Does Insurance Cover Suicide?


The question, “Does insurance cover suicide?” is one that many people might find themselves asking. It’s a sensitive topic, but it’s important to understand how insurance companies handle such situations.

This blog post aims to shed light on this subject.


Understanding Insurance Policies

Insurance policies are contracts between the policyholder and the insurance company. They outline the terms and conditions under which the insurance company agrees to cover certain risks. One of these risks could be the policyholder’s death, including death by suicide1.


The Suicide Clause

Many life insurance policies contain a provision known as the suicide clause1. This clause states that the insurance company will not pay out the death benefit if the policyholder commits suicide within a certain period, typically the first one to two years of the policy12. This period is known as the exclusion period2.


After the Exclusion Period

If the policyholder commits suicide after the exclusion period, the insurance company will typically pay out the death benefit123. However, if the policyholder changes the policy, such as by adding coverage or converting a term policy into a whole life policy, the exclusion period may restart1.


Different Types of Insurance Policies

Different types of insurance policies handle suicide differently. For example, many group life insurance policies, which people often get through their employers, do not have a suicide clause. In contrast, individual term life insurance and whole life insurance policies typically do have a suicide clause1.


Proving the Cause of Death

When a policyholder dies, the insurance company will request a death certificate, which should state the cause of death. If the cause of death is listed as suicide, and the suicide occurred during the exclusion period, the insurance company may not pay out the death benefit1.



So, does insurance cover suicide? The answer is, it depends. It depends on the type of insurance policy, the terms of the policy, and when the suicide occurs. It’s a complex issue with many nuances, but understanding these basics can help provide some clarity.

Remember, if you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, reach out to a mental health professional. There are resources available to help, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-82552.



This blog post is intended to provide general information about insurance coverage for suicide and should not be taken as legal or financial advice. Always consult with a professional for advice tailored to your specific circumstances.