02 Dec Does Life Insurance Cover Natural Death?
When you have life insurance, you want to make sure that it covers what you need it to cover. For the most part, life insurance policies are the same, but there are some extrinsic circumstances where some things are not covered.
Most types of death, including natural death, are covered under most life insurance plans, but if you are unsure about your plan, it can keep you up at night. No one wants to leave their loved ones with nothing, so making sure you know is imperative.
We have done the research and found out the information for you. We have compiled what we know in an easy-to-understand list to help you understand your life insurance plan and help you find a better fit if yours is lackluster.
Is Natural Death Covered Under Life Insurance?
In short, yes it is. There are some caveats to keep in mind, but generally, life insurance covers almost every type of death that could occur to the policyholder. Built into life insurance plans is a death clause that covers all types of death to the policyholder. In some instances, insurance companies can amend this clause and revoke the policy.
Make sure you are aware of this when you set up your life insurance plan.
What Is ‘Natural Death?’
Natural death is classified as such if the medical examiner or coroner deems the death was not as a result of external circumstances. This means that no person or object was involved in the death of the person. This is only determined by the coroner or medical examiner after the evidence and state of the body are investigated and it is determined that the person was not killed by a person or object. They also rule out suicide as a cause of death to come to this conclusion.
Natural death is not technically a cause of death, but a manner of death category that quite a few causes of death fall under. These causes of death are things such as kidney disease, heart attack, stroke, and infections like sepsis or tuberculosis. These are the causes of death are responsible for nearly 90% of the deaths in the last thirty years.
Other manners of death, including suicide, homicide, and accidents like car crashes and drug overdoses, make up only around 10% of deaths. These forms of death are also covered under most life insurance policies as well, but that is for another article.
What Are the Exceptions to Life Insurance Policies?
There are certain cases in which the insurance company can deny enacting the death clause of your life insurance policy. These are very fringe cases and mostly can be ignored. There is nothing to worry about unless you are not forthcoming and honest with the insurance company when setting up your life insurance policy.
One of the cases in which this problem occurs is when the policyholder withholds vital information that can affect the life insurance plan. Things such as medical releases, diagnoses, known diseases and complications, and at-risk pregnancies are all in this scenario. As long as you are open and honest with the insurance company about these things, this should not be an issue for your life insurance.
Within the first two years, insurance companies do an investigation into the circumstances of a policy holder’s death to determine if the death was caused by an undisclosed medical condition. After two years, insurance companies will payout to the beneficiaries without any investigation
Within that first two years, if you haven’t withheld any pertinent medical information, the insurance company’s investigation will be quick and your family will see the payment enacted not long after the investigation is concluded.
What Types of Death are Covered on Life Insurance Plans?
As stated earlier, natural death, accidental death, homicide, and suicide are all covered by life insurance. This covers almost every type of death, and even the fringe cases should be covered as well. Just in case there is any confusion about what each manner of death is, here is a quick guide to what is included in each.
Earlier in the article, we defined this as death that was not a result of external circumstances. External circumstances include death at the hands of another person or by an object such as large machinery, building material, or vehicle. In this case, there isn’t much question about what happened. A medical examiner or coroner can usually find out the cause of death quickly and report it to the life insurance company to get the policy in order for the family of the policyholder.
Natural death is the most common manner of death and insurance companies usually have no issue getting the policy taken care of.
At first thought, accidental death insurance seems quite simple without the need for explanation, but you’d be surprised actually constitutes an accidental death. You may also be floored as to what goes into the coverage of accidental death and the actual features in an accidental death insurance plan. Accidental death constitutes any death, not from natural causes. This also excludes death from homicide and suicide.
Accidental death is covered under all life insurance policies. There are even special policies specifically for accidental death if your lifestyle or career brings some heightened risk with it. These policies have no correlation with a general life insurance policy and payout separately from the life insurance.
You may be surprised to know that most life insurance policies consider drug overdose as an accidental death. This has become more common as the years have passed and drug abuse statistics have increased. There are a few more fringe cases that are considered accidents, but they are usually specific to the insurance company and their policies.
The dictionary defines homicide as the unlawful killing of one person by another. Another word for it is murder. Life insurance covers death by the hand of another. Wrongful death is never a welcomed experience, but your family can rest at ease with the life insurance policy covering the death and paying your loved ones for the policy.
Homicide is a fairly cut and dry process for the insurance company. Police departments make a detailed report and investigation, give the records to the insurance company, and the insurance company enacts the death clause of the life insurance policy to payout to the beneficiaries in the victim’s family.
Even though this type of death is not caused by the hand of another and is not caused by an accident involving an object, it is covered by life insurance in most cases. There is usually a suicide clause added to the policy to account for the possibility of suicide (God forbid that happening).
There are some cases where the life insurance policy has a suicide exclusionary clause, but these are few and far between. Some policies have exclusionary clauses for suicide that pertain to the circumstances surrounding suicide. These circumstances could include failure to seek counseling for suicidal tendencies and untreated depression leading up to suicide.
Physician-assisted suicide, also called “death with dignity,” is also covered by insurance, but with a few caveats, such as the death with dignity taking place within the first two years of the plan. After the first two years, death with dignity and physician-assisted suicide will not be contested by the life insurance company.
Frequently Asked Questions
With all the different aspects of life insurance, there are some questions that loom overhead about some things associated with life insurance. Here are some of those questions and their answers.
What about death from a natural disaster?
This type of death technically falls under natural death. It is a fringe case that needed to go somewhere and it didn’t fit in the other categories. Some life insurance policies have a separate clause for natural disasters, or “acts of god.”
What about death on the battlefield or in armed forces?
The US armed forces have their own life insurance offerings and in the event of the death of one of their soldiers, the spouse or family of the soldier gets the payout from the branch of the military in which he served.
What about death from cancer?
Cancer deaths fall under natural death in most cases. They should be treated as such in regards to the life insurance policy held by the victim.
Tulsa Insurance Guy is an insurance broker in Tulsa that specializes in life insurance policies and accidental death policies. They work with over 70 insurance companies to make sure you are getting the best life insurance to leave your family with a little something after you’re gone. Your family will thank you for doing so.
They work with you to find your specific needs and find plans that fit your circumstances. They work to understand your situation to serve you and your family better. You always know that you’re getting the best policies when you work with Tulsa Insurance Guy.
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