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Armed Forces: Insurance Scheme

Volume 691: debated on Tuesday 8 May 2007

My right honourable friend the Minister of State for the Armed Forces (Adam Ingram) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Today, I am announcing that the MoD, in association with Sterling Life, has launched a new voluntary life insurance scheme, Service Life Insurance (SLI). In the run-up to Operation TELIC, life insurance companies reacted to what they saw as the increased risk to service personnel by closing schemes to new applicants, increasing premiums or excluding benefits for chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons. The department has been actively pursuing an enduring solution.

The MoD selected Sterling Life through an EU-wide competitive tender process to provide appropriate life insurance for which applications will be accepted from today. SLI guarantees worldwide war and terrorism life cover to all service personnel, by means of a unique partnering agreement between the MoD and Sterling Life. The SLI scheme is designed to be self-funding and the department has accepted a potential liability, which received parliamentary approval in May 2005, for excessive operational deaths.

The SLI scheme complements the excellent death-in-service arrangements already available to service personnel and offers an attractive addition for long-term life insurance requirements for members of our Armed Forces.

SLI premiums are extremely competitive, particularly for those individuals whose military trade usually results in an additional premium being applied. SLI has no extra premiums for any military trade, even such as being a member of a bomb disposal or Special Forces unit. It will accept all regulars and reservists—even if they are on operations or under orders to deploy. Applicants will be accepted without any medical underwriting and SLI will cover all service-recognised hazardous sports. Premium rates are guaranteed not to increase for the life of the policy. These are significant new SLI benefits from Sterling Life.

I am delighted to announce the launch today of this Service Life Insurance scheme, which provides a ground-breaking new choice for all regulars and reservists. I am confident that through our agreement with Sterling Life we have today provided a world-class solution to a worldwide problem. I will arrange for copies of the SLI brochure, which gives further details of the scheme, to be placed in the Library of the House.