AFBA Life Insurance Review

Plans for military members and select government employees and their families

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AFBA Life Insurance

AFBA Life Insurance

Our Take 

AFBA is an established life insurance company offering military and select government employees and their families coverage. Those who fall into one of these fields will find customized policies that fit their unique needs, as well as two different options to cover their children. It is an especially good option for those who prefer to not have a medical exam done.

  • Pros and Cons 
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros and Cons 
Pros
  • Coverage specific for first responders, government employees, Department of Defense contractors, and active or retired military members

  • No war or terrorism exclusions

  • Emergency Death Benefit of $15,000 sent within one business day

  • Family Survivor College Scholarship for those who lose a parent in combat or terrorism

  • No medical exam options are available

Cons
  • Only available for above mentioned groups

  • No online application option

  • Online quotes limited

  • No National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) reviews available

  • Coverage for adult plans only lasts until age 70

Key Takeaways
  • AFBA was founded to help take care of military and specified government employees and their families. 
  • AFBA has five different adult term policies as well as two different children’s policies. 
  • AFBA offers online quotes and the ability to contact customer service over the phone or via email. 
Specifications
  • Year Founded 1947
  • Kinds of Plans Term
  • Number of Plans 7
  • Payment Options Online or through mail
  • Official Website www.afba.com/products/insurance/life-insurance

AFBA is not one of our top-rated life insurance companies. You can review our list of the best life insurance companies for what we think are better options.

Introduction

The Armed Forces Benefit Association (AFBA) offers term insurance products to military members, first responders, government/municipal employees, and Department of Defense/government contractors and their spouses. State Sponsored Life Insurance (SSLI) is also available. In addition, AFBA offers two different children’s policies as well as a children’s rider to help cover juvenile insurance needs.

Most policies allow for some coverage without a medical exam, making it easier for members to obtain coverage quickly. Its Family Survivor College Scholarship is a unique benefit that supports children who have lost a parent due to combat or terrorism. 

Company Overview

AFBA was founded in 1947 in the basement of the Pentagon with the support of Dwight D. Eisenhower, the then-General of the Army. It now has close to 650,000 members and has paid nearly $2 billion in lifetime death benefits. The AFBA life insurance is underwritten by 5Star Life, which is licensed in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa. 

AFBA does offer quotes online, but in order to apply for a policy, you must contact customer service or select the “I want to work with a Life Insurance Representative” button on their website.

Available Plans

AFBA offers several term life insurance plans for military and government employees and their families, including a single-premium term life insurance available to children.

Military Term Insurance

AFBA offers Military Term Insurance that is available from $50,000 to $400,000. A no-medical-exam option is available up to age 50 for $250,000 and up to age 60 for $100,000 for military members, with full coverage after separation or retirement from the military provided. The Military Term coverage can last until age 70.

In addition to these benefits, there is AFBA's Family Survivor College Scholarship, which gives $10,000 per year per family if the insured dies in combat or as a result of foreign or domestic terrorism.

Member Term Insurance

Member Term Insurance provides up to $500,000 of coverage for those up to age 64, with children eligible for up to $50,000. It offers no terrorism or war exclusions and will pay $15,000 of emergency death benefit mailed within one business day. There is also full coverage after separation or retirement from the military available.

Coverage is available for spouses and children using the same enrollment forms, and other benefits include the following:

  • Up to $250,000 is available with no medical exam for those ages 50 and under, $100,000 is available for those ages 50-55, and $50,000 is available for those ages 56-59.
  • Coverage lasts up until age 70.
  • The Family Survivor College Scholarship of $10,000 per year per family is available if death is the result of combat or foreign or domestic terrorism.

First Responder Term Insurance

First Responder Term Insurance has coverage available from $50,000 to $500,000 with issue ages between 18 and 64. Like the Military Term and Member Term plans, this policy can provide coverage up to the age of 70. The First Responder Term Insurance can also provide $100,000 of coverage for $17/month if under 45 and not a tobacco user.

Other benefits include: 

  • No terrorism or war exclusions
  • $15,000 of emergency death benefit mailed within one business day
  • Coverage also available for spouses and children using the same enrollment forms
  • Full coverage after separation or retirement from the military
  • Up to $250,000 available with no medical exam for those ages 50 and under with up to $250,000 available for spouses under age 40
  • Family Survivor College Scholarship of $10,000 per year per family if death is the result of combat or foreign or domestic terrorism

Government/Municipal Employee Term Insurance

The Government/Municipal Employee Term Insurance offers coverage from $50,000 to $500,000 with no terrorism or war exclusions. The policy will pay $15,000 of emergency death benefit mailed within one business day and gives full coverage after separation or retirement from the military.

This policy also includes: 

  • Coverage for spouses and children using the same enrollment forms
  • Up to $250,000 available with no medical exam for those ages 50 and under, $100,000 for ages 50-55, and $50,000 for ages 56-59
  • Coverage available to age 70

DoD/Government Contractor Term Insurance

DoD/Government Contractor Term Insurance offers up to $250,000 available with no medical exam for those ages 50 and under, $100,000 for ages 50-55, and $50,000 for ages 56-59. Coverage is available from $50,000 to $500,000 and up to age 70. 

In addition, the policy includes: 

  • No terrorism or war exclusions
  • $15,000 of emergency death benefit mailed within one business day
  • Full coverage after separation or retirement from the military
  • Coverage is also available for spouses and children using the same enrollment forms

Children’s Protect Term Insurance

The Children’s Protect Term Insurance offers $50,000 of level term coverage to eligible children between the ages of 1 and 17. Like the other plans, it provides coverage up to age 70. It also includes a simplified issue, meaning no medical exam is required and just a few health questions are asked. This plan has level rates until age 45, and then increases from there. 

Smart Start Children’s Insurance

The Smart Start Children’s Insurance provides coverage for a child or grandchild up to $15,000. Children are eligible from 14 days to 18 years old and coverage lasts up until age 25. It is also simplified issue with no medical exam and just a few health questions. 

In addition, this plan offers:

  • $10,000 of coverage for one-time payment for $150
  • $15,000 of coverage for one-time payment for $225
  • At age 25, can be converted to a whole life policy up to five times the original face value with no physical exam

Available Riders

A rider is optional add-on protection purchased to provide greater coverage options. Not all riders are available on all plans and prices may vary.

Children’s Rider

Children up to age 21 (or 23 if a full-time student) are eligible for this rider simply by answering a few health questions. The coverage amount is dependent on age and can be added to these plans:

  • Member Term
  • First Responder Term
  • Government/Municipal Employee Term
  • DoD/Government Contractor Term

Customer Service: Adequate

If you’re in need of customer service, you can call the customer service line from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST at 1-800-776-2322 or you can complete an email contact form.

Once a policyholder, AFBA has an online portal for members to manage their accounts and a form to report a claim online.

Customer Satisfaction: Unavailable

While you can find some user reviews online, there is no information available from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) regarding AFBA, but in 2020 5Star Life Insurance had an overall score of .069 (the industry average is 1.0, and the lower, the better). The NAIC helps rate customer satisfaction, including customer complaints, which can be important for prospective buyers to understand before they obtain a policy through them. 

Neither AFBA nor 5Star was included in J.D. Power's 2020 life insurance study.

Financial Strength: A- (Excellent)

AFBA’s insurance policies are underwritten by 5Star Life Insurance, which has been given an A- (Excellent) rating by AM Best. The AM Best score is an indication of a company's financial strength and ability to follow through with its financial commitments.  

Cancellation Policy: Obtainable Online

It is possible to cancel an insurance policy obtained through AFBA. Because they are underwritten by 5Star Life, their website has a Request for Change form that allows you to change or cancel your policy. If you cancel your policy during the "free look" period, it should not affect your ability to receive a refund on any policy premiums paid. If you cancel after the free look period, you may not be able to recover premiums paid or may have to pay other fees. 

Before you purchase a life insurance policy through AFBA, be sure to understand all details including how much the policy will cost and what the surrender fees are. If you can't afford the coverage you need, consider purchasing less coverage to start and increase as you're able. 

Price of AFBA Life Insurance: Available

AFBA does offer online quotes. Although the price isn’t guaranteed, it’s a great way to get a rough estimate of how much your desired insurance coverage may cost through them. 

In order to obtain a quote, you have to enter in a few different pieces of information, including:

  • Eligibility status
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Tobacco use

Quotes for 35-year-olds (both male and female) with standard non-tobacco class came to $480 per year for $400,000 worth of coverage. 

How AFBA Compares to Other Life Insurance

AFBA life insurance is a unique company specifically catering to military and specialized government employees and their families. There is also children’s coverage available through two policy options as well as a Child Rider. AFBA also gives a scholarship to eligible children whose parents were killed in combat or due to terrorism, making it a great choice for active military members and their families. 

AFBA vs. USAA

We compared AFBA and USAA because they are both life insurance companies providing specialized insurance to military members and their families. While they both offer life insurance to military members, veterans, and their spouses, there are a few notable differences: 

  • USAA has two unique military riders: the Military Future Insurability Rider, which increases your coverage after leaving the military, and the Military Severe Injury Benefit Rider, which pays out $25,0000 if an injury was obtained during active service.
  • USAA is rated A++ (Superior) by AM Best, while AFBA is rated A-.
  • USAA is available in all 50 states, while AFBA is only available in 49.
  • For USAA, all plans require a medical exam, while AFBA offers several options that don’t.

While USAA and AFBA both have unique benefits, AFBA offers more customized policies for government and military employees and their families, as well as coverage options for those not wishing to obtain a medical exam. 

Read our full USAA Life Insurance Review

Final Verdict

AFBA provides a vast range of term insurance policies for military and select government employees, as well as unique coverage options for their children. Although they do offer quotes online, you will have to speak to a representative to apply for and obtain coverage.

We love the scholarship they provide children as well as the ability to obtain coverage for the whole family, sometimes without a medical exam. This makes AFBA a one-stop shop for those looking for coverage for themselves and their families. However, with the limited information online regarding customer satisfaction and cancellation policies, make sure you fully understand what your policy entails before signing on the dotted line.

Methodology

All of our reviews of life insurance companies are based on extensive research and analysis of each company based on policy offerings, customer service, financial stability, cost, and more. For each company, we compared the life insurance products offered, as well as available features, and reported customer experiences. Visit our life insurance review methodology for the full breakdown of what we evaluated for over two dozen companies.