Navy Federal Life Insurance Review

Affordable coverage for servicemembers, reservists, veterans, and their families

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Navy Mutual

Navy Mutual

Our Take

Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU) offers life insurance policies through non-affiliated insurance companies. For non-military members, NFCU partners with Covr to provide life insurance quotes from several insurers, including AIG, Nationwide, and Prudential. NFCU also partners with Navy Mutual, a nonprofit entity that offers services to the Navy for military personnel. NFCU only offers term and whole life policies through its partnerships, so if you’re looking for universal or variable life insurance, you’ll need to work with another provider.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Convenient online application process

  • Navy Mutual can expedite processing for deploying members

  • Can report claims online or over the phone

  • Does not impose military service restrictions

  • Offers retirement annuities through Navy Mutual

  • Provides terminal illness counseling to military families

Cons
  • Does not offer universal or variable life insurance policies

  • Not rated by AM Best

  • Policies require a medical exam

Key Takeaways
  • Founded in 1879, Navy Mutual is the oldest federally recognized veterans service organization in the country.
  • Navy Mutual is based in Arlington, Virginia.
  • Navy Mutual is rated A+ by Fitch Ratings.
  • As of 2019, Navy Mutual has $3 billion in total assets with revenue of $250 million.
  • Life insurance policies are portable for military members transitioning out of the service.
Specifications

Specifications for Navy Federal Credit Union’s non-military members depend on the insurer you choose through Covr. Here are the specifications for Navy Mutual, which provides life insurance to Navy Federal Credit Union’s military personnel.

  • Year Founded 1879
  • Kinds of Plans Whole, term
  • Number of Plans 3
  • Payment Options Quarterly, semi-annually, or annually
  • Official Website www.navymutual.org

Introduction

Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU) provides term and permanent life insurance products and riders for military members through Navy Mutual. The company also provides life insurance quotes from popular insurers to non-military members through Covr and accidental death coverage for all members through TruStage Insurance. 

Here are the findings of our review of Navy Federal Credit Union life insurance through Navy Mutual. We examine policy options, riders, online resources, customer satisfaction ratings, and financial strength ratings to help you compare the life insurance policy options of NFCU against other insurers you may be considering.

Company Overview

Founded in 1933, Navy Federal Credit Union is a global credit union with over 10 million members and $144.5 billion in assets. The company, which is based in Vienna, Virginia, offers life insurance through affiliated companies, primarily Navy Mutual.

Navy Mutual is a nonprofit mutual-benefit Veterans Service Organization (VSO) headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. The group is licensed to provide coverage in all 50 states.

According to Navy Mutual’s website, the company has $3 billion in total assets, and 98.4% of its members keep their policies for life. While the website offers free online quotes, the company encourages consumers to consult with a representative over the phone to customize their policy for their needs.

Available Plans

Navy Federal Credit Union offers plans for both military and non-military members. 

Covr/Non-Military Members

Covr helps NFCU's non-military members compare quotes from their partner life insurance companies to find the best prices available.

It’s important to note that Covr isn’t a life insurance company. Rather, it is an aggregator that brings insurance providers and potential policyholders together. When consumers enter information about themselves and their coverage needs, Covr quickly returns a list of product offerings for them to choose from.

Covr works with these companies to provide life insurance quotes:

  • Aflac
  • AIG
  • Banner Life 
  • Bestow 
  • Haven Life 
  • John Hancock Investments
  • Lincoln Financial Group 
  • Nationwide
  • Pacific Life
  • Principal
  • Protective
  • Prudential

To get a quote, you fill out a questionnaire that details what type of coverage you would like. Covr will then provide your information to their partner providers who will then, in turn, give you policy quotes based on the information you’ve provided. These quotes will appear in your Covr online dashboard. If you click on a quote you like, you’ll have the opportunity to apply for the coverage, and the partner insurance company may accept or deny your application. According to Covr’s website, “once the carrier makes you an offer, you can accept, purchase and receive our policy right then—online, same day.”

Navy Mutual/Military Members

Navy Mutual offers three affordable life insurance policies for all active duty, reserve, and retired U.S. military members. Because Navy Mutual is a nonprofit veterans service organization, members do not have to pay fees or commissions. 

Flex Term

Navy Mutual lets you personalize your policy by choosing a coverage level that best addresses your needs. This life policy provides a death benefit between $50,000 and $1 million with level premiums for as long as you’re covered.

While many insurers impose additional premium fees for active-duty military personnel, Navy Mutual places no military service restrictions on its members such as war, aviation, hazardous duty, and terrorism.

Navy Mutual’s website doesn’t mention term periods for Flex Term coverage. That said, the policy is a good fit for younger people between ages 18 and 50 (40 for nicotine users), particularly those looking to supplement the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) coverage provided by the military. 

Level II Plus Term

Once a veteran’s time in the service ends, their SGLI ends as well. That’s where Level II Plus Term coverage comes in. This policy may be a good choice for servicemembers who have left or are transitioning out of the military. 

Level II Plus provides flexible coverage with a death benefit between $50,000 and $1.5 million. Premiums remain level for the term, which can be for 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years. Like Navy Mutual’s other policy options, this policy requires a medical exam during the underwriting process.

Life II Plus provides coverage for veterans up to age 85. However, you must purchase the policy before your 75th birthday.

Flagship Whole Life

Flagship Whole Life provides lifetime coverage with fixed premiums and a death benefit between $10,000 to $1.5 million. Anyone between the ages of 18 and 80 may purchase this policy.

Flagship Whole Life accumulates cash value tax-free until disbursement. And, as a mutual life insurer, Navy Mutual may issue dividends, although the organization doesn’t publicize its track record of dividend payouts.

You can take out loans from the cash account to address your changing money needs, such as paying for a child’s tuition or paying for an unplanned expense. What’s more, outstanding loans may still earn dividends. That means your loan balance won’t impact the growth rate potential of the death benefit.

All three policies require you to take a medical exam.

Available Riders

Riders provide extra benefits, typically for additional premium fees, that help you customize your policy. For non-military members, the rider options will vary based on the life insurance provider you choose. If you are using Navy Mutual, you will have these rider options:

Accelerated Death Benefit Rider

With this rider, you can collect most of your death benefit in one lump-sum payment if you become terminally ill. 

Navy Mutual includes this rider in both of their term life insurance policies at no additional costs, though you must maintain coverage for at least five years to qualify. While you can also purchase this coverage as an add-on to the Flagship Whole Life policy, the amount of the additional premium is unclear from their website. 

Child Benefit Rider

No matter which policy you enroll in, you can add on this rider to insure your unmarried dependent child up to age 26. The cost is $2.50 per month to provide $10,000 in coverage for your child. To take advantage of the Child Benefit Rider, you must submit your application before your child’s 21st birthday.

Guaranteed Convertibility

This rider makes it possible to convert your Flex Term or Level II Plus Term policy to a Flagship Whole Life policy at any time. You must convert your policy before you turn 48 (or 38 for nicotine users). You will not have to undergo a medical exam, as your premium amount is determined by your age and standard rates when your conversion takes place.

Chronic Illness Option

This rider is for Flagship Whole Life policyholders ages 60 or older who need assistance performing daily activities or who experience cognitive impairment. The rider gives individuals the option to receive 48 or 60 months of the policy’s death benefit to help pay for long-term care or other expenses related to a chronic illness.

Terminal Illness Option

A Flagship Whole Life policyholder can use this rider to obtain a lump-sum payment of up to 100% of the death benefit if a doctor diagnoses them with a terminal illness with a life expectancy of 24 months or less. 

The Terminal Illness Option is only available once your whole life policy has been active for five years. Unfortunately, the organization’s term life policies do not offer this rider.

Currently, Navy Mutual says the Flagship Whole Life plan can include Chronic and Terminal Illness settlement options free-of-charge, but it doesn’t say whether they automatically include them. Be sure to ask a representative if they can include these options for you at no additional cost.

Paid-Up Additions Rider

If you want to boost the value of your whole life policy, you can opt for the Paid-Up Additions Rider, which can add up to $500,000 to your policy’s total death benefit and cash value. The rider is available at guaranteed rates, and the premium may earn dividends. 

Customer Service: Offers Helpful Resources

If you choose Navy Federal Credit Union’s option to find an insurer through Covr, the customer service options will vary depending on the life insurance provider you select. 

If you opt for coverage through Navy Mutual, the nonprofit offers assistance through phone or email, which you can initiate on the organization’s contact page. Unfortunately, Navy Mutual’s customer service hours do not include evenings or weekends. You can get assistance by contacting a representative at (800) 628-6011, Monday through Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET.

Navy Mutual’s website does offer helpful tools to assist you as well. Unlike many life insurers, Navy Mutual makes it easy to file a claim online with a simple form. You can also find a link at the top of every page to get a quote. And if you’re not sure how much insurance you need, the insurer provides a Basic Life Insurance Needs Calculator to help you determine the sufficient amount of coverage for you and your family.

Customer Satisfaction: Mostly Above Average

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) collects customer complaint data from insurance companies to help consumers find out which providers best serve their policyholders. Each year, NAIC issues a complaint index score for each insurer based on market share, and the average complaint score is 1.0. Any score lower than 1.0 represents fewer complaints, while scores above 1.0 indicate more complaints. 

NFCU’s non-military members can enroll in coverage through Covr, which does not insure consumers directly. As such, they do not have a complaint index score, but the insurers who underwrite policies through Covr do. We checked the complaint index scores of all of these insurance companies that partner with Covr. Nearly all of them have better-than-average complaint scores for individual life insurance providers. Only AIG and Prudential had a higher number of complaints, with scores of 3.20 and 4.09, respectively.

Navy Mutual does not have an NAIC complaint index score, and it is also absent from J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study, which provides customer satisfaction data on 23 of the largest life insurance providers in the United States.

Where Navy Mutual excels is with its 98.4% customer retention rate. With nearly all of their members choosing to keep their Navy Mutual policies in force for life, potential policyholders may see that as an indicator that overall customer satisfaction is high.

Financial Strength: A+ Rating

In terms of the financial strength of NFCU’s insurance coverage, what you’ll find may vary if you sign up with any of Covr’s partner insurers such as Aflac, Nationwide, or Prudential. We checked the AM Best financial strength rating for each of Covr’s associated insurance companies, and all of them but one rate as A+ (Superior), with Haven Life earning an A++ (Superior) rating. These ratings indicate that each provider is financially sound regarding their balance sheet, risk management, and operating performance.

Navy Mutual has not been rated by AM Best, the credit rating agency that exclusively monitors the insurance industry. However, as of 2020, Navy Mutual has earned an A+ Fitch financial strength rating for 17 consecutive years. Fitch Ratings is a credit rating agency that grades an organization’s ability to meet its financial commitments. Military members interested in coverage through Navy Mutual can rest assured they are also financially strong enough to pay their ongoing financial obligations. 

Cancellation Policy: Varies

Whether you purchase Navy Federal Credit Union life insurance through Covr or Navy Mutual, your state’s insurance department mandates that you receive a “free look” period of at least 10 days. You can cancel your policy at any time within the free look period and receive a full refund. 

Check with the insurance provider you choose for details about their free look period, which varies by state. Most insurers provide a free look period between 10 and 30 days.

We checked the Covr and Navy Mutual websites and did not find any information about free look periods or cancellation policies. Before you sign up for a policy, we strongly suggest you speak with a representative or agent with any insurer you are considering to find out how you can cancel a policy.

Price of Navy Federal Credit Union Life Insurance: Varies

Both Covr and Navy Mutual offer you the ability to get online quotes.

To provide a general frame of reference, we got sample quotes through Covr’s quote form. Here are the criteria we selected to receive quotes for both male and female consumers:

  • 10-year term life insurance
  • $500,000 death benefit
  • Typical American household
  • No health issues, criminal record, bankruptcies, or other conditions
  • Never a smoker
  • 34 years old
  • 5’11” and 170 lbs. (male) or 5’5” and 140 lbs (female)
  • U.S. resident
  • Somewhat healthy

After submitting these forms with Covr for a male, we received affordable price quotes from $22.25/month (Bestow) to $44.63/month (Prudential). When entering the forms for a female, the tool returned offers ranging from $13.08/month (Bestow) to $36.32 (Prudential). You may notice, the premiums for women are lower than the premiums for men, primarily because women live longer than men on average. According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average life expectancy for females is 80.5 years compared to 75.1 years for males.

Navy Federal Credit Union’s military members can also get free quotes for Navy Mutual policies. As a basis for comparison, we utilized Navy Mutual’s system to receive an instant quote with Navy Mutual’s term life policies with the following criteria:

  • 10-year term life insurance
  • $500,000 death benefit
  • 34 years old
  • Branch=Navy
  • Status=Inactive
  • Member
  • Male and female quotes (no height and weight figures required)
  • Never a smoker
  • No diabetes, sleep apnea, or mental disorder

After submitting the form, Navy Mutual issued a $22/month quote for a 10-year Flex Term for both women and men up to age 50. The quote for Level II Plus term life insurance varies slightly between women and men, at $20.17 and $21.96, respectively, for a 10-year term policy.

How Navy Federal Credit Union Life Insurance Compares to USAA Life Insurance

Navy Federal Credit Union and USAA are two organizations dedicated to serving military members and their families. Eligibility for both insurers requires you to be a veteran or have current ties to the military, or be related to an existing member. NFCU expands this requirement to include Department of Defense employees or retirees and their families. 

USAA does not offer online quotes or specifics about the cost of premiums for their coverage. By contrast, Navy Federal Credit Union, via their partnership with Covr, allows you to get real-time quotes from several well-known insurance providers, with a wide range of pricing to suit your budget. NFCU’s military members can get quotes and coverage quickly using Navy Mutual’s online quote tool.

Both Navy Federal Credit Union and USAA have strong financial strength ratings. Both provide term and whole life insurance policies, but of the two, only USAA offers universal life coverage.

As a non-participating life insurance company, dividends are not an option for their members. Navy Federal Credit Union partner Navy Mutual is a mutual organization, which means members have the potential to earn additional money through annual payouts, though NFCU doesn’t publicize their track record of payouts. Covr, NFCU’s partner for non-military members, provides access to a dozen reputable insurance companies, most of which offer dividends.

  Navy Federal Credit Union USAA
Plans Offered Term, whole Term, whole, universal
Dividends Offered  Yes  No 
Financial Strength  A+ (AM Best)  A+ (Fitch) 
Open to Public  Not applicable  No 
Online Quotes Available  Yes  No 
Final Verdict

If you’re already a Navy Federal Credit Union member, or you are a service member, veteran, or qualifying relative, you may be eligible for NFCU’s life insurance policies. The company offers term life and whole life insurance policies that grow cash value and can receive dividend payouts. 

Navy Federal Credit Union does an excellent job of meeting the unique needs of their servicemembers, particularly active servicemembers, through Navy Mutual. They continue to serve their members without raising premiums even when deployed or working under hazardous or dangerous conditions. They may be an excellent choice for life insurance for servicemembers and their family members, as their 98.4% retention rate reflects. The one drawback that may cause military members to look elsewhere is the limited policy options; only three are available. Non-military members may not have this issue as they can choose from 12 insurers, with many more policy options, to find coverage that meets their needs.

Methodology

All of our reviews of life insurance companies are based on extensive research and analysis of each company’s 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.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. Fitch Ratings. "Navy Mutual Aid Association." Accessed May 18, 2021.

  2. Navy Federal. “2021 Fact Sheet.” Accessed May 18, 2021.

  3. Department of Veterans. “Directory of Veterans Service Organizations.” Accessed May 18, 2021.

  4. NAIC. “Prudential Insurance Company - Complaint Index." Accessed May 20, 2021.

  5. NAIC. "American Gen Life Insurance Co Results by Complaint Code." Accessed May 20, 2021.

  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Vital Statistics Rapid Release Number 010 (February 2021).” Accessed May 21, 2021.