What Does Term Life Insurance Not Cover?
A life insurance policy is a contract between the policyholder and an insurance company. The company agrees to pay a death benefit to the beneficiaries if the policyholder dies in exchange for regular premium payments. While life insurance coverage generally provides a financial safety net, there are situations when the insurance company may not pay the death benefit.
What Life Insurance Covers
Life insurance policies cover deaths due to natural causes, such as heart attacks, cancer, infections, kidney failure, and stroke. They also cover deaths resulting from accidents, including motor vehicle accidents, drowning, poisoning, and accidental drug overdose. In addition, life insurance covers suicides that occur after the policy’s suicide clause period, typically the first two years after policy issuance. If the policyholder is murdered, the beneficiaries will receive the death benefit, unless the beneficiary is involved in the murder.
What Life Insurance Does Not Cover
Life insurance policies may not cover deaths resulting from risky activities, such as extreme sports or certain jobs that have an increased potential for injury or death, such as loggers, pilots, offshore oil rig workers, construction workers, firefighters, and police officers. If the policyholder dies while engaging in a risky activity, the insurer may add an exclusion to the policy or refuse to pay the death benefit.
Life insurance companies may also refuse to pay the death benefit if the policyholder lies on the application. This includes lying about pre-existing medical conditions, substance abuse, or participation in risky activities. If the insurer determines that the policyholder made a material misrepresentation that would have affected the issuance of the policy or the premium amount, the insurer can cancel the policy and refuse to pay the death benefit.
Life insurance policies do not cover deaths resulting from illegal activities or crimes. If the policyholder dies while committing a crime or engaging in illegal activities, the insurer will deny the claim, and the beneficiaries will not receive the death benefit.
If the policyholder does not designate beneficiaries or if the beneficiaries die before the policyholder, the death benefit will go to the policyholder’s estate and not necessarily to their loved ones. It is crucial to designate primary and contingent beneficiaries to receive the insurance death benefit.
Life insurance provides a valuable financial safety net for your loved ones. While most policies cover deaths due to natural causes, illness, and accidents, policyholders should read the policy’s fine print to understand what is covered and what is not. It is also important to be honest on the application and to designate beneficiaries to receive the death benefit.
|Insurance Industry Institute||https://www.iii.org/article/are-life-insurers-denying-benefits-for-deaths-related-to-covid-19|
|Boston Legal Review||https://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2861&context=bclr|
|My Family Insurance||https://myfamilylifeinsurance.com/will-life-insurance-pay-death-benefit-drug-overdose/|
|NAIC Journal of Insurance Regulation||https://content.naic.org/sites/default/files/inline-files/Material%20Misrepresentations%20in%20Insurance%20Litigation.pdf|
|AARP/New York Life||https://www.newyorklife.com/articles/understanding-two-year-contestability-period-life-insurance|
|Texas Office of Public Counsel||http://www.opic.texas.gov/life-insurance-know-your-rights/|
|Texas Office of Public Insurance Council||http://www.opic.texas.gov/life-insurance-know-your-rights/|
|New York State Department of Financial Services||https://www.dfs.ny.gov/consumers/life_insurance/types_of_policies|