Life Insurance Claims After Suicide
Hopefully you do not ever have to go through such an ordeal, but if you ever experience a loved one committing suicide, many things will be running through your mind. Life insurance is probably not one of them.
In such scenarios, however, any family members left behind should consult the insurance company. If the life insurance company denies your claim for death benefits on grounds of suicide, do not rely on the life insurance company to let you know if they have denied you incorrectly.
If your loved one committed suicide, even accidentally, and you have questions regarding payment on their life insurance or accidental death and dismemberment policy, contact the Boonswang Law Firm and we will walk you through the process.
Insurers Will Try to Avoid Paying Suicide Claims
While many people believe that if a policyholder commits suicide, their insurance policy will not be paid to their beneficiaries, this is not always the case.
As with many things involving the law, “it depends.” Whether life insurance companies will pay out death benefits after your loved one commits suicide depends on two (2) things: how long they had this particular life insurance policy before they passed, and what are the specific terms of the insurance policy itself.
Suicide Within 2 Years Of Opening A Policy Can Be Contested
The amount of time that elapses between when your loved one purchased a life insurance policy and when they passed is extremely important in determining whether their policy will be paid to their beneficiaries. This is because most life insurance companies have a two-year contestability period wherein if the policyholder dies during the first two (2) years of having the policy, their death becomes “contestable.”
A contestability period almost always lasts for two (2) years and allows the insurance company to contest and deny a claim for benefits for several reasons, one important one being suicide.
Even if your loved one had a life insurance for over twenty (20) years and then switched to a new life insurance company within two (2) years of their death, the insurance company will contest any death benefits claims because your loved one’s contestability period reset when they changed companies or purchased a new policy.
As a general rule, if a life insurance policy is purchased within two (2) years before a suicide, the death benefit will probably not be paid.
To see whether you and your loved are bound by this general rule, you should contact the Boonswang Law Firm. We can help you determine whether you are entitled to a death benefit if your loved one committed suicide within two (2) years of obtaining their life insurance policy.
Insurance Policies Terms Discourage Suicide
While it is possible to deny a beneficiary death benefits if their loved one committed suicide within two (2) years of purchasing their life insurance policy, insurers will also look for other ways to avoid paying beneficiaries after the insured committed suicide.
The policy provisions, or terms, are meant to keep people from buying a policy simply to leave money to their family after a suicide.
To deter people from buying life insurance before a planned suicide, insurance companies include provisions known as exclusions, or reasons that they will not pay a claim for benefits, which are found in the actual life insurance policy itself.
These provisions are often called suicide provisions, and you should always check your life insurance policy for a suicide provision before purchasing one. The suicide provision addresses the terms and conditions of a payout, as well as the exclusion due to suicide specifically.
If your policy contains a suicide provision, then a claim may be denied pursuant to its conditions, and it usually states that no death benefit will be paid if the insured commits suicide or if suicide is the cause of death.
An Insurance Lawyer Can Help Contest Denied Claims
If you have already been denied the benefits of your loved one’s policy, the Boonswang Law Firm can review your policy to let you know if a suicide provision was the reason for your denial, and if there are any ways you can still secure a payout.
If there is no suicide provision in the policy that specifically excludes suicide and the death occurs after the two-year contestability period, then the life insurance company may pay the benefit even if the cause of death is suicide.
If your claim is denied, you may feel as though you are beginning a long, hard road to payment. If you feel wronged by the insurance company and/or feel that it mistakenly denied your claim, you may not know how to take appropriate action or even have the funds to do so.
At Boonswang Law Firm, we can help you get the payout you deserve, and we do not collect any fees unless and until we do. The loss of a loved one is always such a trying time, and the loss of a loved to suicide can be even more difficult. Just remember, review the life insurance policy, and even before making a claim for death benefits, contact the Boonswang Law Firm.