Thursday, June 16, 2022

Does Life Insurance Pay For Suicidal Death In California

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Exceptions For Suicidal Death

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Suicide is never an easy decision to make. But suicide wont always prevent a life insurance payment. If, for example, your loved one held a life insurance policy for many years before succumbing to a terminal illness and evidence suggests that the disease caused their suicide, the insurance company may accept your claim request without much push back.

Does Life Insurance Cover Death By Suicide Quick Reference

  • A death certificate stating the cause of death.
  • Your loved ones doctors statement.
  • Autopsy report.

Accidental death comes on quickly and unexpectedly, and it is frequently unintended. Although the victim may be of any age, many deaths are unintentional.

Because many wrongful suicides are intended to appear accidental, insurance companies frequently request more information before paying out a claim.

If you are a life insurance beneficiary and your loved one was killed in an automobile accident, you must provide the necessary papers and a police report. Almost all police departments offer these reports for a minimal administrative fee.

If the cause of death was not recorded in a police report, such as a fall from a ladder or slip and fall in the restroom, the medical examiners conclusion that the death was unintentional is usually enough to satisfy standards.

When Can Life Insurance Companies Not Pay Out

Apart from suicide, life insurance companies can refuse to pay for other factors during the contestability period.

Similar to the suicide clause, the contestability period is a set periodusually two yearsduring which time the insurance company can contest your claim as a way of denying the death benefit.

An insurance company may contest your claim if they believe theyve been deceived. That deception may include:

  • Fraudulent statements when applying for insurance
  • Failing to disclose necessary information when applying for insurance

A deception-based denial can also include cases of accidental suicide as the result of drug or alcohol use if the insured failed to disclose a history of substance abuse or the use of prescription medications when they applied for the policy.

However, after the two-year period, the incontestability clause kicks in, and the company can no longer contest the claim as a way to deny paymentthe insurer must pay the death benefit.

Beyond the contestability period, insurance companies may not issue payment for other reasons, including:

  • The life insurance company cannot contact the policys beneficiary
  • Beneficiaries are unaware that they are entitled to a life insurance payment
  • The insurer has no knowledge of the policy holders death

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Life Insurance Payouts For Suicide

Updated: by Financial Samurai

Does life insurance cover suicide? Life insurance payouts for suicide are possible, but there can be exceptions. Lets discuss how life insurance companies treat suicide when processing claims for policyholders who take their own lives.

Suicide is a sad and very real issue. Depression is the leading cause of suicide. Someone takes their own life in the US about every twelve minutes. Those suffering from depression should always disclose their condition when applying for life insurance.

Otherwise, the life insurance provider could deny life insurance payouts for beneficiaries when the policyholders pass.

Should You File A Claim As A Life Insurance Beneficiary

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If you believe you are the beneficiary of a life insurance policy and the insured has passed away, or if you have questions about how to file a claim with American General Life we are here to help. Contact us at 1-800-888-2452.

If you are interested in finding out more about life insurance policy options, please visit our for a free, no-wait quote.

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If youre the insured on a life insurance policy and die within the first two years of the issue date, the insurance company may have the right to contest or even deny your claim.

Not to worry

Most of the time, what this means is theyll investigate to find out if you made any misrepresentations on your policy application.

In other words, did you lie?

If the misrepresentation is material, meaning that had they known about it at the time of underwriting, they may not have offered you insurance, then in some cases, they can deny the claim.

  • Beware of a NEW Two Year Contestability Period
  • S To Determine How Much Life Insurance You Need:

  • Determine how much life insurance you need based on the factors mentioned above.
  • Choose the type of life insurance policy that meets your coverage goals and current family budget. Fitting these two factors together will move you toward a successful overall financial plan.
  • Once you have completed these steps, you will be able to move ahead and contact several life insurance companies to shop for the right type of policy for you.

    There are many reasons for purchasing life insurance, among which are the following:

    • Insurance to provide financial protection and security for surviving family members upon the death of the insured person.
    • Insurance to cover a particular need such as paying off a mortgage or other debt upon the insured’s death.
    • Business insurance to compensate a company on the death of a key employee or to provide a surviving partner the resources to buy out the deceased partner’s share of the business.
    • Insurance to provide funds to pay estate taxes or other final obligations necessary to settle a deceased person’s estate.
    • Insurance to provide the funds necessary for the deceased person’s burial expenses.

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    Who Needs Life Insurance

    Life insurance is designed to help financially support your spouse, kids, or other dependents after you die. If you have family members who are dependent on you financially, you may need a life insurance policy.If you are married with children, your life insurance benefits can help to cover the cost of childcare and tuition, along with your mortgage and other bills. Your life insurance payout can also allow your spouse or other beneficiary to spend more time helping your children cope with the loss of a parent, without worrying about finances right away. If youre married with no children, your life insurance benefits can help your spouse or dependent maintain the same standard of living and continue paying the mortgage and other bills. It can also help pay your personal debts.Even if youre single, life insurance may still be a good idea, especially if you support your parents or want to ease the burden of covering your funeral expenses.

    How Individual Life Insurance Handles Suicide

    Term life insurance and death probability | Finance & Capital Markets | Khan Academy

    If the insured person commits suicide following the two-year period of the suicide clause, the insurance company will almost always pay the claim to the beneficiary.

    That means, in the majority of cases, yes, life insurance covers suicide. Even if the company denies the claim, you may still receive all or a portion of the premiums that were paid.

    You also have to option to contest a denial. Your options in that regard depend on the state the suicide occurred in. A lawyer familiar with insurance law is recommended in this case.


    • Vermont
    • Washington

    Most death-with-dignity laws state that patients choosing physician-assisted death are not engaging in suicide but facilitating their eventual death through legal drugs as recognized by the state.

    Their legal cause of death is their terminal illness. Its important to recognize this difference, as it allows patients to qualify for life insurance benefits. If the patient is not legally committing suicide, the insurance company cannot apply the suicide clause. Therefore, the life insurance company must follow through with the death benefit.However, that stipulation only holds if the individual falls terminally ill after purchasing the insurance.

    If a patient is already terminally ill and seeking to purchase insurance for the first time, the insurer may request a medical exam and potentially deny them coverage on the basis of a pre-existing condition.

    It’s essential to have a copy of the life insurance policy.

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    Many Policies Have A Suicide Clause That Limits The Payment Of Benefits

      Eric is currently a duly licensed Independent Insurance Broker licensed in Life, Health, Property, and Casualty insurance. He has worked more than 13 years in both public and private accounting jobs and more than four years licensed as an insurance producer. His background in tax accounting has served as a solid base supporting his current book of business.

      Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. Though life insurance can provide coverage in the case of suicide, many policies have special provisions that limit the payment of benefits.

      Attempt On Life Of The Insured

      If the beneficiary tries to kill the insured to get insurance payments more quickly, the insurer can refuse to pay. In these cases, the insurer will have to prove to a court what really happened.

      If the person who took out the insurance makes an attempt on the insureds life, the contract is cancelled automatically.

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      What Is The Suicide Clause

      Insurance providers will ask if you ever had mental illness or triggered mental health benefits, Mark Williams, CEO of Brokers International, told Insider.

      Williams said that providers may ask whether you’ve used antidepressants, been in therapy, been hospitalized, and whether that was voluntary or involuntary hospitalization. The answers to these questions will determine how the suicide clause is structured it could be designated for a longer term or whether your premium increases.

      Not all pre-existing conditions will make you ineligible for life insurance. However, failing to disclose certain conditions during the underwriting process can invalidate your coverage later on, and allow the insurance company to refuse to pay the death benefit.

      Does Life Insurance Cover Physician

      Does Life Insurance Pay Out in the Event of Suicide?

      Doctor-assisted suicide, also called âdeath with dignityâ or âright-to-die,â refers to a situation in which someone chooses to end their life rather than experience a diminished quality of life after a terminal illness diagnosis.

      Death with dignity, similar to other deaths by suicide, isnât covered by most insurers within the first two years of a life insurance policy.

      In some states that have death with dignity laws, life insurers may pay out a death benefit even during the suicide clause period. Currently, nine states and the District of Columbia have death with dignity laws:

      • California

      • Vermont

      • Washington

      The particulars will vary based on your circumstances and location, so talk to your physician and a lawyer who specializes in end-of-life planning if you have questions.

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      What Types Of Death Are Not Typically Covered By Insurance

      Natural deaths are not necessarily covered by insurance, and their causes are sometimes referred to as unnatural deaths. The specific circumstances of the case generally determine the amount of money that will be given.

      Most insurance companies demand police reports before they will payout on a life insurance policy if a persons death is declared a homicide.

      Most life insurance firms are more conservative in their evaluation of suicide claims than other types of losses. If the death is deemed a homicide, whether or not the policy pays out is determined by the terms of the coverage, how long the plan has been in force, and whether an insurance company reasonably suspects fraud or other misconduct when the coverage was purchased.

      Its possible that a person who was previously thinking of suicide took out a large policy and waited until the expiration date to take their own life.

      If evidence of this type appears during the claim process, your insurance company may refuse payment and eventually offer only a limited settlement to avoid litigation.

      You could be forced to hire a lawyer to represent you in this case.

      Life Insurance Suicide Clauses

      Mental health is so important to our everyday well being. Unfortunately, many people struggle with mental health issues like depression. Some people suffer in silence for years and take their own lives suddenly and unexpectedly. This is devastating for families.

      When policyholders commit suicide, life insurance companies can deny payment to beneficiaries. However, the good news is most life insurance policies will payout for suicidal deaths. The key determining factor is that death from suicide cant occur within the first two years a policy is opened.

      A two-year life insurance suicide clause is pretty common in most life insurance policies. There is also a two-year period following the date a life insurance policy is created known as the contestability period. Note, the contestability period and a life insurance clause arent the exact same thing. Ill explain further down below.

      The reason life insurance suicide clauses and contestability periods exist is to avoid fraud. For example, providers utilize a suicide clause to avoid policyholders purchasing life insurance for the sole purpose of taking their own life in order to give their family a death benefit payout.

      Unless a life insurance policy has an additional provision or exclusion, you can rest assured that you can get a life insurance payout if your loved one committed suicide two years or more from the date the policy was opened.

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      Choosing The Appropriate Type Of Life Insurance

      There are two basic types of life insurance: Term Life Insurance and Cash Value Life Insurance. There are many policy variations between these two types of life insurance. Term Policies provide life insurance for a specified period of time. This period could be as short as one year or provide coverage for a specific number of years such as 5, 10, 20 years or to a specified age.

      If you die during the term period, the company will pay the face value to your beneficiary.

      If you live beyond the term period you had selected, no benefit is payable. As a rule, term policies offer a death benefit with no savings element or cash value. If you have a limited amount to spend, and only need insurance for a specified period of time, you may be able to get more coverage by buying term insurance than by buying cash value insurance. Keep in mind that the cost of term insurance increases as you get older, which may make it more expensive than cash value insurance in the long run. Todays term policies usually have two sets of premiums: guaranteed maximum premiums and current premiums. Current premiums are usually much lower, but they can be changed by the insurance company. The insurance company cannot increase the current premium above the guaranteed maximum premiums shown in the policy.

      Some of the most popular types of cash value insurance are described below:

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      Various type of Life Insurance policies

      Type of Policy
      Yes ability to choose investmentsYes

      Group Insurance

      Considering Life Insurance Options

      Why a life insurance claim may be denied

      Death is one of lifes only certainties. Planning well ahead can help secure the financial support that family members will need.

      SoFi® has teamed up with Ladder, where getting a quote online for life insurance takes a mere couple of minutes. As life changes, you can adjust your coverage with the click of a button.

      Find out how to tailor a life insurance policy for your needs.


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      What Is A Life Insurance Suicide Clause

      In life insurance suicide clauses, the insurance company will not pay a death benefit for a certain amount of timeusually two yearsafter the policy is purchased.

      Life insurance companies enforce this clause to prevent the insured person from getting a policy and shortly afterward committing suicide to get a payout for their loved ones.

      How Suicide Clauses Work

      Insurance companies want to prevent people from having a financial incentive to take their own lives. Thats why many life insurance policies have a suicide clause, also known as a suicide provision.

      As defined in their suicide clause, insurance companies will typically not pay a death benefit if the covered person dies by suicide within the first two years of coveragecommonly known as the exclusion period. When the exclusion period ends, the policy’s beneficiaries can receive a death benefit if the covered person dies by suicide after that date.

      In Colorado, Missouri, and North Dakota, the exclusion period is shorter after the policy has been in force for one year, the beneficiaries are entitled to the death benefit if the covered person dies by suicide.

      Any changes to a policysuch as adding coverage or converting a term policy into a whole life policycan reset the clock, and the exclusion period will start over.

      Suicide provisions can also vary according to the type of coverage you have:

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      Introduction To Life Insurance And Annuities

      If you are planning to purchase a life insurance policy or an annuity contract, you should first consider your needs and understand the different type of insurance products that are available. Many more consumers are using life and annuity products as part of their financial planning goals. Consumers spend substantial sums of money each year on life insurance policies or annuity contracts knowing very little about what it is that they are getting. This guide was developed to help consumers make educated decisions and to help them understand both the benefits and the risks involved in financial planning.

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