Burial Insurance and Suicide

Having a history of a suicide attempt will not prevent you from securing affordable burial insurance. So, if you have a history of attempted suicide you can still qualify for the best plan and lowest rates.

All insurance policies have a suicide clause written into their terms and conditions that exclude suicide during the first two years.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about burial insurance and suicide to help you understand if the insurance provider will pay the death benefit to your beneficiary when the cause of death is suicide.

FOR EASIER NAVIGATION:


WHAT IS MY BEST INSURANCE OPTION IF I HAVE A HISTORY OF SUICIDE?

Most life insurance companies don’t ask about suicide or suicide attempts on the underwriting questionnaire. So, if you have a history of suicide you can still qualify for a level death benefit plan with first-day coverage.

With a level death benefit plan, you will be covered from the first day, and your beneficiary will receive your full death benefit when you pass away.

Best Option: Level death benefit plan with first-day coverage


WHAT TYPES OF BURIAL INSURANCE SHOULD I AVOID?

PLANS TO AVOIDWHY?
Term lifePremiums increase after 5 years. Coverage ends after 80.
Pre-paid funeral plansExpensive
Universal lifeTied with stocks
No health questions policiesWith 2-year waiting period
Plans offering "teaser rates"$9.95 per unit plans or $1 buys $30,000 coverage
Over priced plansInsurance from TV and junk mail
Plans that accept mail-in paymentsRisky
Plans that accept Direct ExpressHigh lapse rate
Plans that accept Credit CardsHigh lapse rate


WHAT TYPE OF BURIAL INSURANCE IS BEST?

FUNERAL FUNDS PLAN BENEFITSINCLUDED
1st Day CoverageYES
Rates NEVER IncreaseYES
Coverage NEVER DecreasesYES
Easy to get approvedYES
No Medical ExamYES
Same Day ApprovalYES
Death Claims Pay FastYES
Builds cash valueYES
Coverage Up To Age 121 YES


IF I HAVE SUICIDE ATTEMPTS, DO I NEED A MEDICAL EXAM TO QUALIFY FOR BURIAL INSURANCE?

You are NOT required to take a medical exam to qualify for burial insurance with suicide attempts.

When you apply for burial insurance, you only have to answer some basic questions about your health. The application process is simple, and you don’t need to provide medical records or blood and urine samples.

You’ll get the official approval from the insurance company often within minutes!


UNDERSTANDING BURIAL INSURANCE AND SUICIDE

Does life insurance pay for suicidal death?


SUICIDE CLAUSE

The suicide clause states that no death benefit will be paid to the beneficiary if the insured commits suicide within a year to two years of taking out a policy.

During the waiting period, the insurance companies can investigate claims and deny coverage for intentional death. If the company can demonstrate intentional death or the death was due to suicide, the policy will be denied, and the beneficiary’s claim would be denied.

Life insurance companies will pay the death benefit as long as the policy was purchased at least two before the suicide; after the waiting period, the suicide clause expires.

Whenever an insured replaces an existing life insurance policy with a new one, the suicide clause reverts back to zero and starts over again.

If you have two policies and decide to switch to a single policy with a bigger death benefit, even with the same insurance company, your suicide clause and a waiting period will start again.


IS SUICIDE CLAUSE AND CONTESTABILITY CLAUSE THE SAME?

The suicide clause and contestability clause are not the same (although the period of time is the same). While the period is the same, the contestability clause is broader in scope.

The contestability clause addresses other events that may cause a claim to be denied during the waiting period.

Reasons that may cause a claim to be denied:

  • Suicide
  • Misrepresentation of information
  • Death during an illegal act
  • Potential alcohol and drug abuse

Here’s an example of how you will see the suicide clause written on the fine print:

  • “We will not pay the Net Proceeds if the Insured dies by suicide, while sane or insane, within 2 years from the date coverage is issued. Instead, we will refund all the premiums paid for this policy minus any outstanding policy loans. Any increase in the Face Amount will start the suicide exclusion provision anew but will apply only to the amount of the increase in face amount.”

Here’s an example of how you will see a contestability clause written on the fine print:

  • “We reserve the right to contest the validity of this insurance policy, or the payment of the Death Benefit or any other insurance Policy benefits, if the Insured under this insurance policy have incorrectly stated, misrepresented or failed to disclose a relevant information in the application for insurance, or on the medical exam, or in any written or electronic statements or responses you provided as evidence of insurability.
  • Except in the case of fraud, we will not contest this insurance policy for misrepresentation after it has been in force for two years during the lifetime of every Insured, from the Coverage Date or the last date of reinstatement. If the Designated Insured dies during this two-year period, we can contest at any time.
  • When there is an indication of fraud or misrepresentation, we can declare this insurance policy void at any time. Fraud includes but is not limited to any material misrepresentation of the smoking habit of the Insured. If the insurance policy is declared void due to fraud, we will not refund the premiums paid.”


WHY DO INSURANCE COMPANIES PUT A SUICIDE CLAUSE AND CONTESTABILITY CLAUSE?

Life insurance companies include the suicide clause and contestability clause to protect them financially.

The Contestability clause allows the insurance companies to void coverage in some instances, such as if it were given inaccurate information or the insured committed fraud during the insurance application.

The suicide clause protects the company from having to pay claims if the insured intended to kill himself and leave money to their beneficiary.

If the insured’s family is in a desperate financial situation, finding any benefit to end their life may push them to commit suicide. Insurance companies want to minimize this risk by including the suicide clause and contestability clause.

By requiring two years to pass after the purchase of the policy, life insurance companies have a lower risk of having the insured kill themselves to provide insurance money for their family.

The two-year waiting period also provides more time for the suicidal policyholder to get the medical and mental help they need before paying a claim.


DOES BURIAL INSURANCE COVER SUICIDE?

Life insurance companies cover suicide after the first two years or the waiting period. The company will pay for suicide unless there is other exclusion that is specifically outlined in the policy that forbids it.

Insurance companies don’t cover suicide within the first two years of the policy, but they may refund all the premiums paid.

There is insurance coverage if the insured:

  • Was insured for an individual policy that went into effect after two years or longer (one year in some states)
  • Had free life insurance through work that is paid by the employer
  • Purchased coverage through work and it went into effect more than two years ago.


DOES BURIAL INSURANCE COVER DOCTOR-ASSISTED SUICIDE?

Doctor-assisted suicide is also called death with dignity or right-to-die. It involves people who have terminal illnesses who chose to die than suffer through treatment or diminished quality of life.

Doctor-assisted suicide would also fall under the same suicide clause – death would not be covered during the first two years of the policy.

After the suicide and contestability period have expired, the company would pay for doctor-assisted suicide. However, you should consult your policy documents to make sure there are no exclusions that would negate your policy.

For example, an illegal activity could prevent your family from receiving the death benefit payout if you died from doctor-assisted suicide if it does not comply with your state regulations.

There are only 10 states, plus Washington, D.C, where doctor-assisted suicide is legal:

  1. California
  2. Colorado
  3. District of Columbia
  4. Hawaii
  5. Maine
  6. Montana
  7. New Jersey
  8. New Mexico
  9. Oregon
  10. Vermont
  11. Washington


BURIAL INSURANCE UNDERWRITING IF YOU HAVE A HISTORY OF SUICIDE

During the underwriting process, life insurance companies will look at the applicant’s health and health history to determine how risky he or she will be to insure. They will also review how likely the applicant will die prematurely during the course of the policy.

Burial insurance companies have two ways of underwriting:

FIRST – They may ask you a series of health questions. Your answers to their questions will determine your eligibility.

SECOND – They will electronically review your prescription history to verify your health.

Depression is a risk factor for suicide, and this condition should be disclosed during the application. Insurance policies with health questions may ask about when you were first diagnosed with depression and its severity.

You may also be asked to disclose the treatment and medication you use to qualify for coverage.


HOW MUCH INSURANCE DO I NEED IF I HAVE SUICIDE ATTEMPTS?

The amount of burial insurance you should buy varies depending on your personal and financial circumstances. However, burial insurance should cover the cost of your funeral, burial, and final expenses.

The first step to figuring out how much burial insurance you need is to know your end-of-life expenses. Your funeral cost is often the biggest single expense you need to pay. Other end-of-life expenses to consider are your outstanding medical bills, living expenses, credit card bills, and other debts.

Here’s an example of a funeral cost breakdown from the National Funeral Directors Association.

AVERAGE FUNERAL COST WITH VIEWING AND BURIAL 
Non-declinable basic$2,195
Removal/ transfer of remains to funeral home$350
Embalming & preparation of the body$1,005
Use of facilities for viewing & funeral ceremony$925
Hearse$340
Service car/van$150
Basic memorial printed package$175
Metal casket$2,500
Vault$1,495
Median Cost of a Funeral With Viewing and Burial$9,135
AVERAGE FUNERAL COST WITH VIEWING AND CREMATION 
Non-declinable basic services fee$2,195
Removal/ transfer of remains to funeral home$350
Embalming & preparation of the body$1,005
Use of facilities for viewing & funeral ceremony$925
Service car/van$150
Basic memorial printed package$175
Cremation fee (if firm uses a third-party crematory)$350
Median Cost of a Funeral with Viewing and Cremation$5,150
Cremation Casket$1,200
Rental Casket$995
Alternate Cremation Container$150
Urn$295


HOW SHOULD I PAY MY PREMIUMS?

The best way to pay your premium is through a savings or checking account. We recommend you set a bank draft from your savings or checking account. That way, the bank will automatically pay your premium each month and you don’t need to worry about your policy lapsing due to non-payment.

PAYMENT METHODRECOMMENDED?
Savings AccountBest way to pay
Checking AccountBest way to pay
CashNot recommended
Money OrderNot recommended
Cashier's CheckNot recommended
Debit CardNot recommended
Credit CardNot recommended
Direct ExpressNot recommended
PAYMENT FREQUENCYRECOMMENDEDACCEPTED BY
MonthlyRecommendedAll Companies
QuarterlyNot RecommendedSome Companies
Semi-annuallyNot RecommendedSome Companies
AnnuallyNot RecommendedSome Companies


SUICIDE AND BURIAL INSURANCE RIDERS

Insurance policy riders add benefits to your policy. Adding insurance riders will enhance your policy to fit your needs. Some riders are built into your policy, while other riders can be added at an additional cost. Most riders are affordable, and it involves little to no underwriting.

Here’s a list of common burial insurance riders:

FUNERAL FUNDS ADD-ONSAVAILABILITY
Terminal Illness Add-On BenefitIncluded with most plans
Nursing Home Care Add-On BenefitIncluded with most plans


WHAT TO DO IF YOUR CLAIM WAS DENIED?

Insurance companies may contest a life insurance claim if they believe the insured died from suicide during the suicide clause waiting period.

They will typically put off paying a claim until law enforcement or medical examiner rules how the insured died, but in most cases, they will conduct their investigation.

In these cases, the life insurance company will look for:

  • The death certificate
  • Hospital reports
  • Autopsy report
  • The insured’s medical history, including records of psychiatric care and medications
  • Anything that could be considered a suicide note
  • Any evidence of drug or alcohol abuse or illegal behavior
  • Testimony from family, friends or witnesses

The insurance company needs to provide proofs to demonstrate the insured died due to suicide. The company can deny payment and beneficiaries must contest the claim denial to receive a death benefit.

If your insurance claim was denied and you believe the company’s reason to be incorrect, you may need to bring legal action to receive a payout. You must contest the life insurance company’s decision to receive a settlement.

If you still disagree with the company’s decision to deny a claim due to suicide, you will need to consult your state’s laws. Many states have protections in place for the beneficiaries.


BENEFITS OF BURIAL & FUNERAL INSURANCE

Here are some of the benefits of purchasing a burial or funeral policy:

  • No medical exam or doctor’s visit required – easy to get approved.
  • Ease of issue – easy to qualify and get insurance coverage.
  • No Money Down to get approved – have your policy start whenever you want.
  • Level premium – your premium will never increase.
  • Fixed death benefit – your death benefit will never decrease for any reason.
  • Permanent protection – your policy can not be canceled by the life insurance company as long as you continue to pay your premiums.
  • Tax-free – the death benefit is directly paid to your beneficiary tax-free upon your death
  • Cash value builds up – burial insurance is a whole life policy that builds cash value over time.


OTHER COMMON USES FOR FINAL EXPENSE LIFE INSURANCE WITH SUICIDE ATTEMPTS

All of these examples are appropriate uses for Final Expense Life Insurance:

  • Burial insurance plan and suicide
  • Cremation insurance plan and suicide
  • Funeral home insurance plan and suicide
  • Final Expense insurance plan and suicide
  • Prepaid funeral plan insurance and suicide
  • Mortgage payment protection plan and suicide
  • Mortgage payoff life insurance plan and suicide
  • Deceased spouse’s income replacement plan and suicide
  • Legacy insurance gift plan to family or loved ones and suicide
  • Medical or doctor bill life insurance plan and suicide

We can help you with any of the plans above. Your pricing will depend on your age, health, and coverage amount for each program option.


HOW CAN FUNERAL FUNDS HELP ME?

Trying to find a policy if you have a history of suicide needn’t be a frustrating process; working with an independent agency like Funeral Funds will make the process easier and quicker.

We will work with you every step of the way to find the plan that fits your financial requirements and budget. You don’t have to waste your precious time anymore searching for multiple insurance companies because we will do the work for you.

We work with many A+ rated insurance carriers that specialized in covering high-risk clients like you.  We will search all those companies and match you up with the best burial insurance company that gives the best rate.

We will assist you in securing the coverage you need at a rate you can afford. So, if you are looking for suicide funeral insurance, or suicide burial insurance, or suicide life insurance. Fill out our quote form on this page or call us at (888) 862-9456 and we can give you an accurate final expense insurance quote.

Funeral Insurance, Final Expense Insurance, Burial Insurance And Suicide Infographics

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