Which Types of Death Are Not Covered by Life Insurance?

Life insurance is no playfulness to think about—and those who buy it surely hope they never need it. distillery, if you die, your loved ones will probably be relieved you purchased a policy. While life policy covers end due to natural causes and accidents, sealed circumstances could prevent a payout. here ‘s what you need to know .

Key Takeaways

  • Life insurance provides financial protection to your loved ones if you die, but policies don’t pay out in every situation.
  • In general, life insurance policies cover deaths from natural causes and accidents.
  • If you lie on your application, your insurer could refuse to pay out to your beneficiaries when you die.
  • Life insurance policies cover suicide, but only if a certain amount of time has passed since buying the policy.
  • If you die participating in a risky hobby, your insurer may or may not pay benefits, depending on your policy’s details.
  • The “Slayer Rule” prevents a death benefit payout to your beneficiary if they murder you or are closely tied to your murder.

What Is life Insurance ?

A life insurance policy is a shrink between you ( the policyholder ) and an indemnity company. In exchange for paying even premiums, the indemnity party pays a end benefit to your beneficiaries if you die. Life insurance coverage provides a fiscal safety internet, and it could replace your wages or be used to pay off the mortgage or college costs for the kids.

Term Life Insurance volt. wholly life policy

There are two basal types of animation indemnity : term and whole life ( aka permanent biography policy ) .

Term policy is the most straightforward—and most affordable—type of biography indemnity. According to the Insurance Information Institute, it pays if you die during the policy ‘s term, which is normally from one to 30 years. once the term expires, you can renew it for another condition, covert the policy to permanent coverage, or allow the policy to terminate .

On the other hand, whole liveliness indemnity pays a death profit whenever you die, no count how long you ‘ve had the policy or how erstwhile you are. You ‘ll pay more in premiums for less coverage with a whole biography policy, but you ‘ll have the security of knowing your loved ones are protected for your entire biography. besides, whole life policies can accumulate cash over time, and you may receive dividends from your insurance company .

What Does Life Insurance Cover ?

In cosmopolitan, if you die due to natural causes, an illness, or an accident, your indicate beneficiaries will get the life insurance payout. here ‘s a quick summation of the types of deaths that are covered under life policy policies :

natural causes

Life indemnity covers end due to lifelike causes. If you die of a affection attack, cancer, an infection, kidney failure, stroke, old long time, or some early natural cause, your beneficiaries will receive the insurance payout .


Your animation policy policy will pay out end benefits to your beneficiaries if you die from a motor vehicle accident, drowning, poisoning, accidental drug overdose, or another tragedy .


The death profit will be paid to your beneficiaries if you are murdered—unless your beneficiary murdered you or is closely tied to your murder .


Life insurance covers suicide, and your beneficiaries will receive the death benefit unless the death occurs during the “ contestability period ” —typically the first two years of the policy—provided there ‘s no other exception in the policy that forbids it .

Pandemic illness

If you have an existing policy and die of COVID-19, it ‘s categorized as a natural cause, and the policy company will pay out the profit to your beneficiaries. however, suppose you buy a fresh policy during an ongoing pandemic and lie on your application about your health or exposure to the illness. In that character, the insurance company can refuse to pay out .

Which Types of Deaths Are not Covered by Life Insurance ?

If you do n’t die ascribable to one of the reasons mentioned above, your insurance company may not pay the end benefit to your beneficiaries. here are the situations when your beneficiaries may be unable to collect benefits :

hazardous activities

Depending on the situation and your policy, you may not be covered if you die while participating in a hazardous bodily process. hazardous activities are amateur pursuits that have an increased likely for wound or end, such as :

  • Scuba diving
  • BASE jumping
  • Hang gliding
  • Auto racing
  • Aviation
  • Rock and mountain climbing

The bad activities class besides includes some jobs, such as working as a lumberman, original, offshore oil carriage proletarian, offshore fisherman, and metro miner .

If you participate in hazardous activities, whether for playfulness or employment, you can placid buy a life policy policy—but you might end up paying higher premiums. And, depending on how bad the action is, your insurance company may add an ejection to the policy that prohibits payments if you die while engaged in that activity .

If you engage in any bad activities, tell your insurance company during the lotion work. differently, your insurance company can cancel your policy or refuse to pay out the death profit .


Under the “ Slayer Rule, ” if your beneficiary murders you—or is somehow tied to your murder—they will not receive the death benefit. rather, your insurance company will pay out the death benefit to your contingent beneficiaries or to your estate .


In general, life indemnity covers suicide. however, most policies have a “ suicide clause ” —or contestability period—during the policy ‘s beginning two years. Life insurance policies wo n’t cover a suicide that occurs during this period. Things can get slippery if a policyholder dies of a drug overdose during this prison term. however, in this case, the insurance company would need to prove the overdose was designed to withhold the death benefit .

If you or person you know is suffering from depression or mental health issues, get help now. You are not entirely. If you or a love one is contemplating suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or via live new world chat. It ’ s available 24 hours a day, seven days a workweek, and provides free and confidential confirm.

early Reasons Life Insurance Wo n’t Pay Out

Lying on the lotion

Life policy companies can withhold death benefits if you lie on your application ( that ‘s insurance imposter, by the room ). For exercise, the insurance company can cancel your policy, and your beneficiaries would lose out on benefits, if you lie about your :

  • Family health history
  • Medical conditions
  • Alcohol and drug use
  • Risky activities
  • Travel plans

not naming a benefactive role ( or they predecease you )

The death benefit payout gets complicated if you do n’t have designated beneficiaries—or if you do and they predecease you. In these situations, the death benefit goes to your estate of the realm and not inevitably to your love ones .

It ‘s all-important to designate elementary and contingent beneficiaries to receive the policy death benefit in the consequence of your premature death. differently, the benefits are discipline to probate, and they ultimately may not end up where you intended .

The Bottom Line

Life insurance can provide peace of mind and a valuable fiscal safety net for your love ones. In general, policies cover deaths due to natural causes, illness, and accidents. still, insurers can withhold benefits in certain situations. Be sure to read your policy ‘s fine print to understand what ‘s covered—and what ‘s not .

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Category : Insurance

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