No, I am not thinking about suicide, but I was wondering this as a curiosity question. If a person dies by an accident, they are covered by life insurance and their beneficiaries receive some amount of money. But if a person ends their life by suicide, are they covered by life insurance? Do their beneficiaries receive any amount of money?

If you've found this question because you're thinking about suicide, please know your life is worth more than insurance money. Please consider talking to someone, either in the United States or internationally.


In the United States, yes it will generally cover suicide. However there is usually a "suicide clause":

Usually, this clause states that no death benefit will be paid if the insured commits suicide within two years of taking out a policy.

Whenever an insured person replaces an existing life insurance policy with a new one, the time clock for the suicide clause is set back to zero and starts over again.

It also depends on the policy, state, etc.

  • So no benefit is paid if suicide happens within 2 years of taking out the policy, but is the inverse true? Must a payout happen if suicide occurs over 2 years after the policy? – Thunderforge Apr 16 '17 at 20:09
  • It depends on your exact policy. When you buy life insurance, your insurance broker will tell you all the details. – Michael Apr 16 '17 at 20:12
  • 5
    Exactly. And there are times that a company will reject a benefit that's too high. I had no problem getting a $1M policy, but if I tried to get a $5M policy, I might arouse suspicion, especially since I'm retired. Suicide is awful, but usually done on impulse, not planned over 2 years in advance. – JoeTaxpayer Apr 16 '17 at 20:17
  • It would be kind of awkward to ask my broker how my policy covers death by suicide, but I suppose I'll look for it in the fine print out of morbid curiosity. – Thunderforge Apr 17 '17 at 1:59
  • @JoeTaxpayer And when suicide is planned over 2 years it's normally for medical reasons--which generally means death would have come fairly soon anyway. (And it's pretty much moot as the medical condition would cause them to fail underwriting.) – Loren Pechtel Jun 8 '18 at 3:50

Suicide is one thing. And you are correct, it is two years. There are 6 other scenarios where life insurance does not pay out. https://www.truebluelifeinsurance.com/7-ways-life-insurance-will-not-pay-out/ . These are important too.

New contributor
Brian Greenberg is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering. Check out our Code of Conduct.
  • 4
    Links break. If you'd like your answer to remain, please summarize the '7 reasons' you are referencing. – JoeTaxpayer yesterday

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.