Life Insurance

Is SGLI Coverage Enough Life Insurance?

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Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) is an affordable form of term coverage available to qualifying Armed Forces service members. But is it enough to protect your family if you unexpectedly pass away? Or do you need a policy with a higher death benefit?

That depends on your unique situation. Read on to explore the coverage provided by SGLI and determine if it's adequate for you and your family. 

What's covered under SGLI?

Depending on the coverage amount you select through the SGLI program, you could receive a death benefit between $50,000 and $400,000, for a cost of $3.00 to $24.00 per month. You'll also pay an additional $1.00 per month for traumatic injury protection, which provides a monetary benefit between $25,000 and $100,000 if you're injured while serving in the armed forces. 

Can you cash out a SGLI plan?

Terminally ill policyholders may qualify for accelerated benefits of up to 50 percent coverage. The funds are payable in increments of $5,000 before your passing. Otherwise, policyholders can't cash out SGLI, as it's a form of term coverage that doesn't accumulate cash value or pay dividends. 

What Happens to SGLI When You Leave the Military?

When you retire from the armed forces, you can convert your SGLI to Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI) within one year and 120 days from your discharge date. Coverage on the new VGLI policy is limited to the death benefit on your SGLI policy. 

If you wish to switch to a private or civilian life insurance policy, you can do so. But you're limited to 120 days from your discharge to convert the policy.

How much life insurance do I need?
To make it easier, we created an online life insurance calculator you can use to help assess your individual needs.

How much coverage do you need?

Unsure if SGLI coverage is enough or if you should purchase an additional policy? When calculating how much life insurance you need, consider several factors. You can estimate this figure with the DIME formula, which accounts for the following:  

  • Debt: What are your total outstanding debt balances? Include any amounts owed on credit cards and loans (except for your mortgage).  
  • Income: Does your family rely on your income to cover household expenses? If so, how much income would they need to stay afloat financially? Multiply this figure by the number of years your family would need your income to maintain the household. 
  • Mortgage: How much do you owe on your mortgage? 
  • Education: What's the estimated cost of higher education for your children? If they attend private or boarding school, include these costs. 

Also, include the cost of your funeral arrangements and any other estimated final expenses. If there are any other big-ticket expenses you'd like to cover for your family, factor in those costs. They could include wedding expenses or the down payment on a new car or home for your children. Ultimately, you want to ensure that your family wouldn't be put in a dire financial situation if you were to pass away. 

You can add up these figures or use this handy calculator to determine how much life insurance you need from Ethos. 

Either way, you'll know if SGLI coverage is adequate or if you need to purchase another policy. 

Protect Your Family's Financial Future

As your needs change, you should assess your financial situation to determine if additional coverage beyond SGLI insurance is warranted. 

Or, you can protect yourself now for what's to come and avoid scrambling to find the right coverage as your family grows, your income increases, or you approach retirement. 

Either way, consider exploring life insurance options from Ethos. There are two types of policies to choose from: 

  • Term life policies: Get up to $2 million in coverage if you're between 20 and 65 years old, and choose from 10, 15, 20 or 30-year terms. Plus, there's a 30-day free look period if you're not fully satisfied with your term life policy
  • Whole life policies: If you're between 66 and 85 years old, you could get up to $30,000 in coverage. These policies offer coverage until you pass away if you make timely premium payments. However, premiums are waived if you reach 100 years of age, and the policy is still intact. And if you purchase a whole life policy today, there are no waiting periods, which means you'll be covered right away. 

You can check rates from top-rated carriers in minutes. Even better, there are no blood tests or physical exams – simply answer a few questions, and you could get same-day coverage for online life insurance in just 10 minutes. 

Take the first step towards giving your family peace of mind for life. Get a quote today.

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