A Comprehensive Guide to Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI) For Former Military Personnel

Discover how Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI) helps former military members extend their life insurance coverage post-service with ease and affordability.

Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI) is designed for former members of the armed forces who wish to extend the group life insurance coverage they enjoyed during active duty. This renewable term policy ensures that veterans’ beneficiaries receive cash benefits upon the insured’s death.

Key Benefits of Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI)

  • Extended Term Policy: VGLI offers a continuation of the group life coverage initially provided by a Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) policy during military service.
  • Convenient Enrollment Period: Veterans have 1 year and 120 days from their separation date to opt for VGLI.
  • Flexible Coverage: Offers life insurance benefits ranging from $10,000 to $400,000, depending on the veteran’s coverage at the time of service completion.
  • Affordable Premiums: VGLI boasts low premiums unaffected by gender, tobacco use, occupation, or recreational activities.
  • No Health Exam Requirement: If elected within a specific period post-service, veterans can bypass health exams.

Understanding Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI)

By opting for Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI), ex-service members can effectively continue their Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) policy into the post-military years. Veterans have 1 year and 120 days from their service termination date to make this choice.

Advantages Over Private Insurance

VGLI is more accessible than many private life insurance plans. Its premiums are based solely on age, with no consideration of gender, tobacco use, employment, or recreational activities—considerations that usually drive up premiums in private policies. Moreover, the policy remains valid as long as premiums are paid, with no age-related termination point.

Coverage Options

VGLI provides benefits ranging from $10,000 to $400,000, based on the insurance amount at the veteran’s military discharge. Initially, veterans can receive the same coverage they had under the SGLI. They may choose lower levels of coverage in $10,000 increments or increase their coverage by $25,000 every 5 years, with a maximum benefit cap of $400,000, applicable until age 60.

Eligibility for Veterans Group Life Insurance

Certain eligibility criteria apply for veterans wishing to enroll in VGLI:

  • Service Separation: Must be within 1 year and 120 days from active duty, training, or duty orders of 31 days or less.
  • Ready Reserves/National Guard: Separated from an assignment by retirement or release.
  • Individual/Inactive Ready Reserves (IRR/ING) Assignment: Includes U.S. Public Health Service Inactive Reserve Corps (IRC) members.
  • Temporary Disability Retirement List (TDRL): Members placed on TDRL.
  • Service-Related Injury/Disability: Applicable for part-time SGLI holders with qualifying injuries or disabilities experienced during duty, including traveling directly to duty locations.

Health Requirements for VGLI Coverage

  • No Health Review: If veterans apply within the first 240 days post-service, no health examination or evidence of health is required.
  • Health Evidence Necessary: For applications made after the 240-day period, veterans must furnish evidence of good health.

Special Considerations When Selecting VGLI

VGLI stands out for its low premium rates, made even more affordable as of April 1, 2021. However, each veteran should assess their specific needs and compare various plans to identify the optimal life insurance policy for their situation.

  • Converting SGLI/VGLI To Civilian Policies: Within 120 days post-service, veterans can convert their SGLI into a civilian policy. Commercial insurers offer specialized policies for former military members.
  • Transition to Individual Policy: VGLI can also be converted to a commercial individual policy, provided it is a permanent insurance policy, such as whole life insurance, and offered by approved carriers.

Related Terms: SGLI, term life insurance, life insurance benefits, military benefits, Veterans Affairs.


  1. U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. “Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI)”.
  2. U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. “Chapter 7. Election of Method of Payment for Proceeds”.
  3. U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. “Chapter 12. Veterans’ Group Life Insurance”.

Get ready to put your knowledge to the test with this intriguing quiz!

--- primaryColor: 'rgb(121, 82, 179)' secondaryColor: '#DDDDDD' textColor: black shuffle_questions: true --- ## What does Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI) provide? - [ ] Health insurance for veterans - [x] Life insurance for veterans - [ ] Disability insurance for veterans - [ ] Home insurance for veterans ## Who is eligible for Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI)? - [x] Veterans who had Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) while in service - [ ] Any U.S. citizen - [ ] Only retired military personnel - [ ] Only active-duty members ## How can veterans convert their Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) to Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI)? - [ ] Through an insurer’s marketplace - [x] By applying within 1 year and 120 days after leaving the military - [ ] Automatically upon separation from service - [ ] Through their employers ## What happens to the Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI) premium rates as the policyholder ages? - [ ] The rates remain fixed - [x] The rates increase - [ ] The rates decrease - [ ] The policyholder can adjust the rates ## Does Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI) require proof of good health for enrollment? - [ ] Always - [x] Only if applying more than 240 days after separation - [ ] Never - [ ] Only if the veteran has pre-existing conditions ## What is the maximum coverage amount for Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI)? - [ ] $100,000 - [ ] $200,000 - [x] $400,000 - [ ] $800,000 ## What agency administers Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI)? - [ ] Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - [ ] Department of Labor (DOL) - [x] Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) - [ ] Department of Defense (DOD) ## Can a Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI) policyholder later increase their coverage amount? - [x] Yes, in $25,000 increments every five years - [ ] No, once set, the coverage amount cannot be changed - [ ] Yes, but only if they re-enter military service - [ ] Yes, but only within the first year of enrollment ## Is the Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI) policy renewable? - [ ] Only under specific conditions - [ ] No, it cannot be renewed - [ ] Yes, but only once - [x] Yes, it is renewable for life ## What entity originally set up the Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI) program? - [ ] The individual branches of the military - [ ] Private insurance companies - [x] The federal government - [ ] State governments