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A Guide to Life Insurance for Military Spouses


Spouses are indispensable members of the military community. They provide reassurance and comfort to their families when their servicemember is deployed and a stable home when they return. They’re a solid foundation to help withstand the many challenges faced by military families. And just like their servicemembers, military spouses need life insurance.

Here’s what  life insurance can do for military spouses.

What Is Life Insurance for Military Spouses? 

Life insurance for military spouses, also known as military spouse life insurance, provides financial protection to the family in the event of their  death. As with life insurance for the military servicemember, its primary purpose is to offer peace of mind and financial stability to military families during difficult times. Military spouses often juggle childcare and household responsibilities alone, making them the primary caregiver. Additionally, many military spouses are employed or self-employed and contribute financially to the household budget. However, they may not have life insurance or enough coverage through Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI) to protect their families if they pass away. Life insurance coverage helps families prepare for their sudden, unexpected absence and loss of their contributions to the family.

Different types of life insurance are available for military spouses, including term life insurance and whole life insurance, each with varying coverage and benefits. 

The benefits of having life insurance as a military spouse include:

  • Helping with living costs
  • Providing for dependent care expenses and education
  • Giving financial support in the event of the spouse's death

Importance of Life Insurance for Military Families

Life insurance is important for military families because it offers essential financial protection. It primarily serves as a safety net, providing coverage for unexpected events and emergencies such as accidents or sudden illnesses, safeguarding a family's financial well-being. 

Life insurance can also help cover living expenses, mortgage payments, education costs, and other daily necessities. That’s why having adequate life insurance is such an essential aspect of financial planning for military families.

Debunking Common Misconceptions About Military Spouse Life Insurance 

There are several misconceptions about life insurance for military spouses. Let's explore and debunk some of these myths.

Myth 1: Military Spouses are Automatically Covered Under Their Servicemember’s Policy

Civilian spouses are automatically covered under their servicemember’s life insurance policy (SGLI). While servicemembers obtain coverage under the Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI), the servicemember must ensure their spouse and dependent children are covered under the Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (FSGLI).  The maximum coverage for a military spouse is $100,000 which may not be sufficient and the spouse will need their own policy. 

Myth 2: Life Insurance for Military Spouses Is Too Expensive

Another misconception is that life insurance for military spouses is prohibitively expensive. However, various insurance options offer affordable coverage tailored to different budgetary constraints. In fact, some policies may even provide discounts or benefits specifically designed for military families.

Myth 3: Military Families Don’t Need Life Insurance

While military families may have access to certain benefits such as healthcare coverage and survivor benefits, life insurance provides financial security during unforeseen circumstances. Life insurance offers additional coverage beyond standard benefits, ensuring that families are adequately protected financially no matter what happens. Life insurance complements existing benefits and provides comprehensive protection for military families.

Military Spouse Life Insurance Options 

Military spouses have several options available to them when it comes to life insurance. There are both government-sponsored and private programs tailored to their specific needs and circumstances.

Government-Sponsored Life Insurance Programs 

Government-sponsored life insurance programs, such as Family Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (FSGLI), provide minimal coverage for military spouses. Eligibility for FSGLI is tied to your servicemember's enrollment in SGLI (therefore it ends when military service ends) and offers coverage for the spouse and dependent children. While FSGLI generally provides affordable rates, coverage is limited to a maximum of $100,000, which would not be enough for most military families to cover the loss of a spouse’s contributions.

Alternative Life Insurance Programs 

Life insurance plans from non-government providers like AAFMAA offer military families additional coverage when FSGLI is not enough. Military families can assess their needs and choose the option that best aligns with their financial goals and unique circumstances.

Obtaining Life Insurance as a Military Spouse

It can be challenging for military spouses to know how or where to start shopping for life insurance. Let’s review the three main elements: application steps, required documents, and potential challenges.

Steps to Apply for Life Insurance as a Military Spouse 

Start with these steps once you decide to purchase life insurance.

  • Researching and comparing insurance options: Start by researching different insurance providers and comparing their policies to find the best fit for your needs and budget.
  • Completing the application process: Once you've chosen a provider, complete the application process. This can usually be done either online or by phone with a representative.
  • Paramedical exam: Depending on the type of insurance and coverage amount, you may need to have an abbreviated medical exam paid by the insurance company and other assessments to determine your eligibility and premium rates.
  • Submitting required documentation: Prepare and submit necessary documents such as proof of military affiliation, relationship to the service member, and any additional paperwork needed for the insurance provider. We’ll discuss specific documentation below.

Required Documentation for Your Application 

Before filling out your application, try to find as many of the following documents as you can so you have them ready. Make sure you ask your potential insurance provider about any additional documentation they require.

  • Proof of military affiliation and relationship to the servicemember: This can include military ID cards, marriage certificates, or other official documents proving your relationship.
  • Important Medical Information: If you have had or are being treated for any medical conditions in the last several years, collect that information in case your application requires you to share it. Also, if you have recently or are currently taking any prescription drugs, you may need to provide those details as well. It is important to be forthcoming with this information when requested as withholding may cause your application to be denied or your policy to be canceled in the future.
  • Any additional paperwork required by the insurance provider: Some providers may require additional forms or information specific to their products or application process. 

AAFMAA Provides Insurance for Servicemembers and Their Spouses 

For over 145 years, AAFMAA has provided our Members with insurance coverage that gives them peace of mind to serve our country. But did you know that we cover more than servicemembers and Veterans? We also offer several life insurance options for military spouses and families! Try our Quick Quote Life Insurance Calculator now to see how affordable AAFMAA coverage could be for your family.