SGLI Life Insurance Benefits

Guest Post by Maggie Stokes

Today, I’d like to educate you about the Servicemen Group Life Insurance.  In the paragraphs below, I will provide an overview of the ins and outs of the SGLI Program.

What is Servicemen Group Life Insurance?

Servicemen Group Life Insurance or SGLI is a low cost, term-life insurance policy provided by the Veteran Affairs program.  SGLI provides affordable term life insurance to members of the Uniformed services.

Who is Servicemen Group Life Insurance for?

According to the official website, the following people are eligible for SGLI, if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • Active duty member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard
  • Commissioned member of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) or the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS)
  • Cadet or midshipman of the U.S. military academies
  • Member, cadet, or midshipman of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) engaged in authorized training and practice cruises
  • Member of the Ready Reserve or National Guard and are scheduled to perform at least 12 periods of inactive training per year
  • Service member who volunteers for a mobilization category in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR)
  • Source: SGLI Website

What are the Benefits?

There are many benefits to the SGLI Program.  In most cases, you will NOT need to do a physical to get a policy.  In addition, the insurance is AFFORDABLE and easy to get.  I’ve personally never found any other life insurance program with these rates and flexibility.  Best of all, the coverage begins on your first day of active duty or active duty for training or at the beginning of a period of inactive duty training.

SGLI LIfe Insurance

How Much Does It Cost?

SGLI coverage ranges in cost, based upon the amount of your policy. The plan maxes out at $400,000 and is available down to $50,000.  You can purchase a policy in $50,000 increments for anywhere from $50,000 to $400,000. It costs $26.00 per month for a $400,000 policy, whereas a $50,000 policy costs just $3.25 per month.  To help determine your needs, the Department of Veteran Affairs has provided a life insurance needs calculator on their website.

How Do I Apply?

There is no need to apply for enrollment into the SGLI program.  All eligible Soldiers are automatically enrolled into the program. It is however recommended for all eligible members to complete and file form SGLV 8286, Service members’ Group Life Insurance Election and Certificate, in order to designate a beneficiary to receive the proceeds. The SGLV 8286 along with all forms pertaining to SGLI can be found at the SGLI website or by contacting your unit S1 office.

Choosing Your Beneficiaries

Your spouse and children are automatically assigned as your beneficiaries unless you direct SGLI in writing to do to otherwise.  You can make anyone a beneficiary.

What Happens When I Leave the Military?

If you are covered by SGLI you are eligible to transfer to VGLI, a Veterans Group Life Insurance program upon release from your service. You’re also covered by SGLI up to 120 days (I believe) after you leave the military.  And switching to the VGLI is a breeze.

Final Thoughts

I believe that the SGLI Program is exceptional.  You can get a quality term-life insurance at bargain basement prices.  You won’t have any combat exclusion clauses either.  The premiums are automatically deducted from your pay so you don’t have to worry about it.  Simply put, it’s a no-brainer for military Soldiers.

To learn more about SGLI, you can visit the official SGLI website.


Margaret Elizabeth is an aspiring author currently in her junior year at Valencia College. Besides being an active member of the student body and Vice President of leadership for her Phi Theta Kappa Chapter, Chi Epsilon, she works at home as a freelance writer writing articles on leadership and self development. Being a survivor of domestic abuse she wanted to do something to give back to the community. She just recently launched her Etsy shop, SecretStashDIY, where she sells custom hats and accessories. One third of her proceeds goes towards starting a non-profit organization to help victims of domestic violence find safe homes and receive the counseling needed to lead a healthy life.

9 thoughts on “SGLI Life Insurance Benefits”

  1. Great article. Talking of insurance, I think the SGLI is a great deal considering that its quite military-friendly, you don’t have to take an exam and also there is no war clause.

  2. I think the SGLI is a great deal considering you don’t have to take an exam and there is no war clause.

  3. Good article. Speaking of insurance, I have heard good things about USAA, which is quite military-friendly. In fact, the company was voted the best place to work in a recent poll and hires ex-military on a regular basis. If I remember correctly, they have offices all over the U.S. but the nerve center is in San Antonio, Tex.

    1. I agree. USAA is a great company. They are based in San Antonio. As far as having offices in other places, I cannot answer that. I thought they only had one office, but maybe they have some other offices in strategic locations.


  4. I wish there were someone who, while I was in the military, taught me about programs such as this. I found out about this program after I had already left the military and this blog post reaffirms my belief that all new service members should sign up for SGLI.

    I think one big problem is that kids who join the military don’t really see the need to take out life insurance. Life insurance, to me, and many other younger people is something that older people get.

    What younger soldiers need to realize is that, while you think you may not need it now, you may need it later in life.

    1. One thing that all small unit leaders should do is brief their Soldiers on ALL their military benefits. That way their Soldiers know what they are eligible for and they can make informed decisions. SGLI is a great program. All Soldiers are automatically enrolled in it, but have the option to change or cancel their SGLI at any time. If they knew how cheap and how “good” the SGLI Life Insurance is, most Soldiers would keep it.

  5. New service members sometimes think they don’t need SGLI if they don’t have any dependents, and they decide they don’t want to pay the premium (even as small as it is). This is the WRONG ANSWER. If you do not elect SGLI (or the full coverage amount, as lower coverage is also available) at enlistment and later decide you want insurance or need the full $400,000, your application will be subject to underwriting requirements, meaning there’s no guarantee you’ll get the coverage you want. So new enlistees, take the full amount from the start and keep it.

    Also, remember that most commercially-available life insurance has a combat exclusion, meaning it will not pay for death resulting from war, insurrection, riot, and so on. If you’re a service member and want to supplement your SGLI, stick to carriers like USAA that offer policies with no combat exclusion.

    1. Good points Daniel. I never knew about the changes in underwriting requirements with SGLI. While I was in the ARNG, I don’t believe that policy was in place, but I could be wrong. I always chose the max SGLI, just to play it safe. Just like you mentioned, USAA offers great life insurance too, with no combat exclusion clause. I’ve used them in the past and am happy with the service they provided. Thanks for your comment.


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