Is Suicide Covered Under Life Insurance Policy
Life insurances are your safety protocols. They are to support the family after their family member’s demise financially. But what if the insured individual dies by suicide? Will the assured sum still be paid to their family? Does life insurance pay for suicidal death in India?
Most policies cover suicidal deaths also. However, the death benefits are only available if the policy matures for 12 months, provided all premiums are paid. Even though unexpected events do not cause the death, the insurance company pays the assured sum to support the family on their loss.
The insurer will provide no claims if they don’t approve the life insurance suicide cover in its policy. Therefore, It’s important to read the terms and conditions of the policies carefully before investing in them.
Types of life insurance provide suicide coverage
- Most insurance plans excluded suicidal deaths and denied claims until 2014
- Indian Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) introduced a few major alterations in the regulations and allowed suicidal benefits under certain conditions
- All types of insurance plans that include life as an element, such as wealth plans, savings plans, term life insurance plans, etc., provide suicidal death benefits
- These insurance plans have rulings similar to that of the term life plans
- However, a Unit-linked Insurance plan (ULIP) alone varies the value of return funds
How does the suicide clause work?
The suicidal clause provided death benefits to the beneficiaries of the insured individual if he/ she commits a suicidal death. The insurers provide these claims only if the insured individual dies after 12 months of the policy inception or reinstatement or revival of a lapsed plan.
Sometimes an insured individual purchases different loans and insurance policies to cover his/ her loans. Later they commit suicide, leaving the insurance company to pay the insurance money towards their loan. Strict regulations against suicides tend to limit such unethical activities and hence save the insurer from loss.
Provisions of suicidal death under the general insurance
The general insurance works under regulations before January 2014. Since suicidal death is a voluntary action, the insurance company regulates certain terms and conditions to avoid any fraudulent activities.
According to the clause, general insurance does not provide any claim or suicide cover if the insured individual commits suicide within 12 months of purchasing the insurance plan. The insurance becomes void, and no funds are paid to the beneficiaries. The surrender value for death after 12 months also varies depending on the company policies.
Why does an insurance provider provide suicidal claims?
Since suicide is a deliberate death decision, many may still wonder why does life insurance pay for suicidal death in India. Most companies answer these queries with empathy.
- The insurance providers believe that any financial support during the loss of a family member can ease their grieving situation.
- Most often, suicides happen due to financial debts and distress. In such cases, these funds can reduce the burden and provide moral support.
Exclusions of suicide cover under term insurance
Even though suicide is not an accidental death, some insurance providers allow life insurance suicide cover. However, the insurance provider includes a few exclusions to avoid fraud. A few of those exclusions are mentioned below.
- If the insured individual dies due to suicide within the 12 months from the opening of the insurance policy, then no death benefits are provided. The beneficiaries receive 80% of the premiums paid within those 12 months.
- This exclusion clause is not applicable if the insured individual is under 8 years of age.
- If the suicidal death of the insured individual occurs within the 12 months from the revival of the insurance policy, even then, no claims are provided. The insurance provider pays the beneficiaries more than 80% of the premiums the insured individual pays during their lifetime.
- This clause is not applicable if the insured individual is under the age of 8
- No funds will be paid if the premium isn’t paid under the policy.
New provisions as per life insurance plans:
Term insurance plans have updated their policies after January 2014 to meet the needs of their customers. The updated life insurance suicide clause provides financial aid to the beneficiaries even if the policy is under 1 year from the year of commencement.
According to the new provisions,
- If any insured individual purchases, revives or commences an insurance policy suicide within the 12-month timeframe, the family will still receive a certain amount.
- The value can either be 80% of the premiums paid by the insured individual or the surrender value of the policy, whichever is higher. Confirm the same from your insurer.
Eligibility conditions to claim a suicide cover:
All Indians are eligible to have insurance plans and are eligible for suicidal cover also, provided the insurance provider mentions the suicidal benefits in the policy clauses.
Under certain circumstances, the insured individual will not be eligible to receive any claims under the life insurance suicide clause. No claims are provided if,
- The insured individual indulges in illegal or fraudulent activities during their lifetime.
- The insured individual provides wrong or misleading information about themselves in the policy.
- The insured individual’s account is insured under a group insurance policy.
The death of any individual is grieving. Apart from the emotional loss, the demise of any family member creates a long-lasting impact on the lives of their loved ones. Even though the life insurance suicide cover provides financial support to the family after the insured individual’s death, that doesn’t make suicide right in any terms!
What if the insurer rejects/ denies to provide the assured sum? Are you going to let your family suffer in your absence? What about the emotional trauma they go through in your absence? Are they worth it?
However, at unforeseen events, suicides happen. Even though there are so many awareness campaigns, it finally depends on those few decision-making moments. Make sure you read the policies before signing them, so your family receives the maximum benefit from them.
- What is a suicidal cover?
The suicidal cover refers to the assured sum paid to the Insured individual’s beneficiaries after their suicidal death. This clause is only effective if the policy matures for over 12 months and the insured individual pays his premium regularly.
- Does group insurance allow suicidal death benefits?
Generally, in a group insurance policy, members don’t get the benefits of suicidal cover after their death. It is recommended that you inquire about the same from your insurer.
- How to claim the insurance benefits of the insured individual after their suicide?
The beneficiaries can claim the funds by providing the necessary documents to the insurance company. The insurance provider will request the insured individual’s death certificate and confirm the reason for death, whether it was a voluntary death or not. Later the assured sum is paid to the family members.
- What happens to the loan taken against the insurance after suicidal death?
The insured individual can take loans against their insurance policy. If they die due to suicide during their policy period, then the insurer will repay the loan on behalf of the insured from their assured sum, provided they have mentioned such clauses in their policies.
This article is issued in the general public interest and is for educational purposes only. The blogs should not be used as a substitute for competent expert advice from a licensed professional to best suit your needs. Insurance is a subject matter of solicitation. For more details on policy terms, conditions, exclusions, limitations, please refer/read policy brochure before concluding sale.