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Thursday 09th of July 2009
May 10, 2007

New life insurance available to UK military personnel


by Elaine Frei
New life insurance available to UK military personnel

Members of the armed forces in the UK have had a difficult time securing life insurance. If they have been able to get it at all, the premiums were high and exclusions were many and huge. The companies providing insurance have been hesitant to write policies for service personnel, worried about the cost to them if a major war caused numerous casualties.

Now, however, Sterling Life will offer service personnel a new product, Service Life Insurance (SLI). The coverage will be offered without consideration of how likely the individual covered is to be involved in combat, and those more likely to find themselves in combat will not have to pay higher premiums, although smokers will pay a higher premium than non-smokers. Premiums will begin at £5 per month and maximum life cover available is £200,000. Coverage is guaranteed for up to 25 years. Major losses will be underwritten by the government.

SLI will be made available immediately to regular and reservist personnel and will be offered to service members currently on active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the first year of availability, estimates are that between 10,000 and 15,000 members of the armed services. Before SLI was introduced, the families of service personnel killed on duty had to rely on the Ministry of Defense’s compensation. That compensation has come under fire recently as being too low and too difficult to obtain, although the government increased the amount of the payout to families of those killed on duty in 2005.

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