What is VGLI?
Active duty service members are covered by SGLI, or Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance. SGLI offers term life coverage at very low premiums. However, when a service member stops being on active duty, SGLI stops after a certain period of time expires. Then, the Veterans’ Group Life Insurance program (VGLI) becomes available. The maximum initial amount of VGLI is the same amount of SGLI coverage a servicemember had while on active duty. It can then be increased up to $400,0001. VGLI allows veterans to maintain term life insurance coverage for life provided they continuously pay premiums.
Eligible veterans cannot be rejected VGLI coverage. Since it does not require medical exams or disclosure of health information, tobacco smokers and people with medical and mental health issues can get life insurance coverage which will stay in force as long as premiums are paid. An insured veteran can designate anyone as a beneficiary on the policy and can later change beneficiary as he/she wishes. However, VGLI policyowners must follow VGLI rules while changing a beneficiary to make sure such changes are valid.
Many VGLI claims are denied because there is a dispute about designated beneficiaries on a VGLI policy. When there is a dispute, our VGLI attorneys can help you throughout the process. For example, when a veteran is likely to be survived by dependent family members (wife, children, parents) but names someone else the beneficiary, there is a question whether a responsible party should have requested more proof of the insured’s intent to make this particular designation. It is common before issuing the policy to request an applicant to provide a signed affidavit confirming that the veteran understands the designation and its consequences and still intends to do it.
Another common reason a VGLI claim is denied is an invalid beneficiary change. Laws governing VGLI require policyowners to follow certain rules when changing beneficiaries. If such rules are not followed, the insurance company may deny a VGLI claim and pay the proceeds under a VGLI policy to the person named beneficiary in a prior designation. If requirements for changing a beneficiary are not met, this can also be a cause for a VGLI claim denial. Two or more VGLI beneficiaries may file a claim which may result in interpleader actions and lengthy delays. If you find yourself in the middle of a VGLI beneficiary dispute, please call our VGLI lawyer for a free consultation.
Many VGLI claims get denied when the insurance company claims that the veteran did not qualify for VGLI coverage when he applied for it. This is especially frustrating, because veterans in such cases may have foregone buying alternative coverage. Making misrepresentations on the application is one reason life insurance claims get denied. Even though in the majority of cases veterans are not required to pass a health exam to qualify for VGLI, there are cases where coverage is dependent on a veteran’s medical history information. If a VGLI claim is denied based on misrepresentations made while applying for coverage, our VGLI attorneys will help you fight the denial.
In some cases, VGLI claims are denied because the insurance company says the insured waited too long to convert his SGLI into VGLI. If a servicemember had SGLI while on active duty, he/she has a year and 120 days to convert his/her SGLI policy to VGLI. If the insurance company approved coverage but denied your VGLI claim after the veteran’s death, your claim was most likely wrongfully denied. If the insurance company accepted the veteran’s premium payments but refused to honor the claim after the veteran’s death, call our VGLI attorneys for help. We offer free consultations on denied VGLI claims and work on a contingency fee basis.