4 important life insurance exclusions that you need to know about

Last updated on November 25th, 2021 at 03:00 pm by Bill Tsouvalas

Life insurance policies come with a range of policies that can help provide adequate cover for you and your loved ones. However, most life insurance policies come with exclusions that can prevent your policy from being paid out. To avoid facing unpleasant surprises when it comes to making a claim, here are 4 common life insurance exclusions you should know about.

1. Suicide or self-harm

Although many life insurance policies may have different criteria when it comes to exclusions, there are general exclusions that get applied across policies. Suicide or self-harm is one of these exclusions that generally come with many policies. Should you pass on due to suicide or commit self-harm within the first 13 months of taking out the policy the benefits can be withheld by the insurer. Even if you reinstate your policy and commit self-harm, intentional injury, illness, disability, or suicide between one or two years the exclusion will apply.

2. Travelling to high-risk destinations

Most insurance do not pay out a life insurance benefit if you travel to countries in which the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Has advised being unsafe to travel to. You may need to consider your travelling route to avoid having your benefits not being paid out. You can consider taking out travel insurance to help cover you in the event where you need to go due to work. For example, the DFAT lists countries that are safe to travel to on a scale of 1.0 being safe to travel to 4.0 being countries that can cause you not to have your insurance policy paid out to you.

3. Criminal activity

Exclusions can be rolled out when you get involved in criminal activity. According to the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commision, estimates that organised crime costs Australians $36 billion annually (https://www.acic.gov.au/about-crime/crime-types ). Should you fall ill, sustain an injury, or pass on due to criminal activity your insurer will not pay out your benefit. This also includes using illicit drug activity.

4. Participating in reckless behaviour

The definition of participating reckless behaviour may differ among insurers which need to be checked in the product disclosure statement. However, the general exclusionary behaviour that will not be covered by your policy is if you participate in an activity that you won’t do under normal circumstances. This could also include extreme sports that could be considered as personal negligence. Some insurers may be able to cover extreme hobby sports but this usually attracts a premium loading.

There are some cases where you will be able to remove a policy exclusion by having your policy renewed. Most underwriters are likely to remove exclusions when you have ceased to participate in hazardous activities or occupations after a certain amount time frame.