Memorial Day is traditionally a day for remembering the men and women who have lost their lives while serving in the US Armed Forces. People serving in the military are typically provided with life insurance coverage through the Servicemember’s Group Life Insurance program (SGLI). This government sponsored program provides basic term life insurance for military personnel at a reduced rate. The maximum coverage amount provided through SGLI is currently $400,000. Also, up to $100,000 in term life coverage can be added for a spouse of military personnel.
While this may be sufficient term life insurance coverage for some military personnel and their families, you may require additional coverage. In these instances, you will need to obtain a personal life insurance policy outside of SGLI.
Policies for Military Personnel
Most life insurance companies will consider applications for coverage from active duty military personnel. The company will want to know details about your service, including:
- Branch of service
- Duty station
- Whether you have any orders for duty outside the US
- Whether you are required to fly in any military aircraft
- Whether you are a pilot or crew member of any military aircraft
It is easier to get a term life insurance policy while stationed in the US, as you must be present to complete a paramedical exam and sign your paperwork. However, this is not always the case. We have had customers serving overseas who have successfully applied for and purchased term life insurance policies.
It is also more likely you will be approved for coverage by a life insurance company if you do not currently have orders to serve outside of the US, specifically in designated war zones. Once again, this is a general guideline, and there may be exceptions made by some life insurance companies.
As a member of the US Armed Forces, you are entitled to protection from deceptive marketing practices aimed specifically at military personnel, under the Military Personnel Financial Services Protection Act of 2006. Life insurance companies and their representatives (agents, brokers, etc.) are required to disclose relevant information to you, such as:
- Subsidized life insurance is available to you from the Federal Government through the SGLI program.
- The cost and maximum amounts of coverage available through SGLI.
- The policy you may be considering from the life insurance company is not offered or provided by the Federal Government.
- Only a licensed agent/producer of the life insurance company can receive compensation for the sale of the policy.
- The policy includes a ‘free look’ period of at least ten days, during which you may return the policy and receive a full refund.
- Any additional disclosures required by law.
With so many variables involved in the application process for military personnel, it is best for you to seek professional assistance from a licensed and trusted life insurance agent/broker.
And thank you for your service to our country!