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Suicide and Burial Life Insurance
How to Seek the Right Help at the Right Time
Suicide, despite being a painful decision, has become one of the raging concerns in many countries. Financial stability, health, age, relationships, etc. do not matter to a person who has decided to take his/her life.
It does not only take the life of just one person who commits it but also has its lasting consequences for the grieving family. Moreover, bearing final or memorial expenses after the loss of the loved one is one of those painful consequences.
In the US, nearly 30 thousand people commit suicide each year. It might sound bizarre, but many of these people are life insurance policyholders.
One of the concerning questions that come to mind regarding life insurance and suicide is that if the policyholder takes his/her own life, will its beneficiaries receive any monetary benefit?
To be precise, claiming insurance money is not always a simple process, particularly if the policyholder has committed suicide. People who suffered the loss of their loved one have to go through a tough time if the insurer denies their claims.
In some conditions, even if you pay your life insurance, your family may still be denied the claims or the benefits.
For instance, a life insurance policy only covers suicidal death; if it is purchased two to three years before the policyholder dies. In case the policyholder dies during this waiting period, the suicide contestability and clause of insurance policy expire.
You need to know the exceptions to make the most of your suicide and burial life insurance. That means you can only reap the benefits of both suicide and burial life insurance if you know when your insurance policy covers suicide and how can you seek the help to keep you covered.
When Does a Life Insurance Policy Cover Suicide?
Generally, a life insurance policy covers suicide after its contestability provision and suicide clause expire. Once these suicidal clauses are ineffective to a life insurance policy, which is usually two to three years after you purchase the policy, it typically covers suicidal deaths.
It is worth noting that the contestability clause is extended for the two years of the insurance policy for a reason. It allows the insurer to deny or contest the claim for many reasons.
For instance, it gives plenty of time to the insurer to investigate the cause of death if he/she believes that suicide is committed during the waiting period. In that case, the circumstances of death (suicide) are investigated, and that may result in the denial of an insurance claim to the beneficiary.
However, once this contestability period is over, the incontestability clause comes into play. It means the insurers are no longer able to contest your claim except in some serious situations that may include fraud or misrepresentation of policy application.
Keep in mind that even your minor misstatement can lead your suicide insurance claim to rejection.
In addition to that, the two-year extension of the suicide clause gives insurers enough time to investigate the truth in your claims. Your claims can be denied if it is proven that you intentionally killed yourself.
If your death is ruled a suicidal death, your policy can be easily negated, and the insurer will deny the claims of your beneficiary.
Understanding Contestability Provision for Suicide Life Insurance
While these mentioned clauses have the same implications, the contestability provision is relatively broader. It addresses various other events that can deny the insurance claims beneficiary makes during the waiting period e.g. if the policyholder dies due to an illegal act.
Life insurers include suicide clauses and contestability provisions in their policies to ensure that they are financially secure.
One of the inevitable benefits of contestability clause is void coverage in many cases, such as if policyholder provides inaccurate information in his/her insurance application.
On the flip side, the suicide clause prevents insurers from paying claims if a policyholder intended to commit suicide and purchased a policy to secure his/her beneficiary financially.
It is important to know that if you renew or change your life insurance policy with the same life insurance company, your suicide clause or contestability period goes back into effect. Consequently, you will have another two-year waiting period.
If you committed suicide during that time, the insurer would deny your claim. However, if you just convert the policy that has similar death benefits to your previous insurance policy, there will be no new contestability period.
Moreover, if you commit suicide during the contestability period and insurer validates it as a suicide, your beneficiary will not get any death benefits of the insurance policy.
However, he/she will collect the sum of insurance premiums you paid to the company.
How Does a Burial Life Insurance Policy Work?
You might not have heard that before, but suicide burial insurance policy does exist. However, each insurance policy has a suicide clause that comes with at least a one-year waiting period.
Precisely, the insurance plan makes sure that people tie up all the financial loose ends before departing from this world. Burial insurance, in this regard, is one of the life insurance policies with a variety of pre-need packages, which the insurer offers to beneficiaries.
Let’s quickly take a look at how burial life insurance works;
- Burial insurance is mostly marketed to senior citizens to have them buy a policy to protect their loved ones from bearing heavy funeral expenses after they are gone. However, it is just a type of life insurance.
- One thing that distinguishes burial insurance from other life insurance policies is that it is easier to get. Some insurance companies don’t even require your medical examination to give you burial insurance.
- It is inexpensive to help aging people leave the world in peace.
- The form of life insurance has middling benefits that beneficiaries can avail; however, it has the same premium amount that other insurance policies have and depends when you purchase it.
- Anyone (particularly people with poor health) can qualify for the burial life insurance. Remember that if you choose term insurance, you may face issues with renewing the policy when the terms end. But if you pick permanent insurance, there won’t be such problems.
- You can also set up a saving account to handle the burial cost if you’re aging or ailing with a disease and want your family with the expenses.
Furthermore, burial insurance policy works simply. When a policyholder dies, his/her beneficiary receives the insurance amount to be used as directed by the insurance policy. As mentioned earlier, it is easy to set up and less pricey as compared to other insurance policies.
That is what makes it worthy of purchasing. You can purchase burial insurance policy via telephone or online, without having to go through any physical exam. However, the policy usually targets senior citizens; insurance companies know that it is a high-risk group that tends to have a higher premium.
Plus, you might have to wait for a certain period until the policy is considered valid.
Burial Life Insurance Policy and Suicide
Since you have understood what burial insurance policy is, it is vital to understand what suicide and contestability clauses say about it. The burial life insurance offers no death benefits to the beneficiaries if the policyholder commits suicide or kills him/her self within two years of purchasing the policy.
This waiting period may extend to three to four years if the insurance company wants.
As mentioned above, during this period, the insurer investigates the claims of policyholders to accept or deny coverage of intentional death. If the insurer demonstrates it as a suicidal death or intentional death committed within the waiting period, the claims of the beneficiary will be denied.
Similarly, your information in the insurance application must be pertinent (risky behavior or mental illness) when you purchase the burial insurance policy.
Do You Need an Attorney to Seek the Help?
Know that any situation where insured’s cause of death is questionable or is a result of a suicide attempt, an insurer may claim that the contestability or suicide clause bar your recovery.
Since determining whether a policyholder committed suicide is not easy and may vary from case to case. Seeking help from a qualified attorney who specializes in life insurance cases is essential in these cases.
The competent attorney has in-depth knowledge of legal subtleties associated with life insurance policies and is better able to interpret and analyze the legal language.
Plus, consulting an attorney before you purchase an insurance policy helps you understand the requirements of the policy and ensures that your contract does have a suicide clause. It strengthens your chances to recover under your life insurance policy if it is in question.
In a nutshell, beneficiaries of any life insurance policy believe that they can easily start collecting insured money anytime after the death of the policyholders.
However, this is not the case. There are certain conditions, which if not taken into account, can exclude beneficiaries from receiving money under the insurance policy. Thus, consulting an attorney before signing and sealing any legal insurance contract is very important.