In the interest of empowering our members to make the best decisions on important matters like life insurance, Military.com recently sat down with the Vice President of Navy Mutual Aid Association, Retired Navy Commander Jack McVeigh, to ask him about the products and services Navy Mutual provides for members of the sea services.
Military.com: Welcome Jack. Thank you for taking a moment to tell our readers about the Navy Mutual Aid Association. How long has Navy Mutual been serving members of the sea going services and their families?
Jack McVeigh: Navy Mutual has been in existence since 1879, so our organization has been serving members of the sea services for 129 years. We are the oldest congressionally chartered veteran service organization.
M: That's impressive; it's a tradition longer than most insurance companies have even existed.
I remember hearing about several insurance providers that were banned from military installations. Since Navy Mutual's headquarters is located on a Marine Corps base, I assume you must have a good standing with the DoD.
JM: Yes we do, in fact, we are specifically mentioned in a DoD report as truly being part of the defense establishment.
M: Other than a long and impressive history of helping sea servicemembers, what other ties does Navy Mutual have to the military community?
JM: Our volunteer Board of Directors consists of distinguished members of the sea services. Our president, RADM Bruce Engelhardt and I are both retired Naval Officers. Additionally, many of our employees and their spouses have served in the military.
M: What makes Navy Mutual different form other insurance providers?
JM: First our mission has always been to provide life insurance protection sea service members and their families since 1879. All of our products are specifically designed to serve uniformed members of the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Public Health Service including all enlisted and officer grades, regular, reserve, and retired.
In addition, we are a Member-owned, non-profit organization, we don't pay a sales commission, and we have no agents so we are able to offer rates that can be as much as four times lower than our competitors.
Unlike most insurance providers Navy Mutual pays the full death benefit, we have no occupational, location, or war clauses. If you serve in aviation, submarines, Special Forces, in Iraq/Afghanistan or even an astronaut on the moon, you will get the same coverage at the same rate you would get if you were sitting at a desk -- and, by the way, we have insured people on the moon. In 128 years, during times of peace and war Navy Mutual has never missed paying a claim.
And unlike other insurance providers, Navy Mutual provides legal assistance and counseling for survivors. We will act on behalf of our Members survivors and interface with the Veterans Administration and other federal agencies to help the survivors claim all the services and benefits they are eligible for. We also fill out all the forms and assist survivors with accessing VA, Social Security, and DoD death benefits. If, needed we will also provide free legal representation on any appeals.
M: That's a huge difference. There are so many cases where surviving spouses get an insurance check and are left out in the cold when it comes to follow-up support. They often don't find out about their eligibility for other benefits until it is too late.
You mentioned that Navy Mutual can be up to four times less expensive; how much would the monthly premium be for a Sailor who wanted to supplement his or her SGLI coverage?
JM: Obviously there are factors like age and health, whether you smoke or not, that affect the rate. But the standard Select rate for a healthy 30-year-old Sailor runs approximately $19 a month for $450,000 of additional coverage. Combined with the current SGLI premium rate a Sailor could expect to pay about $48 a month to double the SGLI coverage.
M: Thank you Jack for taking the time to sit down with us today. We would like to follow up some time in the near future to ask you to explain why someone should consider life insurance and how to determine how much and what type of coverage they need.
JM: That would be great. Thank you.
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Jack McVeigh joined the Navy Mutual Aid Association staff as Vice President for Membership following his retirement as a Mustang Commander in the United States Navy. During his 28-year Naval career, Jack was deployed 14 times around the world, and served on submarines, a surface ship, and ashore. His final duty assignment was as the Commanding Officer of the Defense Contracting Management Agency, Special Programs-East. Jack holds both a bachelor's and master's degree in Business.