A few reasons why life insurance for a military woman is near and dear to my heart…
- Born and raised in San Diego, CA
- My Dad was a Marine stationed here in the late 60’s
- I have family and friends that have served or are currently serving
For purposes of this article, a military woman encompasses the active duty member as well as the spouse of a military member. Life Insurance is an essential financial planning tool for the brave women and men that serve and face combat. It is also a vital safety net for the male or female spouse of a military member who stays behind to run the household.
You will find this article to be in depth, but also a great overview explaining all the different elements of life insurance for a military woman. I will also touch on life insurance for the female military spouse and why its crucial to know the facts about getting life insurance outside of the military as well.
Most importantly, please pay close attention to the section: 9 Questions About Life Insurance For A Military Woman That Should Be Asked.
The Basics And Benefits Of Life Insurance For A Military Woman
FACT: Prudential has an exclusive partnership with the Department of Veteran Affairs and underwrites and administers all the group life insurance options available to the military.
I have tried to simplify in this section what type of life insurance is available thru the military. You will see the maximum amounts of coverage could be a bit low especially if you have a spouse and children. We can assist at ITQ with your general questions about military life insurance. We are also appointed with Prudential to secure conversions to private insurance. Lastly, we have access to a top rated insurance carrier that will cover a non special forces service person even if they have active deployment orders.
So let’s start with the basics and benefits of military life insurance (The stuff you get automatically)!
SGLI stands for Servicemembers Group Life Insurance. SGLI is a low cost group term life insurance program for Servicemembers. (See Below)
- Each Servicemember entering a period of active duty or reserve status is automatically covered for the maximum $400,000 death benefit.
- Premiums are currently $27 a month for the maximum coverage and automatically deducted from base pay.
- Traumatic Injury Protection – TSGLI- ($25k-$100k depending on type of injury) is now included and provides protection against loss due to traumatic injuries. It is designed to give financial assistance to the family so they can be by their loved one’s side during recovery. An additional $1.00 per year is added to the basic premium for a TJP rider. (The $27 a month includes that extra $1)
- Unlike most civilian life policies, SGLI premiums do not vary by age, sex, health or tobacco use.
- You do not have to take the maximum $400,000 in coverage. If an election is filed, SGLI can be reduced to $50,000 increments or cancelled entirely.
- Wide range of full time eligibility. Click on the link and scroll down to see just how many types of Servicemembers are automatically insured. It is not just the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard
- Covered members get 120 days of free of coverage from their separation date.
- FSGLI is the Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance. It covers spouses and children of Servicemembers with SGLI coverage. Spousal coverage may not exceed the Servicemembers’ coverage. It also does not matter if the spouse is active duty, retired or a civilian. Dependent children are automatically covered at no charge.
- Both you and your spouse can convert your SGLI Policy within 120 days of your service separation date.
- SGLI coverage may be converted to Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI) or to a civilian life insurance policy that is outside of the military. This conversion can be effective at the end of the 120 day SGLI extension period. No medical review is required.
- There is also an SGLI Disability Extension that provides up to two years of free coverage from the date of service separation in the event you are disabled.
- S-DVI is Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance. It is a life insurance benefit for Veterans who have service related disabilities that are otherwise in good health. S-DVI is available in a variety of permanent plans as well as term insurance. The maximum face amount is $10,000. The premium for this coverage can vary based on your age, type of plan (permanent or term), and amount of coverage. You maybe able to have your premiums waived it you are totally disabled.
- VMLI is provides mortgage life insurance protection to disabled Veterans who have been approved for a VA Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant. It helps families of severely disabled Servicemembers or Veterans pay off their mortgage in the event of their death. It provides up to $200,000 mortgage life insurance and is only payable to the mortgage holder (Bank or lender).
- The Veterans Administration also provides no cost financial planning and online will preparation to all beneficiaries of SGLI, TSGLI, FSGLI, and VGLI policies.
- Lastly, converting a SBLI, VGLI, FSGLU to a civilian policy can only be with a company from a participation list that is on VA Website.
This was interesting to read while researching about life insurance for a military woman. Check out Myths and Rumors about SGLI and FGLI Insurance at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.
Rumor: SGLI or VGLI won’t pay if I die as the result of a terrorist attack.
False: Your SGLI or VGLI proceeds will be paid to your beneficiary or beneficiaries if you die in a terrorist attack.
9 Questions About Life Insurance For A Military Woman That Should Be Asked?
I would accept the maximum $400,000 in SGLI coverage if I were a Servicemember. You are automatically accepted, a minimal amount is deducted from your pay and it provides several nice benefits that provide a safety net designed for the military.
However, the maximum death benefit and other guidelines are not ideal for all military individuals and families. Please strongly consider the following regarding private life insurance outside the military. You may also see commercial insurance or civilian insurance….all this means the same as private life insurance.
Here are just some of the questions that come to my mind after learning everything there is to know about military life insurance:
- As a female Servicemember, what if I need more than $400,000 in coverage?
- What if term life insurance thru SGLI does not meet my needs like a universal or whole life policy?
- Why am I limited to $100,000 as a female spouse of a Servicemember?
- What if I need more than $10,000 on each of my children and want to use it like a savings plan for them?
- Why is there no family coverage since my spouse is insured under VGLI?
- As a female veteran, what if I want to lock in a premium for my life insurance policy that does not increase every 5 years like my FGLI policy?
- Why can I only convert under an SGLI policy to a civilian whole life policy? What if I want a variable, universal or term life insurance policy that will better meet my needs?
- What if I want to convert my SGLI policy to an insurance company not on the participating company list that is lower in premium?
- As a female disabled veteran in otherwise good health, what if I need more than the maximum $10,000 to protect my children and family?
Reasons To Secure Private Life Insurance Sooner Than Later
- Private life insurance premiums increase with age. The older you get, the more expensive it becomes. Securing a policy early on outside of the military locks in a low rate.
- Military life insurance does not look at gender, smoker status, and health conditions when determining premiums. Private life insurance carriers do look at these three factors (Gender, smoker status, and health conditions) and it will effect the premium rate. There is NO MEDICAL EXAM life insurance, but questions will still be asked. A condition like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) could present challenges and limit your options. There is also Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance, but there is a minimum age of 50 and a limit to how much coverage you can get. It is usually a maximum of about $25k-$30k. You could also develop a serious medical condition like terminal cancer that will make you ineligible all together for coverage.
- The military also provides a $10,000 maximum to disabled veterans that are otherwise healthy. On a side note, I think that is disgracefully low and something should be done to get that increased for our partially disabled veterans. It will be incredibly expensive if you wait until you are a civilian and try to obtain some permanent form of life insurance. I have dealt with this first hand and know the frustration it can cause.
- The military does provide coverage for free to children, but it is term and only $10,000. If you are interested in getting a whole life policy for your child that will build cash then you want to start early. The cash value in this type of policy is tax free and can be borrowed against later to help with college expenses, a down payment on a first car etc. A college 529 plan is not tax free and you are very limited to what the money can be spent on.
- Do not end up being that family that should have looked closer at the life insurance the military provided and what you actually need to properly insure your family with private insurance. Most people forget that life insurance replaces income, pays for a new home, pays off a mortgage, child care, a college tuition, credit card debt etc. Be proactive and be prepared. Your children deserve it!
A Glimpse At Quotes for a $400,000 30 year Guaranteed Level Term Private Life Insurance Policy
CLICK HERE to look closer at my screen shot as of 2/4/2014 of four top rated life insurance carriers that are less than the $27 a month for $400,000 as listed above for SGLI Rates. Each of the term policies listed are Guaranteed Level Term Insurance (Price is locked in and will never change for the entire length of the term unless it lapses for non-payment).
These quotes are based on a healthy, non-smoking, 24 year old female.
$400,000 for a 30 Year Term (Guaranteed Level Term)
Please reach out to us if you have questions about life insurance for a military woman. We are happy to assist and there is never any obligation. You can contact us by:
Phone (619) 933-0736
Still not sure, check out this article about ITQ and how we get high risk life insurance cases approved!
PTSD and Life Insurance for Women
*Written by Ellen Edwards. InsureTheQueen.com and its representatives do not give medical, legal, or tax advice. Please consult your own physician, legal or tax adviser.
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