Navy Mutual Life Insurance
Life Insurance Basics

Navy Mutual is an outstanding organization providing outstanding support to our family. They looked at our unique circumstances and designed a solution to meet our needs.

- Robert K., Member since 2013

What is life insurance?

Life insurance creates a safety net to help offset the financial strain that may be caused by a particular event – in this case, a death. This important coverage can help cushion the financial burden that may be placed on your loved ones in the event of your passing.

Life insurance does this by providing a cash benefit to those whom you leave behind. This benefit can create future income for your loved ones as well as help offset immediate expenses and debt.

There are two types of life insurance: term and permanent.

What is the difference between term and permanent life insurance?

Term life insurance is an insurance policy that is active for a set number of years and remains in force for the duration of the term provided premiums are paid on time. It may be renewable upon the completion of the term, though premiums generally increase at that point. In many cases, individuals will be required to apply for a completely new policy after the end of the term.

If the insured passes away outside of the policy’s term, no death benefit will be paid.

Permanent life insurance – in Navy Mutual’s case, whole life insurance – is an insurance policy that is active until the death of the insured provided premiums are paid on time. It contains both an insurance policy that pays out a death benefit and a cash value component. It does not need to be renewedPremiums are set at the time of purchase and do not change over the life of the policy.

As long as the policy is in good standing and there are no extraneous circumstances, a permanent policy will always pay out a death benefit.

Simply stated:

  • Term life insurance is there for your loved ones if you die.
  • Permanent life insurance is there for your loved ones when you die.

How does life insurance work?

While a policy is active, the policy owner pays a monthly premium to an insurance company to maintain policy coverage. This is the normal state of things until either a) the insured passes away or b) a term policy concludes, at which point premium payments cease.

For a death benefit to be paid out, the insured must pass away while the policy is active and in good standing. The policy’s beneficiary or beneficiaries then must contact the insurance company to initiate a claim. Once they have been verified as beneficiaries and the insurance company ensures that the policy is still active, the death benefit can be paid out to the beneficiaries for them to do with as they see fit.

Use our life insurance calculators to determine…

How much life insurance do you need?

Simply by inputting a few numbers, like your current annual income, desired retirement age, immediate and long-term cash needs, and available resources, you can determine how much life insurance is the right amount to protect your family.

How much life insurance is required to support your beneficiaries?

By calculating the difference between your assets and your liabilities, you can estimate the amount of life insurance that would be required to support your beneficiaries through the end of their lives.

How long will your life insurance benefits last?

If you are the beneficiary of a life insurance policy and you want to estimate how long the death benefit might last or if you want to make sure that your life insurance policy provides enough funds to meet your own beneficiary’s needs, this is the calculator for you.

Already have SGLI or VGLI?

As a servicemember or veteran, you may already have insurance through Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) or Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI).


  • Provides up to $500,000 in coverage
  • Low-cost coverage for a maximum of $30 per month
  • Coverage effective for the duration of active service and 120 days after separation


  • Provides up to $500,000 in coverage
  • Premiums range from $35 per month to $2,250 per month for full coverage
  • Premiums depend on age, increasing every five years
  • Coverage effective as long as premiums are paid
  • Must enroll within 240 days of separation

Your coverage needs change throughout your life. Keep in mind that defining your retirement and estate planning objectives now – at the youngest possible age – can substantially reduce the cost associated with ensuring that your family is protected in the event of your passing.

Navy Mutual’s affordable policies can supplement your military-provided coverage while you are in the service and supplement or replace increasingly expensive VGLI policies. Learn more in our Life Insurance LookBook.

Still have questions?

We have answers. Browse our FAQs.

Our representatives are standing by to help you and your family determine what type of coverage fits your needs.

Schedule a consultation today.

We are more than a life insurance provider. We want to make sure that you live your best financial life, from start to finish, so we gathered all of our resources in one place.

Visit the resource center.

Questions? Call 800-628-6011

Life Insurance Calculator

Find out how much life insurance may be right for you. Simply input your age, current income, future income and cash needs, and available resources and let our calculator do the rest.

Life Insurance FAQs

You may have questions about life insurance, so we created a list of our most frequently asked questions for you to search through. If you need help, you can always call.