SGLI is a low cost program of group term life insurance available automatically to all service members on active duty, active duty, or inactive duty for training and members of the Military Reserves. These policies are automatically activated for the current maximum coverage amount of $250,000 dollars, unless a soldier or sailor opts out in writing. A member of the service can elect lower coverage or no coverage at all by completing VA Form SGLV-8286. Term Life Insurance coverage is available for spouses as well; dependent children are automatically insured for $10,000 dollars. In addition, there is an additional elected coverage option for up to $100,000 for a spouse.
When discharged from active duty or the Reserve, members with full-time SGLI coverage can move their coverage to the Veterans Group Life Insurance program (VGLI) or to an individual commercial term life insurance policy at the usual rates without having to provide any proof of good health. For more information, you call toll free (800)
419-1473 or visit the Department of Veterans Affairs on the web at

Types of Life Insurance Available:

Term Insurance – Life insurance providing a fixed amount of coverage at a specified premium for a specified duration of time. This type of insurance does not accumulate cash value and the premium usually increases after the pre-determined time period.

Permanent Insurance – The life insurance known as Permanent insurance provides longer term financial protection with a death benefit and in some cases a cash savings component. Universal Life policies offer flexible premiums, it is a type of life insurance policy under which the policy owner may change the death benefit from time to time (with satisfactory evidence of insurability for increases) and vary the amount or timing of premium payments. Variable Life policies allow the money that remains after payment of premiums to be invested. Variable life insurance does have the option of a minimum guaranteed death benefit; however, variable life insurance can be expensive and somewhat risky, depending on the different type of investments made.
Whole Life policies provide lifetime protection at a standardized, level premium. Premiums must generally be continued to be paid for as long as the policy is in force.

The Free Look Period:
It is important to review any life insurance policy immediately upon receipt. In most states, a minimum ten day “free look” period is provided, during which time you may return the policy for cancellation and a complete refund of any premium (paid should you decide to back out. If you decide to cancel the life insurance policy, remember to cancel the allotment from your pay, if you set it up. If you suspect you are going to be deployed, you should inform the person with your power of attorney to look out for the policy.
Before you sign on the dotted line, ask:

Do I need more life insurance?

Are there any war exclusions in the policy? (SGLI does not contain this exclusion.)

Can I afford this term life insurance policy? It may be very costly if you decide to cancel during the first few years of a policy.

Am I feeling like I am being pressured into buying this policy?

Are there any exclusions on the life insurance policy for travel on any non-commercial aircraft?

Only when you feel comfortable should you proceed.

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