estate surpasses the UK Government threshold of £325,000. Writing it in trust separates the policy from your estate and ensures that your beneficiaries receive the total amount.

Choose your beneficiaries

Having your policy in trust will give you more control over who receives part of the payout. A trustee chosen by you will oversee the payout period and ensure that your will is kept.

Faster access to funds

If you write your life policy in trust, your beneficiaries can access funds within days. This is because there isn’t a probate period, which in some cases can take months to complete.

Joint military life insurance policies

Typically, joint cover is cheaper than taking out two separate policies. However, if one of the partners is an armed forces personnel, it could result in the civilian partner paying more than they should for life insurance. Another issue is that a joint policy only pays out once, typically when the first death occurs.

To check how much cover you need and whether a joint policy is the best option for you, contact a provider to determine if it’s the most financially efficient way to get coverage.

How to make a military life insurance claim?

In the event that you pass away within your life insurance term, your family and loved ones can start making a claim. Losing a loved one is difficult, but companies are trained to handle these situations and make the process as stress-free as possible.

To make a successful claim, your loved ones will need to provide a death certificate and the evidence that proves the beneficiaries are entitled to receive a payout. The insurer usually investigates to make sure that there hasn’t been a breach of contract. Once the investigation is complete, a payout will be made. If you haven’t written your policy in trust, the funds will only be paid to the beneficiaries after a probate period.