Mil-to-mil marriage can cost $100K

  • Published
  • By Derrick J. Harris
  • 23d Force Support Squadron
Recently, I sat in a teleconference on Service member's Group Life Insurance training. That may not sound interesting, but believe it or not, it was! We were refreshed on how SGLI, Family Service member's Group Life Insurance,), Veterans Group Life Insurance and Traumatic Service members' Group Life Insurance, for traumatic injuries suffered while on active duty.

Most of the information provided was already known, however, something covered in the training intrigued me to the point of writing this article. Under FSGLI, an active-duty member's spouse can be covered for $100,000. Now you may say, "Yeah, I already know this," but did you know, a military-to-military couple, married before Jan. 2, 2013 is automatically covered under FSGLI?

However, if that same couple was married on or after Jan. 2, 2013, the coverage isn't automatic. Each active-duty member must sign up for FSGLI. Most people understand they have automatic coverage under SGLI for $400,000. But if an active-duty member who married another active-duty member before Jan. 2 dies and hasn't requested FSGLI specifically, their surviving spouse can lose $100, 000 in coverage.

Members cannot go back and retroactively apply for FSGLI coverage. The insurance company that underwrites for SGLI, must see proof that the individual was current on payments under FSGLI upon the date of death.

Death can be expensive. Yes, an individual covered as a beneficiary for SGLI can receive $400,000, but if you think about it, that only covers a finite amount of time that an active-duty member would have been paid throughout their career and retirement. An extra $100,000 would go a long way in providing for a spouse and meeting his or her needs throughout life.

So ask yourself, is one trip to update my FSGLI worth $100,000? Or better yet, ask your spouse that same question. I have a feeling you'll be headed over to your military personnel flight to update your FSGLI soon after asking that question. For information on all life insurance under Veterans Affairs, go to