A Guide to Military Life Insurance
Members of the U.S. Army who are on active duty or training are offered a group term life insurance policy that provides coverage of up to a maximum of $400,000. This type of insurance is referred to as the Serviceman’s Group Life Insurance (SGLI) and is partially funded by the federal government. A soldier funds the remainder of the SGLI policy themselves, with the standard premium currently costing approximately $0.65 for every $1,000 of coverage required, regardless of the policyholder’s age.
To apply for this insurance, a solider must fill out the SGLV-8286 form, which also goes by the name of the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance Election and Certificate. When completing this form, a solider is able to state the name of a beneficiary of their life insurance coverage. Once the form has been fully filled out, the form should be copied and retained to provide the solider with proof of coverage.
If a solider wishes to take out SGLI, they must do so when they are first provided with the chance to enrol. Only those who fill out the form during their first opportunity to do so will be guaranteed to receive coverage. If a solider chooses to enrol at a later date, their eligibility to full insurance coverage may be subject to medical determinations.
A soldier is not required to take out the maximum coverage of $400,000 if they do not wish to do so. They can select a lower coverage by stating this on their SGLV-8286 application form. Coverage is available to soldiers in $50,000 increments up to the maximum of $400,000.
Since SGLI is a “term” life insurance, the coverage is for a set period of time only. A solider cannot choose to waiver their monthly premiums, even in the event of an accident or disability. SGLI coverage ends when a solider leaves active duty. However, if a solider has taken out a supplementary life insurance policy, it is possible for money to be transferred to this policy within 130 days of their release from active duty.
A solider can choose to either convert their SGLI coverage to term insurance provided by the Veterans’ Group Life Insurance program or to a permanent individual policy of insurance plan provided by a participating commercial insurance company. Soldiers are able to convert to a commercial insurance policy at the standard premium rate, without having to undergo a medical assessment. If a solider suffers from total disability at the time of discharge, they can use the SGLI Disability Extension service to retain the SGLI coverage that they held in service for a maximum of two years at no additional cost.
If a soldier dies, the money from their SGLI policy is paid to their named beneficiary, either through a single lump sum payment or through 36 monthly payments. A solider must select the way in which they wish for their beneficiary to be paid when they fill out the SGLV-8286 form. To receive any money owed to them, a soldier’s beneficiary must complete form SGLV-8283, which also goes by the name of the Claim For Death Benefits form.
For Military Life Insurance information see the Guardian Insurers specialists.