There’s a lot of misinformation regarding life insurance and suicide in the UK. Although cases are dropping, data from the charity Samaritans shows that, unfortunately, there were 4,912 suicides in England in 2020. A significant number that highlights the severity of this issue. Many sources claim that life insurance won’t pay out in these cases, but that isn’t entirely true.
As previously mentioned, insurance companies do payout in suicide cases. However, each company has different policies and clauses on the issue. Suicide is an unfortunate solution for many people’s problems, such as covering large amounts of debt. Insurance companies need to protect themselves from such cases and have a responsibility to protect vulnerable clients.
As a result, most companies will have a suicide clause in their contract that specifies a period in which the insurer will not pay out if the client commits suicide. Typically this period is for 12 to 24 months. This protects the company and stops vulnerable people from taking out a policy in hopes of getting a payout. After the aforementioned period, insurance companies can approve a claim, even if the cause of death is suicide.
This is a period of time where the insurance company investigates the cause of death and information provided by the client. This clause is standard for any claim made. It usually runs alongside the suicide clause period, allowing the company to find any potential detail that can result in a declined payout.
You should note that in the case of group life insurance policies paid by an employer, there is usually no suicide or contestability clause. This means that a payout would be made regardless of when the suicide took place.
There are various reasons why an insurance company wouldn’t pay out if a client commits suicide. Although not common, some insurance companies have a clause where they won’t pay out in suicide cases, regardless of when it happens.
More commonly, however, companies won’t pay out if the policyholder lies or doesn’t disclose important information. The insurance provider usually discovers this during the contestability period of the claim. In the case of suicide, if the policyholder had a mental illness and failed to mention it during the application process, the insurance provider has grounds to decline the claim.
As a result, regardless of the type of policy, it’s essential to be honest when taking out a policy.
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If you’ve lost a loved one to suicide, you should contact the life insurance provider and discuss the process. Many employees are trained to deal with such situations and will help you during an already difficult time. Once you’ve made a claim, the insurance provider will investigate the case before paying out.
It’s no surprise that people with mental illness account for most suicide cases in the UK. As mentioned before, you are obligated to notify the insurance provider if you have a mental illness, or you could run the risk of not receiving a payout.
Many insurance providers offer coverage for people who suffer from such illnesses, but the monthly premium will likely be much higher. There are situations where you might be declined coverage, depending on the severity of the illness and whether it has worsened in recent years.
The best course of action is to get multiple quotes and try to find a provider with experience in offering life insurance to people with a mental illness. This should help reduce the monthly premium considerably.
It’s understandable if you’d rather not share such personal information with your insurance company. However, you must be truthful with your insurance provider to avoid any issues in the future. This goes for any pre-existing condition that you have. Your insurance provider will likely want to know about:
Failure to disclose this information could result in your policy being cancelled or a payout being declined. You could also be charged a fee to make up for the premium difference you missed, or you could find it harder to get a life insurance policy in the future.
This is a tricky subject because both assisted suicide and euthanasia are entirely illegal in the UK. So, if you’re undergoing one of these procedures, you’ll likely be going overseas. It’s most common for Brits to use this service in Switzerland, where assisted suicide is legal.
If you or a loved one is planning to use such services, you should contact your insurance provider to discuss what would happen with your policy. Companies cover suicide after a certain period, but some might have special clauses when it comes to assisted suicide or dying overseas. It’s always best to double check with a provider to avoid any future issues.
If you’re having suicidal thoughts, you should know that there are plenty of services in the UK to help you through this difficult time. Even if you feel like you can’t talk to family and friends, there are professionals that will listen to you and provide some comfort. You can call these numbers at any time for free:
Remember that there’s always someone that wants to help and that you don’t have to face your problems alone.