We have all heard the stories: a military spouse loses her husband and she is left reeling from her worst nightmare. She not only has to fight through her grief, she is also left wondering how she will support her children emotionally and financially as she navigates this new world. Did her husband have life insurance? Did he have enough?
Life Insurance isn’t something the vast majority of us want to think about, especially as it opens the doors for those terrible ‘what ifs.’ We check off that box for SGLI and put it out of our minds, hoping never to need it—at least not this young.
But what if just checking off a box is simply not enough? And is SGLI alone really enough insurance? September is Life Insurance Awareness Month, so Military Spouse wanted to address this important topic in all our lives
Navy spouse, Jill Qualters shares, “once we had children, John and I examined our lifestyle and financial goals and realized that if something happened to him or I, SGLI (400k for him, 100k for me) would not be enough for our family. For him, life insurance is peace of mind that if something were to happen to him that he would still be contributing to our comfort, future educations, and major life milestones.”
“Often people only think about the bare necessities when considering how much life insurance they need,” points out Colonel Robin A. Snyder, USAF (Ret.), President and CEO of USBA, a non-profit association offering life insurance to active duty and military personnel. “Consider what the surviving spouse will have to do in order to thrive rather thanjust survive such as schooling to obtain a job or change careers, acquiring a home off-base, replacing a paycheck as well as future expenses for your children.”
The truth is, there are a number of factors that could influence your life insurance needs, and it’s important to familiarize yourself with them to attain that invaluable peace of mind. Marriage, divorce, children, variations in pay grade or salary, leaving the service are all life changes that determine the types of life insurance and best coverage for you.
Did you know, for example, that when active duty members leave the service, they are only covered by SGLI for 120 days? Because the post-military job search may require additional time, it’s essential there’s no gap in that important coverage. Thankfully, service members may choose to supplement SGLI now with something portable that they can take with them both when they leave the service or change civilian careers. And, the younger the policy-holder, the more cost effective the
“It’s always smart to look at your best options,” says Snyder. “Coming out of the service, you’re probably at the best health, so it could be a good time to look at insurance rates that offer preferred pricing such as ours which of course will require a medical exam, but that’s why the rates are low.”
We know that the military member can opt in fairly easily for life insurance, but what about you, the spouse? It is equally as important to ensure that you are adequately covered, especially if you have children and stay home with them. Unfortunately, many stay at home parents don’t give themselves enough credit for all their hard work, and that extends into not properly insuring themselves.
Thankfully, additional life insurance for you isn’t cost prohibitive. Non-profit USBA offers a variety of affordable options to active duty and former military families, including a Double Value Two for One plan that covers both spouses with the same coverage amount, so there’s only one premium to pay, and not two.
Jill Qualters shares, “Like everyone who buys term life insurance at a young age we are banking on never having to use it. But it does give me peace of mind, as the wife of a naval aviator, that if something were to happen to him that we would be financially cared for.”
Whether you’re transitioning within or outside the military, your life insurance needs are worth more than a quick check of a box.
Tricare Standard/Extra and Reserve Select Supplements:
Don’t forget about the importance of supplementing your health insurance. In light of the recent Tricare Prime changes, the portion of expenses you pay out of pocket can really add up. USBA’s TRICARE Standard/Extra or Reserve Select Supplement Insurance Plans give you secondary protection that helps cover most out-of-pocket expenses and best of all, acceptance is guaranteed.
USBA’s website offers a wealth of resources to help select life insurance that’s right for your family. Visit USBA.com and start with the Needs Estimator tool to calculate the coverage amount you need. The Plan Recommender will give you an overview of policy options for which you can, get free quotes and even apply online with the easy electronic application process. Sometimes you just want to talk to someone and that’s possible with their highly trained Product Specialists who can help you decide what you need.