What is Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI)?

Veterans group life insurance pays cash to the beneficiaries of a deceased member of the armed forces who had completed his or her service. Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI) is for service members who have completed their service and wish to continue to have life insurance coverage carried over from their Service members Group Life Insurance (SGLI) policy. They have one year and 120 days from the date they become veterans to exercise this option, and VGLI is a renewable term policy.

Understanding Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI)

Veterans group life insurance offers many benefits not available in the private life insurance market. Premium rates are age-based only; they do not consider gender, tobacco use, job or recreational activities, all of which can increase premiums in the private market.

The policy does not terminate at a certain age (such as 65); it remains in force for as long as the policyholder pays the premiums. Also, veterans who apply to convert their SGLI to VGLI within the first 120 days after completing their service are not subject to a health review. Approval of the policy is not contingent upon being in good physical or mental health.

The maximum amount of coverage a veteran may qualify for is the same amount of coverage he or she had under the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) after leaving the service. The SGLI is term life insurance offered to members of the military during active service. Veterans may opt for lower levels of coverage in $10,000 increments. Coverage can be increased after enrollment. The increase may be as much as $25,000 every five years, but is capped to $400,000 until the veteran reaches 60.

Eligibility for Veterans Group Life Insurance

There are certain eligibility requirements for veterans who want to apply for VGLI. They must have had SGLI, and are within one year and 120 days from:

  • Being released from active duty or active duty for training under a call or order to duty in a period of 31 days or less.
  • Being separated, from retirement or release from assignment from the Ready Reserves/National Guard.
  • An assignment of the Individual Ready Reserves (IRR) or to the Inactive National Guard (ING). Members of the United States Public Health Service Inactive Reserve Corps (IRC) are also included in this section.
  • Being placed on the Temporary Disability Retirement List (TDRL).

Veterans may also be able to apply for this kind of insurance even if their SGLI was part-time and they were performing duty. Anyone with an injury or those living with a different ability that were unable to get insurance at standard premium rates may also qualify.