How Does Army Life Insurance Work?

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A young soldier in uniform with his arm around his wife
A young soldier in uniform with his arm around his wife (Image: Shelly Perry/iStock/Getty Images)

When you join the Army and become an active duty soldier, you're automatically covered under a group life insurance policy. You're responsible for paying the monthly insurance premium, which is deducted directly from your paycheck. If you don't want the group coverage, you can opt out.

Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance

Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance is a low-cost life insurance option that provides up to $400,000 in coverage for soldiers and their families. Although the automatic maximum benefit is $400,000, you can choose coverage as low as $50,000 or elect to cancel it entirely. As of 2014, the monthly premiums for the maximum benefit amount are around $27. For $50,000 in coverage, the premium is $4.25 a month. The coverage is available while you're on active duty and for 120 days after you are separated or released from the service. You'll need to complete the Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Election & Certificate to designate your beneficiaries.

Traumatic Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance

If you're covered under Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance, you'll also receive Traumatic Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance. The additional coverage provides short-term financial assistance of $25,000 to $100,000 if you're severely injured and suffer a loss due to a traumatic event. You're eligible even if the traumatic event occurs off duty.

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