Posted 10 Sep 2020

Does life insurance pay out for suicide?

Most people would not usually think to find out whether their life insurance policy pays out for suicide. The fact is that almost all standard life insurance policies will pay out for claims form suicide after an initial qualifying period.

Here we look at what the rules are around claims for suicide from a life insurance policy in the UK. Even though this is an incredibly difficult subject to discuss for most, unfortunately it is a valid question.

We’ll consider which insurers will pay out for suicidal death and what the clauses are.

What is a suicidal death clause and how does it work?

The majority of life insurance policies in the UK will be written with a suicidal death clause. This clause sets out the terms and conditions for payment of a claim from suicide and how the cover would apply to your policy.

What does a suicidal death clause do?

A suicidal death clause typically relates to a time period from the start date of the policy (inception). This time period is where a claim would not be paid in the event of suicidal death.

How long would I not be covered for under a suicidal death clause?

The majority of suicidal death clauses will last for a period of 12 months from the start date of a policy currently, however some are 24 months. This time period is subject to change and may vary from one insurer to another.

Will my life cover pay out for suicidal death after the exclusion period?

The short answer is, yes. After the initial exclusion period of 12 or 24 months, you’ll be fully covered under most life insurance policies in the UK. If a claim is raised for suicide then the insurer may ask for medical evidence or a hospital report.

The main reason for a claim being declined is ‘non-disclosure’ so make sure that you tell your insurer everything about your health when you apply. You may be asked some quite personal and difficult questions, this isn’t unusual and just be as honest as you can.

What are the main life insurance providers in the UK that cover suicide?

Below is a table of the Top 10 insurers that pay out for suicide and the terms of the suicide clause:

Insurance provider Suicide cover Initial period for when suicide is not covered
Aegon Yes 12 months from the policy start date
AIG Yes 24 months from the policy start date
Aviva Yes 12 months from the policy start date
Beagle Street Yes 12 months from the policy start date
Legal & General Yes 12 months from the policy start date
LV= Yes 12 months from the policy start date
Royal London Yes 12 months from the policy start date
Scottish Widows Yes 12 months from the policy start date
Vitality Yes 12 months from the policy start date
Zurich Yes 12 months from the policy start date

 

Can I get life insurance if I suffer with a mental disorder?

Life insurance applications have changed dramatically over the past several years for mental health. Modern versions of the life insurance application form will ask a set of standard questions about mental health, suicide and/or self-harm.

This is mainly due to the number of claims that have been paid in recent years due to suicide, and the prevalence of mental health.

You might be asked a number of questions about your mental health and to provide information about any personal issues. We appreciate that this can be incredibly difficult for people to answer in some situations but it’s important to let your insurer know about it.

What questions will I be asked about my mental health?

When you speak to one of our advisers, you’ll be asked questions about mental health, self-harm and suicide.

Some of the questions might be:

  • Have you ever harmed yourself or thought about harming yourself
  • What type of mental disorder you suffer from
  • Have you ever been referred to a specialist or admitted to hospital
  • What type of medication / treatment do you receive
  • When were you diagnosed with the mental disorder

Is it possible to get life insurance if I’ve attempted suicide or harmed myself?

It may be possible in a lot of cases to get life cover if you’ve previously attempted suicide or self-harmed. There are some insurers who are more sympathetic than others to people who’ve had previous more severe problems connected to mental health.

There are a number of potential things to consider if you’ve had severe mental health symptoms or issues. It’s often better to speak to an expert like iam|INSURED, who can guide you better because:

  • Advisers who understand your needs and circumstances
  • Able to find the fairest price and the best cover
  • Be sympathetic to your needs
  • Know which insurers are best for your situation / history

What if I’ve been declined cover in the past because of mental health?

It is possible that you might have previously applied for life cover, but were declined because of your mental health. It’s also very possible that a specialist or expert such as iam|INSURED can still get cover for you.

Also there are a number of reasons why cover may now be available where it wasn’t previously:

  • Change in underwriting
  • Applied to the wrong insurer
  • Improvements in your health
  • Time has passed since your last application

If you need advice or help with life insurance and have mental health issues then you can contact iam|INSURED on 0800 009 6559

Daniel Sharpe-Szunko