1. Larry GilmorePRO
    Agent Owner, Gilmore Insurance Services, Marysville, Washington State
    After the contestability clause in the policy ends the answer is "yes" an insurance company will pay a claim even if suicide was involved. Some states reduce the contestability period down from two years to one. The contestability clause or contestability period is the period of time an insurance carrier can call into question any answer provided in an application by the insured, The insurance carrier can also create temporary exclusions to be in effect during that period of time.

    If false information is found during this period, a policy can be resended, premiums returned, claim or not. Same for an stated act declared in the policy. Always a good idea to review exclusions page of any insurance policy. After that period has ended, the insurance company cannot contest something like a suicide.
    Answered on March 9, 2013
  2. J Scott BurkePRO
    President, Newbury Inc., Evansville, Indiana
    In addition to the other information, it's important to know that if the policy was replacing other coverage when it was issued, some states do not allow a new contestability period beyond what the replaced policy had.

    Kentucky for example would not allow a company to not pay a claim if someone committed sucide a week after buying the policy IF it replaced an existing policy that had been in force for over two years. The new policy is non-contestable from the first day up to the face amount of the old policy. It's very important in Kentucky to make sure you receive a copy of the replacement form and keep it with your new policy.

    Most states do not have this added protection but if your does, it can make a huge difference with your insurance claim.
    Answered on April 4, 2013
  3. Steve SavantPRO
    Syndicated Financial Columnist, Host of the weekly talk show Steve Savant's Money, the Name of the Game, Scottsdale Arizona
    Life insurance does not pay a death claim for suicide during the contestability period. That period begins on the issue date of an in force policy to it's second year anniversary date. After two years, the death claim would be paid. Keep in mind that fraud is an additional issue that may be incorporate into a claim dispute.
    Answered on September 13, 2013
  4. Peggy MacePRO
    COO and Senior Agent, Outlook Life, All 50 States
    Life insurance will pay for suicide if the suicide occurs after the first two years of most policies. If someone is purchasing the policy with the desperate idea of paying off debts or providing for someone else through their death, that two year waiting period will usually discourage that, or give them some time to find other rational solutions.
    Answered on November 6, 2013
  5. Mark TaylorPRO
    Licensed Life Agent, Life and Finance/ 50 States, New York
    Life insurance will pay out to beneficiaries if the suicide is after two years after the start of the premiun. Studies have showed that many people do not commit suicide withint two years of the policy start. So there is n burden on the reserves. Some states may be different however in New York this will apply. All information must be valid and truthful.
    Answered on November 14, 2013
  6. Steve Kobrin
    President, The Firm of Steven H. Kobrin, LUTCF, 6-05 Saddle River Rd #103, Fair Lawn, NJ 07410
    This is an extremely sensitive topic. The death of a spouse can be life-shattering. A suicide can make it almost unbearable. Not too long ago a friend and client committed suicide. She had been going through a tough spell emotionally, and then almost out of the blue took her own life. Left behind a loving husband and three young boys. Very, very sad.

    I expedited the claim, as is my usual practice. This job is usually tough, and the fact that her family and mine are friendly made it really hard. My friend, her surviving husband, was so upset he couldn't even complete the claim form. I did it for him.

    The insurance carrier paid the claim as the policy was over two years old. That is standard practice. Will they never pay before then? I can say that I know of a case with a very high-profile insured who apparently committed suicide just a year after his policies were issued (he had several - lots of coverage). The carriers, of course, initially refused to pay. The insured's lawyers eventually convinced them to do so: why would they want the bad publicity of not paying a claim? 

    Will they always pay after two years? My own feeling is yes, generally, but suspicious circumstances may interfere. If the carrier has reason to believe that this tragic event had been planned to take place right after the two-year anniversary…..

    Sometimes life is like a mystery novel.
    Answered on March 25, 2014
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