Does Life Insurance Cover Suicide?

Male covering his face

The unthinkable can happen to anyone, even to you. That is why preparing for the unforeseen event will be the best gift to your family to ensure financial security when tragedy strikes. Getting life insurance will not only help your loved ones pay for the burial costs or future college fees of your children, it will also help them lessen the things to worry about after losing someone they love. But what if the cause of death is suicide? Will the benefits of life insurance cover this?

Facts About Suicide

According to American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in America. In 2019, 47,511 American died by suicide and the rate of suicide is highest in middle-aged white men. White males accounted for 69.38% of suicide deaths in 2019. In Arkansas, the suicide death rate is 17.97 per 100,000 population (rank 18th).

Given these facts, those left behind are also affected emotionally and financially because they have to deal with the loss of their loved ones. The question is, will they still receive the benefits of life insurance given that the cause of the death is suicide? 

We will explore more in this article. 

Does Life Insurance Cover Suicide?

How Suicide Clauses Work

Insurance companies indicate in the suicide clause that they will not pay the death benefit of the insured person if death happens within the first two years of the policy. This is commonly known as the exclusion period. After the 2-year exclusion period, the beneficiaries can receive the death benefit in full.

One must also remember that any changes on the policy such as adding coverage or converting a term policy to a whole-life policy, may restart the exclusion period.

How Does an Insurance Company Know If Someone Died by Suicide?

Insurance companies require a death certificate when a policyholder dies. The cause of death is stated on this document and notes if the death was self inflicted. Insurance companies may require additional documents like medical records or autopsy reports if the cause of death is not clear or questionable.

Claiming the death benefits of a policyholder may take time and cause delay if the casue of death is due to suicide as the company may conduct further investigation.

Will I be denied life insurance if I have depression?

Insurance companies assess the risks of the applicant during the underwriting process. It is best if you state all your medical history and condition to avoid complications down the road. Technically, the insurance companies will only deny you life insurance if you are already terminally ill and are considered too risky.

How does physician-assisted suicide affect life insurance payouts?

Physician-assisted suicide or “death by diginity” is legal in some states. This means that a terminally ill person can receive legal dosage of medication from physicians to end their life. The same exclusion period applies to this case. The beneficiaries can claim the death benefit payout after two years of an active insurance policy.

G&G Independent Insurance can help you find the best life insurance rates with the best coverage to protect your family. You can just give a quick call or request a quote online and get started today.

Do you know someone suffering from depression or mental health issues?

If you or someone you know is suffering from depression or any mental health issue, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or via live chat. It’s available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and provides free and confidential support. You are not alone.