What is Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI)

The Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) is a low cost group life insurance program for active duty servicemembers. This includes reservists, members of the National Guard, members of the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Public Health Service. In addition, cadets and midshipmen of the four service academics, and members of the Reserve officer Training Corps are eligible as for SGLI coverage.

How much coverage can I get with SGLI?

SGLI coverages are available in $50,000 increments up to a maximum amount of $400,000. The $400,000 maximum life insurance policy might not be enough for your needs, so be sure to determine how much life insurance you need and shop around for a civilian health insurance policy if you need more coverage. We prepared a previous article discussing how much life insurance military members need, taking into consideration various factors specific to military members and their families.

Life insurance coverage for your family. Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (FSGLI) is an extension of the SGLI program and offers coverage for spouses and children of up to a maximum of $100,000 of insurance coverage for spouses, not to exceed the amount of SGLI the insured member has in force, and $10,000 for dependent children. Spousal coverage is issued in $10,000 increments.

How much does SGLI cost?

Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance premiums are a flat rate and are not based on age, gender, physical conditioning, health, or other factors. Premiums are low (currently $.065 per $1,000 of life insurance according to the VA website), which makes it a cost effective program for servicemembers and their families. The monthly premiums are listed on the VA website so you can see the different premiums for different coverage amounts. In addition to the premium amounts, there’s also a table available on the site that shows servicemembers exactly how to figure out their basic coverage needs.

Benefits of Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance

Military members who are eligible for Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance should strongly consider SGLI because it has several major advantages over many civilian life insurance policies. The first thing to consider is that SGLI will pay out policies for deaths that occur from an act of war – many civilian policies do not have this coverage. SGLI also has an available traumatic injury rider which will pay out in the even of some injuries. Finally, insurance rates are a flat cost regardless of age, gender, health, whether you are a smoker or non-smoker, and other factors. Most civilian life insurance policies are based on age, health, and related factors.

What happens to SGLI when I leave the service?

SGLI is only available to those who are currently serving in the capacities listed above. However, there are other VA sponsored life insurance programs available, the most popular of which is the Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI) policy, which is available at a reasonable cost to former military members. VGLI is also a group life insurance program, and the rates are based only on age, and not on gender, health, smoker or non-smoker, or other factors.

Free Financial Counseling Service for SGLI Beneficiaries

The Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance sponsors free financial counseling for recipients of SGLI benefits. The servicemembers’ life insurance policy website also provides information regarding family coverages and disability insurance for those servicemembers who are now disabled. Servicemembers can also receive personalized service regarding a tailored financial plan for their personal or family situation.

In addition, servicemembers’ specific personal issues can be taken into account and discussed using their personalized service. For example, what steps to take to meet your specific insurance coverage needs or those that may best benefit a servicemember and his family. Since the personalized service has no affiliations with any banks or investment firms, no products to sell, and aren’t working on commission, you be assured that they’ll give you objective, sound advice for your unique financial situation.

SGLI FAQs and other Questions

If a servicemember or her family has further questions regarding the SGLI is, she can visit the VA website and follow links to frequently asked questions and further information.

If a question isn’t answered in the FAQs, servicemembers can read the comprehensive overview of the SGLI program in the SGLI/VGLI handbook, which provides more information. Both are designed to be informative, and offer FAQs proficiently.

If for some reason you’re unable to locate the information you’re seeking for your specific situation, you can also contact the Personnel office of the SGLI at 1-800-419-1473 and they should be able to give you further assistance and answer any questions you may have.

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Date published: March 21, 2010.

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Ryan Guina is the founder and editor of this site. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over 6 years on active duty in the USAF and is currently serving in the IL Air National Guard. He also writes about money management, small business, and career topics at Cash Money Life. You can also see his profile on Google.


  1. says

    Military insurance is by no means a “benefit”. Especially for the aging veteran, premiums jump every five years and by unpredictable increments. The payouts are slow and low. It is not possible to get more than $200,000 for roughly $830 annually which is a really raw deal. This is characteristic of military service: they give you $100 and take back $99.

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