For those of you that are not familiar with a SGLI life insurance policy, this is a coverage option available to many of the men and women that serve in our nation’s military. SGLI stands for Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance as is a great, affordable option for many individuals that may not be able to get elsewhere. As discussed in a previous blog article, members of this plan are automatically enrolled and a monthly deduction is made from their paycheck. As there is no affirmative action needed to get members under this plan, there are many members that do not pay attention to the extra steps needed to set their life insurance up correctly. Many members of the group plan will never adjust their coverage amount or beneficiary information. Additionally, some members fail to update beneficiary information if a formerly named beneficiary predeceasing the policy holder. As such, a common problem with these plans is that intended beneficiaries may have a hard time claiming what should be theirs.
Fortunately, Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance policies do have certain protocols in place to help resolve such matters. As a benefit to military members, the group life insurance actually has some precedent set up to deal with such matters. The Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance Act establishes that the insurance provider would pay the proceeds of the policy in accordance with a certain structure already in place. Having legal precedence and a statute in place is beneficial to those involved as it can help predict outcomes a little more accurately.
Initially, if an individual is not listed as a beneficiary, then the widow or widower of a deceased member is the first in line to collect. After that, it falls to children, parents and others that may be associated or related to the deceased member. This set-up is almost similar to the situation when an individual dies without a will or trust detailing the individuals wishes upon death.
There can be issues with military members having complicated family scenarios, as it may leave many family members fighting over who has the right to collect. While many individuals may not be focused on collecting on a life insurance policy soon after a loved one’s death, it should be made a priority when competing family members may be gunning for the same proceeds.
Incorrect information on beneficiary forms, confusion in cause of death with military and conflicting family testimonies can all lead to difficult situations. Therefore, it is important to consider your options from a legal standpoint if you believe you are the rightful beneficiary of a Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance policy and have been denied a claim. While a standard life insurance situation allows beneficiaries to rely on record keeping requirements placed on the provider, Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance may not be as clean. As such, keeping personal records and following up with the servicemember prior to death to make sure things are properly documented is a good first step. If this step was not taken, there is a good chance you may need a top life insurance attorney to help combat other family members seeking to take what is rightfully yours.
Since Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance policies do have legal precedence in place, you will want to work with an SGLI life insurance laweyr that knows the statute and has lots of experience in this field. Many individuals will seek out legal advice from general attorneys, but working with a lawyer that is specialized in Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance cases will guarantee a higher success rate. This field is not one where inexperience is easy to cover up. Government agencies have certain procedures, protocols and timelines for consumers to follow and a Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance policy is no different in that respect. Working with a government agency in any area can be difficult, but add in other factors and you are likely to have a mess on your hands. An experienced and trustworthy law firm like ours can help guide you along the path towards a successful resolution. It is understandable that family members left behind may be relying on this policy paying out, so do not hesitate to contact our denied life insurance claim law firm to get you the full amount of the SGLI policy, and fast.