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Featured Settlement

Our firm recovered $400,000 for an SGLI beneficiary whose claim was denied by the insurance company based on an alleged failure of an insured servicemember to pay premiums on his SGLI policy. Our SGLI attorneys fought relentlessly for the beneficiary’s right to receive the denied SGLI benefits.

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If you are an SGLI beneficiary or insured you may have questions about your SGLI benefits and the process of receiving proceeds of an SGLI policy. Many of your questions may be answered by an SGLI attorney. You may also find eligibility requirements and beneficiary legal rights by reviewing the SGLIA, or The Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance Act. History of the SGLIA will help understand how the law protects SGLI insureds and beneficiaries.


History of The Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance Act


To make life insurance coverage available to members of the uniformed services on active duty, especially in combat zones, Congress enacted the SGLIA in 1965. The impetus for the legislation was the escalating level of hostilities and casualties in the then ongoing Vietnam war which had prompted a lot of private life insurance carriers to restrict coverage for service members. Before SGLIA took effect in 1965, the earlier program of federally sponsored life insurance for service members called National Service Life Insurance Act of 1940 (NSLIA) placed in effect shortly before the involvement of the USA in World War II lapsed after the end of the Korean hostilities when commercial insurance generally became available to service members. As a result, NSLIA coverage could not be obtained by many service members on active duty in 1965.


Even though SGLIA and NSLIA have similar purposes and provisions, the SGLIA is different in that it directs the Administrator of Veteran’s Affairs to purchase coverage from one or more qualified commercial insurers instead of offering coverage by the United States itself. Under the SGLIA, the Government is the policyholder not the insurer. The Administrator has contracted with Prudential Insurance Company of America which now serves as the primary insurer under the SGLIA and operates under Veterans’ Administration supervision.


The SGLIA initially provided insurance only for members serving in specified services. The maximum coverage was $10,000. Since 1965, it has expanded and now more service members can be covered for a higher amount of insurance. The maximum amount of SGLI is $400,000. The SGLI program is operated on a presumptive enrollment basis where coverage is automatic and premiums are taken out from the insured service members’ paychecks. A service member who does not wish to have coverage must expressly decline or terminate it in writing.


In order to make the insurance available through a commercial carrier at a reasonable rate (in spite of the high mortality risks that servicemembers often must assume) Congress subsidized the program. A sum representing the extra premium for special mortality risks is periodically deposited by the United States into a revolving fund that is used to pay premiums on the master policy. The fund otherwise is derived primarily from deductions withheld from service members’ paychecks. Accordingly, depending on the conditions faced by service members at any given time, SGLI may be financed in part with federal funds.


SGLIA also controls how SGLI claims are processed and how benefits are paid. It directs the insurer to pay SGLI benefits in a very strict order of precedence. In order to understand your rights under the SGLIA or to learn if you have a valid claim for SGLI benefits, please call our SGLI attorney at (888) 510-2212.


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