Losing a loved one to suicide is a tragic and difficult experience. Many people may wonder if life insurance covers suicide and what the process is for making a claim. Life insurance is designed to provide financial protection for your loved ones in the event of your death, but the coverage can vary depending on the circumstances.
Explore whether life insurance covers suicide and what you need to know about making a claim here with Savvy. You can learn about the ins and outs of this type of coverage so you can be clear on what can and can’t be covered under your policy before you purchase it.
Does life insurance include cover for suicide in Australia?
In Australia, life insurance policies can cover suicide, but there are some important conditions to be aware of. Generally, if the policy is over 13 months old, suicide can be covered. However, if the policy is less than 13 months old, your insurer won’t pay out in the event of suicide. This is known as the exclusion period and is a standard clause in most life insurance policies.
If the policyholder does commit suicide and is eligible to receive a payout, the beneficiaries will receive the covered amount as a lump sum payment. The payment can be used for anything the beneficiaries see fit, such as paying off debts, covering funeral expenses or investing for the future.
It's important to review the terms and conditions of a life insurance policy carefully before taking it out to ensure you understand exactly what you’re covered for and what exclusions apply.
Will I be able to take out life insurance cover if I’ve attempted suicide in the past?
If you’ve attempted suicide in the past, you may still be able to buy life insurance, but it’ll likely impact your ability to do so. Life insurance providers assess applications on a case-by-case basis, so your previous suicide attempt may be considered a risk factor depending on how long ago it was and whether more than one attempt has been made previously.
Some insurers may decline to offer coverage to individuals who have attempted suicide in the past, while others may offer coverage with specific exclusions or premium loadings relating to mental health conditions.
It's important to disclose any relevant medical history or pre-existing conditions when applying for life insurance. Failing to disclose a previous suicide attempt could result in your policy being voided, meaning your covered amount won’t be paid out to your beneficiaries upon your death.
How do I apply for life insurance following a suicide attempt?
The process of applying for and buying life insurance after a suicide attempt will likely be similar to anyone else applying with a pre-existing condition. You’ll be required to disclose information about your mental health and suicide attempt, such as what your current or prior mental health conditions are, how long you’ve been suffering from them, whether you have taken or are taking any medication and if your family has a history of mental illness.
You’ll also need to provide other standard information in your application, such as your age, occupation, lifestyle and the amount of cover you’re after. From there, your life insurance provider can assess your application and determine whether to offer you a policy with a loading (which increases the cost of your policy), specific exclusions or deny it.
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