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SGLI Explained: What Are My Life Insurance Entitlements and Needs?

2021-10-06

Qualified military servicemembers, regardless of your branch, are automatically issued the maximum Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) coverage when they join the armed forces. But what does it include and what does it really cover?

RelatedSGLI Online Enrollment System (SOES)

SGLI provides $400,000 worth of group term life insurance coverage to servicemembers at a cost of $28 per month. Additional coverage options you can enroll in with SGLI insurance (for an additional premium) include: 

  • FSGLI, or Family SGLI: For $5 per month, spouses under 35 can get up to $100,000 in life insurance coverage, plus $10,000 per child. Spouses over 35 can get coverage as well at an additional cost. 
  • TSGLI, or Traumatic SGLI: Costs an additional $1 per month, provides up to $100,000 if you suffer from a traumatic injury, such as limb or sight loss.

Does SGLI Provide Enough Coverage? 

While $400,000 may sound like a lot of money, it may not stretch as far as you’d think, especially if you are married with dependents. Let’s say you make approximately $50,000 per year not including your allowances. A $400,000 payout would only make up for your lost income for 8 years. Plus, that doesn’t factor in additional big-ticket items like medical bills and college tuition. Even if the insurance money your family receives is wisely invested, SGLI may not be enough to cover yourfamily’s needs after you're gone. 

RelatedIs SGLI Coverage Enough for My Family?

Are There Better Options Available?

While you should not necessarily cancel your SGLI coverage, you may want to supplement your policy.  AAFMAA’s Level Term I plan, for example, is designed exclusively for servicemembers and their families and provides $400,000 in term life insurance for only $18.15 a month (up to $800,000). It provides you with coverage until age 50 (40 if you are a smoker), even after you leave the military. Also, prior to age 48, you’re able to convert up to 100% of the initial amount of your plan to AAFMAA’s 5-Year Renewable Term or our Value-Added Whole Life policy.  

RelatedComparing Life Insurance Coverage Options

If you opt to buy an additional policy such as an AAFMAA Level Term I to supplement your SGLI policy, you maintain your spouse coverage at $100,000 ($6 per month) and TSGLI. Plus, AAFMAA life insurance offers options to your beneficiary to receive the money such as a monthly income. AAFMAA’s Level Term I includes $10,000 benefit coverage for your eligible children at no additional cost. 

AAFMAA offers a variety of life insurance products in addition to the Level Term I plan that are designed to meet the needs of servicemembers and their families throughout their military careers and life. Our Level Term II policy is a fixed premium term plan that is available to servicemembers and their families between the ages of 18 to 75. It provides an equally comprehensive, less expensive alternative to the Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI) offered by the military. If you’d like to add a permanent policy that has a fixed premium, won’t expire, and builds cash value that can be accessed in the future, our Value-Added Whole Life plan is a great option as well. 

What Else Can AAFMAA Offer?

In addition to life insurance plans, AAFMAA offers our Members a wealth of valuable resources designed specifically for members of the military and their families, including:

  • Pay by Allotment: Payments for your AAFMAA policies can come directly from your pay, reflected on your LES. So there’s no need to remember to make payments.  Allotment payments can also be transferred to your retirement pay.
  • Career Assistance Program (CAP) Loan: Through AAFMAA, members of the armed forces ranked E-5 to O-3 can qualify for a special CAP Loan at just a 1.5% interest rate. 
  • AAFMAA Survivor Assistance Services: One of AAFMAA’s greatest Member benefits that comes with every policy is our Survivor Assistance Services (SAS). Our compassionate, highly-trained SAS team helps survivors understand and apply for their military and life insurance benefits and make the right choices for their needs.

Explore AAFMAA’s SGLI Alternatives 

Get better coverage for less by supplementing your SGLI with AAFMAA’s life insurance products. Call 866-533-0521 to speak with one of AAFMAA’s Life Insurance experts, or request a free life insurance quote online today. 

Common Questions

Yes, your AAFMAA policy will cover a death related to COVID-19 if you are an existing AAFMAA Member with a policy issued more than two years ago or prior to a COVID-19 diagnosis, even within the first two years the policy is owned. The only exclusion on AAFMAA policies is death by suicide within the first two years.

However it is important to note that death claims made against an underwritten policy issued within the last two years are contestable, regardless of the cause of death. Contestable death claims are reviewed and subject to denial if we find undisclosed material information that would have changed the outcome of the policy issuance decision.

Yes, if you are applying for a policy that requires medical underwriting, you must disclose a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. Not doing so would be considered material misrepresentation and could result in your policy being voided.

As mentioned above, death claims made against an underwritten policy issued within the last two years are contestable, regardless of the cause of death. Additionally, you don’t have to die for a material misrepresentation to void your contract. The policy can be voided at any point within the first two years if AAFMAA finds that you provided incorrect information about your health history and that the correct information would have prevented us from issuing the policy.

If you were diagnosed with having contracted COVID-19 prior to applying for life insurance and you failed to disclose that diagnosis on your application, your death claim could be denied. This is because, if you had disclosed your COVID-19 diagnosis, we would have followed current industry guidelines and possibly postponed acceptance of your application. In this case, your policy would be voided and your survivors would only receive a refund of the premiums you had paid.

No, the COVID-19 vaccine is classified as a typical wellness check, for which we do not require disclosures and do not deny death claims. We strongly suggest that our Members follow CDC recommendations and receive the COVID-19 vaccination as soon as they are eligible.

Industry guidelines indicate that a COVID-19 diagnosis may postpone acceptance of your application for a period of three weeks to 1 year following recovery, depending on the severity of symptoms and treatment. This timeline is subject to change as new information becomes available and industry guidelines are adjusted accordingly. Those who experience a full recovery may be considered for issue before 12 months, while serious cases (such as those which required a ventilator) may be postponed for longer.

No. Receiving a COVID-19 vaccination will not affect the acceptance of your application.

No, AAFMAA cannot change your premiums or your health classification on a policy you currently hold. Your premiums and health classification will remain the same, even if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or you are at a higher risk of exposure due to your job, living situation, or recent travel, or if you get one of the COVID-19 vaccinations approved for emergency use by the USFDA.