If you have clients who may be called into military service, it's a good idea to evaluate their life insurance options at least six months before active duty begins.

The reason: The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), a federal law, protects any type of life insurance coverage (except group term) initiated not less than 180 days before the start of active duty.

During active service, members of the military automatically are insured by the Servicemember's Group Life Insurance (SGLI) for $400,000. Upon termination of service, SCRA requires any pre-service coverage, up to the same face amount, to be reinstated upon written application, for the same face value and premium.

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