Military term and permanent life insurance tips and advice from people

For people wandering about military life insurance I thought it could be a good idea to make a TIPS page, where I gathered a bunch of tips or advice which I found through research coming from military families, military active duty people or retired military personnel.

So in no particular order, please see these TIPS below about military life insurance and maybe there you will find something that will be beneficial for you.

  • Servicemember's Group Life Insurance (SGLI) covers up to $400,000, if you are still in the military. Retired personnel have the option to convert the SGLI policy to Veteran's Group Life Insurance (VGLI). It is sometimes assumed to be a free insurance but it is not free, there is a small fee to pay, however it is considered as a good option for the military people with only very few choosing to opt out of the insurance.
  • SGLI is a term life insurance and covers the period of the active duty. VGLI is a permanent life insurance.
  • In SGLI, there is an additional $100,000 if death took place while on active duty. If he was out of the military at the time of his death, and he did not convert to VGLI, or to a civilian plan, there is nothing to be gotten from the military, except $450 for a headstone. Social Security will also provide a death benefit of $250, if qualified.
  • It is a good idea to check with the Veteran's Administration to find out about all the benefits one qualifies for.
  • If you may want to make it so all your life insurance goes to a charity upon your death during active duty you can do so by assigning the appropriate beneficiary, which is fully under your control. This can be a person, a charity or a trust for example.
  • You can also buy life insurance outside of SGLI through certain brokers. One that comes to mind is "5 Star" insurance company that will insure firefighters, military, contractors, etc.
  • If it so happens that there is a suicide, next of kin are still expected to receive the SGLI benefits. In one case, according to the Casualty Assistance Officer the parents received SGLI about 4 weeks after the suicide.
  • Alcor provides a cryonics life insurance policy. Cryonics is "The emerging medical technology of cryopreserving humans and animals with the intention of future revival." Alcor policy generally requires that Alcor be the owner of the life insurance policy, which is likely impossible with SGLI. From their website: "Alcor is designated as both the beneficiary and owner of the life insurance policy (revocable if membership terminated), although Alcor may accept co-ownership and/or collateral assignment on large policies."