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Life Insurance Claims and Circumstance of Death

Many people assume that their life insurance plan will pay their surviving family members no matter how they die – with the possible exception of suicide. But in reality, most insurance policies deny claims for a number of reasons regarding circumstances of death. While all life insurance policies are different, we have listed a few common circumstances and causes of death that may result in a denied life insurance claim.

Circumstances That Could Void a Life Insurance Claim

  • Suicide – Most life insurance policies do not pay if the cause of death was suicide. This clause prevents policy carriers to kill themselves in order to achieve financial security for their beneficiaries.
  • Criminal activity – If the policyholder is killed while trying to break the law, the claim will often not be valid. For example, if the policyholder was trespassing, driving while intoxicated, or breaking into a building, the claim may be denied.
  • Drug or alcohol use – If the policy holder died from an overdose, or if drugs or alcohol played a role in their death, the resulting life insurance claim may not be valid.
  • Reckless behavior – Some insurance policies have a clause regarding reckless behavior or specific forms of reckless behavior. For example, some policies will not pay out on claims in which the claimant was participating in street racing.
  • Incarceration – Many life insurance policies are no longer valid when the person covered by the policy enters prison. Some do not cover any death from any cause if the policyholder is in prison at the time of death.

While many of the above clauses exist for a reason, a valid denial based on the circumstances of death does not make the news easier to bear when it comes to family members and beneficiaries. If your life insurance claim is denied, you should verify that the denial is appropriate. To speak with one of our life insurance claim lawyers about your case, contact us today!

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