VA offers life insurance programs that provide financial security and peace of mind for service members, Veterans, and their families. These insurance programs have specific eligibility criteria, insurance terms, and application processes. But how do you know if you’re eligible, and how do you apply?
The image at left provides a simple explanation for each of VA’s insurance programs. There’s an interactive version of it here. Using these interactive graphics, it’s now easier than ever to find out if you’re eligible for a VA insurance program.
So, which program is right for you?
Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance
SGLI provides low-cost term life insurance coverage to eligible service members. Coverage is automatic for most active duty service members, Ready Reserve and National Guard members scheduled to perform at least 12 periods of inactive training per year; Commissioned members of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Public Health Service; cadets and midshipmen of the U.S. military academies, and Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) members.
Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance Disability Extension
SGLI-DE is for service members who are totally disabled at separation. These service members may be eligible to extend their SGLI coverage for up to two years from separation from service–for free.
Veterans’ Group Life Insurance
VGLI allows Veterans to convert SGLI coverage after separation from service. If you apply within 240 days after discharge, then you don’t need to submit evidence of good health. You can retain VGLI coverage for as long as you pay the premiums. Also, you may enroll for a maximum amount of coverage that is equal to the amount of SGLI coverage you had when you separated from service. Under certain conditions, the option to convert to a commercial insurance policy is extended to Veterans insured under the VGLI program.
Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance
FSGLI provides term life insurance coverage to the spouses and dependent children of service members insured under SGLI. If you are covered under full-time SGLI, then you are eligible to insure your spouse, regardless of whether your spouse is on active duty, retired, or is a civilian. The service member pays the premium for spousal coverage. Dependent children are insured at no cost. Under certain conditions, spouses who are insured under the Family SGLI program have the option to convert Spousal Coverage to an individual policy of insurance within 120 days from certain events.
Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection
TSGLI provides short-term financial assistance to severely injured service members intended to assist them during their recovery from traumatic injuries. Coverage is automatic for service members covered under full-time SGLI. TSGLI is not only for combat injuries, but provides coverage for injuries incurred on or off duty.
Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance
S-DVI is life insurance for Veterans who have service-connected disabilities but who are otherwise in good health. S-DVI is available in a variety of permanent plans as well as term insurance.
Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance
VMLI is mortgage protection insurance that can help families of severely disabled service members or Veterans by paying off the home mortgage in the event of the service member or Veteran’s death. VMLI is only available to service members and Veterans with severe service-connected disabilities who receive a Specially Adapted Housing grant.
Financial Counseling is available to beneficiaries of SGLI, VGLI, FSGLI, or TSGLI coverage. Once the claim is paid, you or your beneficiary can get advice from a financial expert at FinancialPoint® to create a plan to address your specific financial needs.
As you can see, VA offers a number of life insurance programs, and each accommodates a different group of Veterans and service members, as well as their families.
Want to learn more about VA life insurance? Don’t take our word for it, listen to Josh and his experience with VA life insurance.
This post was originally published in 2015 by Melodee Mercer. It was updated in 2019 by Larry Eby.