Will a life insurance policy pay out for suicidal death? Perhaps.
Whether a beneficiary can collect life insurance if the insured kills themselves will depend upon the timing of the death relative to the purchase of the life insurance policy, the policy exclusions, and whether the death was suicidal or accidental.
If your life insurance claim was denied after the suicide of the insured, give us a call. Your initial case evaluation is free of charge, and our life insurance beneficiary lawyers only take cases on a contingency basis, which means we do not get paid unless you collect your life insurance claim. Don’t take no for an answer! Let us fight for you!
Life Insurance Companies Will Try to Avoid Paying Claims on Suicide
Many people believe that if an insured commits suicide, claims for life insurance death benefits are automatically denied and cannot be contested or appealed. This is not necessarily the case.
As with many issues involving the law, “it depends.” Whether life insurance companies will pay out death benefits after the insured allegedly commits suicide depends on three things:
- how long the insured had the life insurance policy before they passed;
- the specific terms of the life insurance policy itself; and
- whether the death was accidental and only looked like suicide at first glance.
Your Claim Will Be Denied if the Suicide was within the Contestability Period
The amount of time that elapses between when the insured purchased a life insurance policy and when they passed is extremely important in determining whether their policy will be paid to their beneficiaries.
The first two years after the insured purchases the policy is called the contestability period, within which the life insurance company can deny claims for a wide range of reasons, including suicide. Life insurance companies are permitted to deny claims when the insured dies due to suicide in order to dissuade those who are considering committing suicide from purchasing a policy shortly beforehand, to provide a windfall for their beneficiary.
To determine whether your claim was properly denied due to suicide within the contestability period, you should contact our life insurance attorneys for your free case evaluation. We can help you determine whether or not you are entitled to the death benefits and we will fight the life insurance company on your behalf if you are.
A Life Insurance Exclusion May Exclude Coverage for Suicidal Death
If the insured committed suicide after the contestability period expired, a life insurance “exclusion” may exclude death by suicide from coverage under the policy, and your claim may still be denied.
Again, a suicide “exclusion” is meant to keep people from buying a policy simply to leave money to their family after a suicide. “Exclusions” are pre-stated reasons that the life insurance company will not pay a claim for benefits and are found in the text of the life insurance policy itself. A typical suicide exclusion will state that no death benefit will be paid if the insured commits suicide or if suicide is the cause of death.
This exclusion is also be called a “suicide provision,” and you should always check a life insurance policy for a suicide provision before purchasing one. A suicide provision addresses the terms and conditions of a payout as well as the exclusion due to death by suicide specifically.
What Looks Like Suicide May Have Been an Accident that is Covered by Life Insurance
If there is any possibility the insured die from suicide, the life insurance company will deny your claim for death benefits. However, many deaths that look like suicide at first glance occur accidentally.
Common accidental causes of death that can look like suicide at first include:
- Prescription drug overdose
- Illicit drug overdose
- Alcohol poisoning
- Fatal single-vehicle accident
The coroner’s report and death certificate must list the cause of death. If the cause of death is listed as something other than suicide, and your life insurance claim was denied due to suicide, call us. We can help you get paid.
If the cause of death is listed as suicide, but you have reason to believe that the insured did not intend to commit suicide, call us. We can help you get your claim paid as the insured intended.
Our Life Insurance Lawyers Fight Claim Denials Due to Suicide
If your claim for benefits was denied due to suicide, contact our life insurance lawyers. We will review the policy to let you know if the contestability period applies or if a suicide provision was the reason for your denial. It may be that the death of the insured was accidental and not suicide. If there is any way you can still secure a payout, we will find it.
If no suicide provision in the policy excludes suicide from coverage, 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 we can show that the cause of death was, in fact, accidental and not suicide, the life insurance company may pay.
Our life insurance lawyers can help you get the payout you deserve, and we do not collect any fees unless and until we do. Call us for your free case evaluation, and let us fight for you!