Family Life Insurance

Lots of people have questions about life insurance, especially for stay-at-home parents and children.  In general, parents need life insurance but children don’t need life insurance.  Making decisions about life insurance can be overwhelming and it is easy to procrastinate.  Fortunately for military families, Active duty, Ready Reserve and Guard members who carry Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI) coverage are eligible to purchase Family SGLI (FSGLI) on their spouses and dependent children are covered automatically for free.

Spousal coverage is available in $10,000 increments up to $100,000 (not to exceed the amount of SGLI that the service member has in force.)  Dependent children are covered for $10,000.

FSGLI coverage is very inexpensive, and the rates just dropped again in July 2010.  For each $10,000 in coverage, the cost is $.50 cents per months if the insured spouse is less than 35 years old.  ($.65 per month for ages 35-39, $.85 per month for ages 40-44, $1.30 per month for ages 45-49, $2.50 per month for ages 50-54 and $3.70 per month for ages 55-60.)  Dependent children are covered by FSGLI at no cost.  Premiums are made via payroll deduction.

Spouse coverage begins on the day that your SGLI coverage begins, or on the day that you marry.  If you initially declined spouse coverage, and later elect spouse coverage, the policy will begin  Dependent children coverage begins on the date that the initial SGLI coverage begins, on the date of birth, or on the date of adoption.  Dependent coverage includes coverage for stillborn children.

The way the system is supposed to work is that spouses and children are automatically enrolled in FSGLI at full coverage unless the service member declines coverage or opts for a smaller amount of coverage.  Service members can check their Leave and Earnings Statements (LES) on MyPay to verify that they are paying FSGLI premiums and to ensure that the amount is correct.

FSGLI coverage is remarkably easy and inexpensive.  Please take advantage of this valuable benefit as part of your greater life insurance planning.

For more information, see the FSGLI Frequently Asked Questions page.

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.