Does Life Insurance Pay For Suicidal Death?

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Life Insurance and Suicide Coverage

Life insurance policies typically include a clause related to suicide. This is known as the “suicide clause.” The purpose of this clause is to protect insurance companies from financial loss in cases where a policyholder takes their own life.

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Understanding the Suicide Clause

  1. Time Frame: Most life insurance policies have a suicide clause that lasts for a certain period, typically two years. This means if the policyholder commits suicide within this time frame after the policy is issued, the death benefit is not payable.
  2. Variations by Policy and State: It’s important to note that the specifics can vary depending on the policy and the state laws.

Exceptions and Considerations

  • Mental Health Exclusions: Some policies may have exclusions related to mental health conditions.
  • Increased Risk and Premiums: Individuals with a history of mental health issues might face higher premiums or exclusions.

If you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts, please get help from a mental health professional or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-82554).

Example Scenario

For instance, if a person purchases a life insurance policy and commits suicide within the first year, the beneficiaries likely will not receive the death benefit. However, if the suicide occurs three years after purchasing the policy, the beneficiaries may receive the full death benefit, assuming all other policy conditions are met.

Does Life Insurance Pay Out For Suicidal Death Us


Life insurance can provide a death benefit in the case of suicide, but it’s subject to the terms of the suicide clause. Understanding this clause is crucial for both policyholders and beneficiaries.

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Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Shawn Plummer is a licensed financial professional, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

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