Does life insurance cover suicide?

Suicide will always be a contentious issue in life insurance. Learn more about whether life insurance covers suicide, and what circumstances can affect this.

Does life insurance cover suicide?

Does life insurance cover suicide? 1920 1280 DeadHappy

Suicide, like death, can be one of the most painful and uncomfortable topics to think about, let alone discuss. It’s a tragedy that affects many people’s lives and one that society is slowly learning to talk about.

When it comes to life insurance, to call suicide a ‘thorny subject’ is a bit of an understatement. A cash payout will only go so far in softening such a blow for friends and loved ones. However, the security of a payout can make things a little more bearable.

That being said, death by suicide has traditionally been grounds for insurance providers to deny a claim.

Does suicide void life insurance?

It is a common myth that no life insurance providers will payout in the event of suicide. However, many policies (DeadHappy included) have a specific suicide clause.

This means we will not payout in the event of suicide if it occurs in the first twelve months of a policy. This is mainly because there’s a chance that some people planning on taking their own lives may take out a life policy with a large payout beforehand.

While we cannot condone this action, we understand why people might resort to it – everyone wants to help out their loved ones when they die. It’s awful that people may turn to this in desperation, but unfortunately life insurance providers need to ensure they’re covering themselves too. The length of a suicide clause can vary, but it’s usually a maximum of two years.

While some policies may not have a distinct suicide clause, most will certainly have a contestability clause. This clause means there’s a certain length of time in which insurers can investigate the circumstances of a person’s death. If you die under dubious circumstances whilst the clause is in effect, the insurer could suspect suicide and not pay out.

There are just a few more facts to know about the contestability clause. Firstly, it resets if you switch to a new policy. So hang in there if you’ve changed policies. Secondly, while your beneficiaries may not receive that big payout, they may end up getting back the total amount of premiums paid. Breaking even may not be a silver lining, but it’s something.

Non-disclosure in life insurance

If you enquire about a life insurance policy, you’ll probably hear the term ‘non-disclosure’ being bandied about. It’s a fancy word for keeping schtum about something you shouldn’t.

You might be asking yourself, so what should I disclose? If you’ve attempted suicide or had suicidal thoughts, you’d probably want to let an insurer know. It becomes a bit more of a grey area, however, when we start talking about mental health issues. Mental health problems fall on a wide spectrum, with an estimated 1 in 4 adults experiencing mental health issues over the last year.

In spite of this, some life insurance providers can be frustratingly rigid. They’ll ask whether you’ve had mental health issues, to determine if you’re a ‘high risk’ candidate. However, boiling it down to a simple ‘yes or no’ answer is a bit simplistic.

After all, there’s quite a contrast between a case of the blues and a long-standing mental health condition. We believe people shouldn’t have to lie to get decent insurance cover, especially if they have had mental health issues.

Can you still get life insurance if you’ve attemted suicide?

Oof – now this is a tough one. We mentioned risk a bit earlier in this article, and the thing about life insurance is that it’s a game of risk. Unfortunately, if you’ve attempted suicide you’ll most definitely be considered high risk.

There’s a chance that if accepted, you could be payinga lot more for your life insurance policy. This doesn’t mean, however, that insurers should ignore all the circumstances that can culminate in a suicide attempt. You’ll likely be asked a range of questions. When did the suicide attempt take place? What kind of life events preceded the suicide attempt? Were you on any medication that may have exacerbated any suicidal tendencies? These questions are of course probing and uncomfortable. However, an insurer needs to try to understand your unique circumstances, so they can help you covered.

At DeadHappy, we want to make sure everyone gets a fair chance at getting life insurance. Our twelve-month suicide clause is subject to regular reviews. This means we can accept many mental health issues with no need for further info. We don’t believe in arbitrary criteria – so our life insurance remains flexible, affordable, and accessible. Sound good to you? Of course it does. Find out more about our life insurance here.

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