We have handled several disputes in 2012 regarding the proper beneficiary of a Servicemember's Group Life Insurance Policy (SGLI). SGLI coverage was established to provide low cost life insurance to active duty members of the military. The SGLI program is subsidized by the Federal Government to make the premiums affordable to servicemembers. It currently provides up to $400,000 in coverage, through payroll deductions.
Disputes occasionally arise regarding the proper beneficiary of an SGLI policy. When such a dispute arises, it is important to consult with an attorney experienced in handling SGLI claims. Unlike life insurance purchased independently through an agent, SGLI policies are subject to federal law, not state law. That means that state laws regarding spouses or ex-spouses as beneficiaries do not apply, nor do community property laws. Although concepts such as undue influence, lack of capacity, and slayer forfeiture may apply.
Potential disputes may arise regarding the proper beneficiary or regarding a denial by the insurer.