As a member of the military, you are automatically enrolled in the Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI) program unless you choose to opt out. Though SGLI is an affordable term life program, you may have wondered: Can I have multiple term life insurance policies? Can I keep my SGLI and take out a separate, permanent life insurance policy?
The answer to both of these questions is yes! There are several reasons why many servicemembers and Veterans choose to have multiple life insurance policies. Read on to learn why it’s smart to invest in additional coverage.
Reasons to Have Multiple Life Insurance Policies
After calculating how much life insurance you need, you may find that SGLI would not be enough to sustain your family comfortably if you died unexpectedly. Below are the most common reasons why you may choose to have additional policies.
You need more coverage.
While the SGLI program offers term life insurance at an affordable rate, there may be reasons you need more coverage. For one, SGLI only offers coverage up to a $400,000 maximum. So, if you make $50,000 per year after taxes, SGLI coverage will only provide your family with eight years of lost income at your current wage — which may not be enough if you have young children.
You want a backup policy for after the military.
Once you finish your military service, SGLI extends for 120 days (up to two years if you’re totally disabled). At that point, you must purchase a new life insurance policy to continue protecting your family without interruption. Some servicemembers elect to purchase Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI), a term life policy that renews every five years — so it gets progressively more expensive over time.
AAFMAA can replace your SGLI policy with more affordable coverage than VGLI, and by opting to get a personal policy now, you’ll be ready to transition before your military coverage ends.
You want to build cash value.
Term life is the most popular type of life insurance due to its lower price, but it’s not the only option. Because term life policies only provide coverage for a specific period of time, you should also have some amount of permanent life insurance coverage to ensure your family always stays protected. Permanent insurance does not expire, the premiums never increase, plus it builds cash value that can be used in the future.
However, with so many added benefits, permanent life insurance premiums are higher, and so most people maintain some term life insurance while also holding a smaller permanent policy at the same time to ensure they have all the life insurance they need. A permanent policy never changes and will last you a lifetime to cover your final expenses and can transfer wealth to your family, usually tax-free. Your term policy provides a significant amount of coverage when you need it — while you’re still working and your family relies on your income.
You need to ladder coverage.
There are certain times in your life when your expenses are higher, which means your life insurance needs are also higher. Rather than take out one large term life policy that will cover all your expected expenses, you may use a technique called “laddering.” This strategy uses multiple life insurance policies to provide the necessary amount of coverage when you need it, then as you grow older and your expenses are reduced, older term policies naturally expire and reduce your total coverage accordingly.
You want added long-term care coverage.
Long-term care is expensive, averaging over $50,000 per year, and it costs at least twice that amount for a private room in a nursing home. But there are some life insurance policies that provide extra options to help you cover those expenses. For example, every AAFMAA whole life policy includes a Long-Term Care Settlement Option (LTCSO) at no additional cost. This allows the policyholder to convert a whole life death benefit up to a certain amount into regular, periodic payments prior to death to help defray the cost of long-term care for the insured.
AAFMAA’s Life Insurance Policies Are Designed for You
Maximize the benefits of having multiple life insurance policies by working with a provider who understands your needs. AAFMAA’s life insurance options are designed specifically for the military community. To determine how much life insurance you need and the best policy options for you, contact the AAFMAA Life Insurance team at 866-533-0521.