SGLI Coverage and Life Insurance Benefits You Need To Know
Preparing for an untimely death is important for any family. For military members, life insurance is a must to ensure that, should they be required to make the ultimate sacrifice, their family is provided with financial assistance to get through such difficult times. The Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) program is an affordable option that can help protect your family against this inherent hazard of serving. Learn more about your SGLI coverage, eligibility, and other FAQs.
What Is SGLI?
Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) is a low-cost group term life insurance option for those serving in the U.S. military. Your SGLI coverage also comes with SGLI Traumatic Injury Protection (TSGLI) automatically.
If you have full-time SGLI coverage, you will also receive coverage for TSGLI on and off duty, 24/7. Those with part-time SGLI coverage receive protection on duty and when traveling to or from duty. You may also begin automatic coverage for spouses and dependent children through Family SGLI.
As we know, serving our country comes in many different ways. Therefore, it should be no surprise that there are many different groups that can find themselves qualifying for SGLI. Here’s who is eligible for the benefits:
- Active-duty service members.
- Ready Reservists and National Guard members assigned to a unit and scheduled to perform a minimum of 12 periods of inactive training per year.
- Commissioned Members working in either National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) or the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS).
- Cadets and midshipmen attending U.S. military academies.
- Members of the Reserve Officer Training Corps who are engaging in authorized training and practice cruises.
- Members who volunteer for a mobilization category in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR).
Coverage and Benefits
Those eligible for SGLI coverage can receive benefits in $50,000 increments, with a maximum of $400,000 in coverage. Your premiums equate to $0.06 per month for every $1,000 of life insurance you purchase, meaning maximum coverage will represent a premium of $24.00 per month.
TSGLI coverage costs a $1.00 premium and is required if you purchase SGLI coverage. Age is not a factor; your premiums are taken from your paycheck.
Does SGLI Cover Off-Duty Death?
Yes, both SGLI and TSGLI cover eligible personnel whether or not they are on or off duty, within the described timeframe of their policies. For full-time coverage, benefits are paid regardless of location with protection that covers your 24/7, 365 days per year.
Does SGLI Cover Suicide?
No, SGLI military coverage won’t provide beneficiaries with compensation in the event of suicide. Should a death occur during an act of misconduct, it’s also unlikely that beneficiaries will receive payment.
Can I Borrow Money Against My SGLI?
Yes, your SGLI is eligible as a permanent plan to borrow money against. To be eligible, your policy must be active for a year, or you must surrender the policy for its cash value. You can borrow up to 94% of your policy’s cash value, after subtracting existing debt against your policy plus interest.
Does SGLI Cover Off-Duty Reservists?
Yes, for Reservists and members of the National Guard who are assigned to a unit scheduled to perform a minimum of 12 periods of inactive duty, creditable for retirement purposes, your full-time SGLI coverage is in effect 365 days of the year. Furthermore, your coverage continues for 120 days following separation or release from duty.
Does SGLI Have Cash Surrender Value?
Your SGLI is a term life insurance policy. Because of this, there are no cash or loan values associated with your coverage. Furthermore, your policy doesn’t pay dividends, either. Other stipulations or exceptions may apply, however, and speaking with your insurance agent can help you best understand your options.
How Long Does It Take To Get SGLI Payment?
Receiving your SGLI payment can vary from policy to policy; however, it’s typically paid to beneficiaries within 30 to 60 days. In some cases, beneficiaries may receive part of their payment upfront, while the rest is processed as documentation is provided.
How Long Is SGLI Good for After Retirement?
Those eligible for SGLI coverage continue to receive coverage after leaving the military for up to 120 days. There are, however, exceptions and other options available:
- The SGLI Disability Extension (SGLI-DE) is available for those who qualify and provides free SGLI coverage for up to two years from your date of separation.
- Another option is to convert your SGLI policy into a Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI) policy. You’ll need to do so within 1 year and 120 days from your separation date.
How To Update SGLI
Updating and making changes to your SGLI policy is easy. Simply sign in to your milConnect account and head to “Benefits, Life Insurance SOES-SGLI Online Enrollment System.” Once here, you can make changes and view the details of your policy.
These questions and more are quite common with military members, as this is an important protection for those serving the United States. To learn more, you can dispel myths and rumors about SGLI/VGLI insurance through the VA.
Suggested read: New VA Life Insurance Benefit Coming Soon