Updating your insurance beneficiary can bring peace of mind


Life insurance should give you and your loved ones the peace of mind that they will have funds available if anything happens to you. But that may not happen if your beneficiary information isn’t up-to-date.

Not keeping beneficiaries up-to-date may result in your benefits going to a former spouse, a deceased parent’s estate, and your estate. It could also result in payment delays at a critical time. For example, if the listed beneficiaries are children from a first marriage, then children from a current marriage might contest the claim if they believe they have more recent documents showing they should be the beneficiaries. No one can be paid until it is determined who is legally entitled to the money.

If you’ve had a recent life event, such as a change in marital status, the addition of a child or the death of a loved one, then now is a good time to review your beneficiary designation for Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI), Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI) and the VA Insurance policies starting with V, RH, RS, J, K or W.

It’s the best way to ensure your life insurance benefit is paid to the people whom you want to receive it.

Even if you haven’t experienced a recent life event, it’s a good idea to review your beneficiaries at least once a year. So, mark it on your calendar as an annual event. Remember, you have the legal right to name any beneficiary you want and change your beneficiary at any time.

You can access all Change of Beneficiary forms at http://www.benefits.va.gov/INSURANCE/updatebene.asp. Here is how:

If you have Download
A VA policy starting with V, RH, RS, J, K or W Form 29-336
SGLI Coverage Form SGLV 8286
VGLI Coverage Form SGLV 8721 or log onto your VGLI Online Account at www.benefits.va.gov/insurance.

roesner-bwfr

Dave Roesner is the chief of VA’s insurance claims division.

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11 Comments to “Updating your insurance beneficiary can bring peace of mind”

  1. John D McLeod says:

    I’m 100% disabled veteran. I’m not sure I have any life insurance with the VA. How do I find out?

    Thanks
    John

    • VA Insurance says:

      Please call the VA Insurance Center toll-free number at 1-800-669-8477 and our staff can assist you in determining if you have any life insurance with Department of Veterans Affairs.

      • Jay B Balaski says:

        What number should I call if living in Philippines?

        • VA Insurance says:

          You can call 215-842-2000 – the main non-toll free number. Press “0″ for the operator who will transfer you to Insurance.

  2. are there any non related insurance companies that I can get a life insurance policy with,being 100% disabled.I didn’t file my Va insurance in time and now I have no life insurance.

    • VA Insurance says:

      Depending on the nature of your disabilities, you may still be able to obtain life insurance from a private insurance company. Unfortunately, VA cannot recommend any specific companies to you, but you may want to talk to a local insurance agent to discuss your specific situation.

      As you noted, both the Veterans’ Group Life Insurance Program and the Service-Disabled Veterans Program have time limits. It is not clear from your message if you missed both program deadlines or only one of the deadlines. Please visit http://www.benefits.va.gov/insurance to learn more about both program criteria or contact the VA Insurance toll-free call center at 1-800-669-8477 to determine if you may still be eligible for one or more of these programs.

  3. TOMMY BAKER says:

    I HAVE A SMALL LIFE INS. I HAVE ONE BENEFICIARY. DO I NEED TWO BENEFICIARY JUST IN CASE # 1 DIES AND I NOT ABOLD TO CHANGE IT. HELP

    • VA Insurance says:

      It is your decision how many beneficiaries you would like to name on your policy. If you are concerned about having another beneficiary who would be paid only if your existing beneficiary passes away prior to you, you can name what is termed a contingent beneficiary. To explain further, there are two types of beneficiaries: Primary and contingent beneficiaries. Primary beneficiaries are those who receive the benefit should you pass away. Contingent beneficiaries only receive the benefit should all primary beneficiaries pass away prior to your death. If you have a VA Life Insurance policy and would like to update your beneficiaries, please call the VA Insurance toll free number at 1-800-669-8477 who can assist you on the multiple ways to do so.

  4. I AM A VIETNAM VETERAN,RETIRED MARCH 1987, AGE 74 THIS SEPTEMBER
    2014, CAN I STILL APPLY FOR INSURANCE?

    • VA Insurance says:

      Depending on when you received your last “new” rating for a service-connected condition, you may still be eligible for Service Disabled Veterans’ Insurance. To determine if you are eligible, please visit http://benefits.va.gov/insurance/s-dvi.asp. This site not only provides detailed eligibility criteria but also provides a link to an on-line application as well as a hard copy application. Should you have further questions after reviewing this material, please call VA Insurance’s toll free number at 1-800-669-8477.

  5. VA Insurance says:

    Depending on the nature of your disabilities, you may still be able to obtain life insurance from a private insurance company. Unfortunately, VA cannot recommend any specific companies to you, but you may want to talk to a local insurance agent to discuss your specific situation.

    As you noted, both the Veterans’ Group Life Insurance Program and the Service-Disabled Veterans Program have time limits. It is not clear from your message if you missed both program deadlines or only one of the deadlines. Please visit http://www.benefits.va.gov/insurance to learn more about both program criteria or contact the VA Insurance toll-free call center at 1-800-669-8477 to determine if you may still be eligible for one or more of these programs.