Fighting a Denied SGLI Life Insurance Claim
A denied SGLI life insurance claim after your loved one has served your country can be a real slap in the face. If you’ve lost a loved one and are the beneficiary of their SGLI life insurance, it is imperative that you talk to an attorney as soon as you receive the denial, as the rules and regulations surrounding Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI) can be very confusing and often have a number of restrictions that could impact whether you will receive the benefits you deserve and are entitled to.
Servicemembers Group Life Insurance was created to provide affordable insurance options to active service members. If you’re one of the following servicemembers, you are automatically insured with a full-time SGLI policy:
- Active duty member of any branch of the armed forces, including Army, Marines, Air Force, Navy or Coast Guard
- A commissioned member of the United States Commissioned Public Health Corps (USPHS)
- A commissioned member of the Office of Marine and Aviation Commissioned Officers Corp (NOAA)
- A midshipman or cadet enrolled in one of the U.S. military academies
- A member, midshipman or cadet of the ROTC in training and practice cruises
- A member of the National Guard or Ready Reserve who performs a minimum of 12 periods of inactive training annually
- A servicemember who volunteered for a mobilization category in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR)
Eligible individuals are automatically issue the maximum life insurance coverage and the monthly premium is deducted from their pay. Anyone who wants additional coverage can pay additional premiums for coverage up to $400,000.
There are very few exclusions with this type of policy. Accidental death, death from illness, suicide and most other types of death are covered. If your claim as a beneficiary is denied, you need to find out why and whether there is any legal avenue for disputing the denial.
Divorce Issues with SGLI Life Insurance
Divorce attorneys can be very helpful when it comes to the details of custody, support, division of assets and more, but most divorce attorneys aren’t familiar enough with SGLI life insurance and the federal laws that apply to it to give accurate advice on who the beneficiary is and how the claim should be handled. While many states have divorce laws that state an individual must maintain life insurance with the ex-spouse and/or the children from the marriage as beneficiaries, SGLI life insurance is governed by federal laws that take precedence over state laws. This means that, unfortunately, if the deceased individual switched the beneficiary to someone else on the policy, a denied SGLI life insurance claim will be the result for the ex-spouse and children. Even if there is a court order or state mandates that support the claim, federal law may not recognize them.
Additional Potential Problems with SGLI Insurance
A claim for SGLI death benefits may be delayed for long stretches of time in hopes that the beneficiaries won’t have the time, knowledge or funds to pursue the case and will stop pursuing the claim. By hiring an attorney who has handled these claims in the past, you can stop worrying and let them pursue the case. Our attorneys don’t get paid until your case has been won and you’ve received your benefits, so you won’t have to pay up front for any of the work done on your behalf.
Sometimes denies SGLI life insurance claims are the result of actions taken by the insured when he or she was alive. If they committed crimes such as espionage, mutiny, treason or desertion and were convicted, any claim will be automatically denied because they will claim that the insured didn’t act in good faith as a servicemember. In some cases, this decision can be disputed so that the beneficiaries can still get their benefits.
Our life insurance attorneys have years of experience with SGLI life insurance coverage and they are fully versed in the legalities surrounding these issues, making them familiar with the federal laws surrounding denied SGLI life insurance claims.