The Insurance Act of 1951 established a program to meet the insurance needs of Korean War service personnel and veterans. During this period, all service members on active duty were covered by $10,000 of free insurance under a program known as Servicemen's Indemnity.
They remained covered under Servicemen's Indemnity for 120 days after their discharge. Newly discharged veterans could then apply for Veterans Special Life Insurance (VSLI) which was renewable term insurance. The VSLI program was closed to new issues at the end of 1956. Effective January 1, 1959, VSLI term policies could be converted to permanent plans of insurance or exchanged for a limited convertible term policy. Today there are 181,000 policies still in force and the average age of policyholders is 75 years. Annual dividends are paid on these policies. The maximum face amount of a policy is $10,000. However, this limit does not include paid-up additiional insurance which can be purchased with the annual dividends. Certain disability benefits are available under these policies for policyholders who become totally disabled before their 65th birthday.
Veterans Crisis Line:
1-800-273-8255 (Press 1)
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs | 810 Vermont Avenue, NW Washington DC 20420
Last updated October 22, 2013