Suicide And Life Insurance – Will Insurance Pay Out?

Written by Jack Davis

Many questions linger around suicide and life insurance. One we hear the most is, “Does life insurance cover suicide?”

Whether it’s suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, or you’re the beneficiary of someone who committed suicide, let’s hope we can provide you with clarity on this sensitive subject.

In short, if you have signs of suicide in your history, qualifying for life insurance can still be possible, however, it will be difficult.

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It’s a not the easiest of subjects to discuss, but there are a fair amount of people who have legitimate concerns about the long-term financial repercussions of a family not being able to obtain a policy strictly due to a history of suicide.

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When applying for life insurance coverage, the company examines many factors before they make a decision on your application for coverage. They will look at everything from age to hobbies that you are interested in, to your family’s health history. As a part of the application process, you’ll also be required to give them access to your medical records and driving records. All these factors are going to play a huge role for the underwriter regarding approval of your life insurance application as well as how much you’ll pay for that life insurance protection.

There are a lot of factors that could make you a “high-risk” applicant, which means that you will pay much more for your policy — or they could decline your application outright. One common factor that causes applications to fall into the high-risk category – or a flat decline — is any history of suicide attempts or suicidal tendencies.

does life insurance pay out after suicide

Purchasing life insurance is the best way to ensure that your family members will have the tax-free cash that they need in the event of your untimely passing. We know that finding the perfect life insurance policy can be a long and difficult process, but we are here to help you make it less stressful.

Suicide and Life Insurance

In this article, we’ll be discussing suicide and life insurance from a couple different angles. The first is suicidal thoughts being listed on your medical history, the second being suicidal attempts, and the final point will be talking about how suicide can affect the payout of a life insurance policy. Remember, there are many factors in play in each scenario, so each decision made by an insurance carrier in regard to suicide are often made on a case-by-case basis.

Distinguishing the difference between suicidal thoughts and suicidal attempts makes a very big difference from the underwriting perspective.

Suicidal Thoughts and Life Insurance

Depending on your history, there is a bit of a grey line regarding suicidal thoughts and life insurance. Depending on your records, your application may be categorized as a history of depression. This may definitely affect your rates; most certainly will result in a higher premium.

The most important factors the underwriter will focus on is your medications usage, both current and past.  Any issues with bipolar or mood swings can take a negative toll on your rating, and other medical concerns can also increase your premiums.

The time frame in which you apply is also key. If you’ve had suicidal thoughts in the last year, there’s a good chance most or all carriers will postpone (decline) your application.  After a year or two passes, you will likely be qualified for no better than a Standard rate class. Your approval is subject to prescriptions, psychiatric evaluations and follow-up, and consideration of all mental impairments. For each year thereafter, you could begin to see better rates if you can show a detailed history of improvement or stabilization.

Suicidal Attempts and Life Insurance

suicidal attempts and life insuranceIf there has been an attempt at suicide in the past, life insurance may still be obtained, but it will be much more difficult to obtain than where suicidal thoughts without an attempt is present. You will also probably be rated with higher premiums quoted.  The same time frame for postponement applies to suicidal attempts as it does with suicidal thoughts, but multiple attempts will most certainly be a flat decline without regard to time frame.

If the suicide attempt was greater than a year ago with no recent thoughts of suicide and life insurance is applied for, your underwriting will pertain to all mental disorders including (but not limited to) depression, bipolar and other psychiatric impairments. There will need to be clear notes from a psychiatrist/psychologist stating it was likely a one-time incident. The catalyst, if from one event and not a chronic issue, will be taken into consideration as well.  Your rates will be higher than a standard premium if approved at all. Many companies may still offer coverage for life insurance after a suicide attempt, but not all.

Life Insurance Payouts After Suicide

If you’ve heard of the contestable clause before, you may already know some of what needs to be said here. This clause allows an insurance company to investigate a possible cause of death within a pre-determined time frame, usually two years after the policy was issued. If the cause of death is determined to be suicide, the insurance company reserves the right to decline payment of the death benefit. In this case, the paid premiums may or may not be returned to the payor. It is always recommended to be completely forthright when completing your application to avoid complications down the road.

With a history of suicide and life insurance companies understanding the risks involved, don’t be surprised if you are declined or receive a very stringent offer from a few select companies. If you are in need of affordable high-risk life insurance and have questions, we can certainly answer questions and help you to obtain the coverage you deserve.

Getting the Best Life Insurance Plan

If you have any type of suicide on your record, you may think that it’s impossible to get an affordable life insurance plan.

There are several things to do to improve your chances of getting approved for coverage and get better rates. A few simple lifestyle changes can make a huge difference!

First, start a healthy diet and get regular exercise. These lifestyle changes will help you decrease your risk of having severe health complications along with lowering your blood pressure and losing those extra pounds. All these changes are going to get you enhanced results from your medical exam. You can still enjoy the foods you love but making some simple diet changes could save you hundreds on your insurance. Maybe you’re concerned because you’re overweight and need life insurance; we can help.

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Next, eliminate tobacco use. If you’re a smoker, you can expect to pay much more for coverage. If you want to get the most affordable plan, it’s time to kick your tobacco usage entirely. No matter if you need $100,000 or a million dollar insurance policy, we can answer your questions and help you get the coverage you deserve.

Life insurance is a great safety net that you can purchase. If something happens to you, your loved ones are left responsible for making sure that all of your debts are paid and to pay for your final expenses. This will make an already hard time in life, much harder.

If you’d like to know more about suicide and life insurance, give us a call or contact us today through the website or email. We are happy to listen to you and determine if coverage is possible.

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About Jack D. Davis
About Jack D. Davis

Jack has been an independent life insurance agent since 1985 with a focus on helping families and small business owners.  Jack’s calm approach is very much appreciated by his clients when explaining what type of policy is needed for their unique situation.

You can reach Jack at 800.277.3098 or email: Info@JackDDavis.com

Learn more about Jack D. Davis

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