Life Insurance

SGLI to VGLI Conversion

Kids drawing art with dad
Are you a military member planning to leave active duty service soon? If so, you may be pondering the need for life insurance to protect your family if you pass away. Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI) coverage could be an option for you, but perhaps you're unsure if it's the best fit. Or, maybe you're considering a private life insurance policy (like those offered by Ethos), but you'd like to learn more about converting your current Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI)  coverage.

Keep reading to determine if you should convert from SGLI to VGLI, how the process works, and if a private policy is a better fit for you. 

What's the difference between SGLI and VGLI?

SGLI is a low-cost term coverage that protects active service members and spouses. The premiums are the same for everyone who carries the coverage -- your gender, age, and health aren't factored into the cost of the policy.

VGLI, a common choice of life insurance for vets, is reserved for military veterans and their spouses. It allows veterans to keep their life insurance coverage after separating from the military. Premium payments must continue to be made, and the insured's age determines VGLI rates. 

Should you convert SGLI to VGLI?

If you face rising healthcare costs from a medical condition that makes private life insurance unaffordable, switching from a SGLI to a VGLI policy may be sensible. You'll have one year and 120 days from the official date of discharge to apply for conversion. Be advised that waiting more than 240 days after being discharged means you'll have to submit evidence of good health. 

You can complete your application online. After submitting your information, you can view your premium amount before moving forward. If the figure works for you, submit your application and receive a decision right away.

Take the first step
Get started with an instant, personalized quote today.

How to convert SGLI coverage to a private policy

VGLI policies tend to carry higher premiums, particularly as you age. So, shopping for an individual policy could be sensible. 

Suppose you're an active duty service member. In that case, you'll need your SGLI Conversion Notice and DD-214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty) to convert your current coverage to an individual policy. Members of the National Guard or Reserves need an SGLI Conversion Notice, along with a Final Leave and Earnings Statement and NGB-22(National Guard Report of Separation and Record of Service). 

You'll have 120 days from the date of separation to convert your policy without having to prove you're in good health. Reach out to the insurance providers you're considering for more information about converting.

Keep in mind that SGLI coverage can only be converted to whole life insurance. Term life insurance policies don't meet the eligibility requirements for conversion. 

How to convert spousal SGLI coverage

Suppose your spouse wants to convert to an individual policy. In that case, they'll have 120 days from the servicemember's discharge to seek coverage without having to provide evidence of good health. Other qualifying events include divorce from the spouse and the servicemembers' election to terminate coverage for themselves or their spouses.

The following documents are required for conversion: 

  • Form DD-214 or NGB-22 
  • Certificate of Dissolution of Marriage if the request for conversion is due to a divorce
  • Form SGLV-8286A if the spouse declines coverage (Spouse Coverage Election and Certificate)
  • Form SGLV-8286 (Family Coverage Election and Certificate) if the service member declines coverage
  • Form DD 1300 (Report of Casualty) if the service member passes away

Compare plans

Not all providers offer life insurance conversion policies to service members and their spouses. You could also find that some who extend this coverage charge far more in premiums than others. It's best to compare quotes from insurance providers to ensure you're getting the best deal. 

Save yourself the legwork of searching providers and simplify the process by shopping online with Ethos. We take the guesswork out of finding coverage from reputable providers. You can use the coverage calculator to determine how much online life insurance you need. Ethos will find the best deal for you from its network of top-rated carriers and present you with a quote for whole life insurance in seconds. 

Here's what you can expect with a whole life policy from Ethos: 

  • Policies between $1,000 and $30,000
  • Premiums that never change 
  • The accumulation of cash value over time
  • No waiting periods 
  • Guaranteed approval if you're between 65 and 85 years of age
  • Premium waivers once you reach 100 years of age

Even better, the application is 100% online -- all you have to do is answer a few health questions. Medical exams and blood tests aren't needed. Now, a process that used to take weeks can be done in minutes, giving you more time to focus on what matters. Plus, you can rest easy knowing you've helped secure your family's future.

Get your estimates in seconds.

Nicotine Use?
Adjust the coverage amount and term length to find a plan you like. Then apply online (with no obligations) and get your real rate.

The estimated monthly rate for this policy is:

Coverage amount
Term length
10 years
Please note that all prices quoted are subject to change, including due to underwriting.