DEFINITION of 'United States Government Life Insurance - USGLI'

A life insurance program established in 1919 to provide term, permanent and endowment insurance up to $10,000 to veterans who served in the United States military prior to 1940. The United States Government Life Insurance program was developed to manage the existing World War I policies and any new policies thereafter. More than four million life insurance policies had been issued during WWI. The program was closed to new issues on April 25, 1951.

BREAKING DOWN 'United States Government Life Insurance - USGLI'

In 1917, as the United States entered the war against Germany, Congress approved issuing government life insurance to provide insurance benefits for veterans and service members who may be unable to purchase insurance from private companies due to the increased risks to which military service members are exposed, because of a service related disability, or because private insurance premiums would be much higher than normal rates. As of 2010, there were approximately 8,000 active policies remaining, with the policy holder's average age of 88. Since January 1, 1983, all USGLI policies have been paid-up, with no further premiums becoming due. Annual dividends are still paid on these policies.

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