Should a life insurance policy holder die, a claim needs to be placed before the payout is made by an insurer. However, there are some deaths that a life insurer will not be willing to cover due to the circumstances surrounding the death. Are self-inflicted injuries covered by life insurers?
It depends on how it happened
Life insurance claims are not paid out immediately due to the investigation that insurers carry out to ensure that the policy holder's cause of death was due to natural circumstances and that there was no foul play. All life insurers have a list of exclusions, which is a list of things that they will not cover, causing a claim to be denied.
Should the death of the policy holder fall into any of the listed exclusions, an insurer can deny a claim. For example, a self-inflicted injury that resulted in the death of the policy holder will have to be proven to be done by accident. If it was due to suicide, it will have had to occur after 24 months after having taken out the cover. The reason for the 24 months waiting period is to protect insurers from insurance scams.
What are the exclusions that can cause a claim to be denied?
When taking out a cover, your insurer will list the exclusions of things they will not cover you for. Self-inflicted injuries may be listed in the form of dangerous hobbies and activities that you knowingly participate in that can increase your chances of physically hurting yourself or putting your life at risk. Some examples of dangerous hobbies and activities an insurer will not cover are:
Drag boat racing
Competitive water skiing
Participating in a riot or insurrection
Taking military or hostile action
Committing an act of terrorism
Being involved in an illegal sexual act
Taking unprescribed drugs
Driving a vehicle when your blood alcohol level exceeds the legal limit
Deliberately inflicting injury upon yourself
While life insurers aim to protect your financial future along with that of your loved ones, it is crucial to read the exclusions that come with your cover to avoid having it denied. Informing your beneficiaries about the claims process can also make the process less frustrating as your insurer will be able to communicate the relevant information of how the payout will work and how long it will take.