Are All Deaths Covered by Life Insurance?

Chris Stocker

Chris Stocker

Owner and author of The Life of a Diabetic. He's been writing about Diabetes related topics for over 10 years, and has been featured in HealthLine, Diatribe, Diabetes Advocates and JDRF.

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Last Updated on November 30, 2023

There are various ideas people do not like to think about and death is one of those things. However, it is in the interest of you and your family for you to have access to a life insurance policy in case something were to occur. There are various things to account for with the life insurance policy.

Many people will obtain life insurance for various reasons.  Maybe to cover outstanding mortgages.  Or to replace lost income in the event a loved one passes.  In some situations life insurance is needed for a SBA loan, or to satisfy a divorce obligation.  It’s very important to know exactly what your life insurance policy covers.

Natural Cause of Death and Life Insurance

A natural cause of death is considered to be a death where the individual passes away due to a disease or some underlying medical condition. This is different than that of dying due to trauma from an accident. Dying from natural causes could be caused from various diseases.  Having a type of Diabetes will not disqualify you from being covered.

The majority of life insurance policies will be out the death benefit if the individual dies from a natural cause. The only thing to be mindful of is that the policy needs to be in force.  Again, we want to reiterate that if you were to pass away from natural causes with diabetes, your policy will payout.  Or in the event you die due to complications of diabetes, you are still covered.

Be aware that life insurance companies have the ability to contest claims for a set period of time. This is known as the contestability period. This is usually valid for the first two years of the policy. 

For example, if Teresa signed up for a life insurance policy at 55 years old and in her application she shared that she never smoked, yet she passed one year later from emphysema. This would lead the insurance company to open an investigation to determine if she had been dishonest in her application. This is called misrepresentation and can lead to the life insurance company to deny the death benefit claim, which means they would not pay the death benefit.

Accidental Death Life Insurance and Natural Death

If you are covered by an accidental death life insurance policy, this does not cover the policyholder dying of natural causes. An accidental death life insurance only covers death resulting from Accidents involving vehicles, bikes, drowning, fires, and work-related machinery.

Oftentimes, an accidental death policy is only an option if the aspiring policy holder does not qualify for whole life or term life insurance.  If you own only an accidental death policy, you will want to review the terms of the contract very closely.  Certain insurance companies would only pay out the death benefit if you passed away from an accident in a specific time frame after the accident.

Is Accidental Death Covered?

If an accident occurs to the policy Holder that leads to death, like a fall of some sort, the life insurance policy may be paid out both accidental death life insurance policy and the traditional life insurance policy. However, the contestability is also present here and details of the death will be looked at closely. 

Both an accidental death life insurance policy and a traditional life insurance policy will pay out the death benefit if the insured dies as a result of an accident. However, the contestability period applies here as well.

For example, if John, an avid zip liner, had an accident in Mexico while zip-lining that led to his death, this will be reviewed closely by the life insurance policies. If John failed to mention this on his life insurance application, as he is an avid thrill-seeker in this area, it might cause the life insurance companies to contest the death benefit. The reality is that high-risk individuals may still be insured by many life insurance companies but they usually have what is called an exclusion rider. An exclusion rider is a language in the contract that states that the company will not pay the death benefit if the individual policy policyholder engages in certain activities. 

The best approach when submitting a life insurance application is to be completely honest and forthright with your any medical conditions or high-risk activities that you may be engaging in. There is comfort in knowing that you are completely covered while living your life and you know your loved ones will be cared for if an accident causes the death of the policy holder. 

Suicide and Life Insurance

Unfortunately, there are so many ways that people can die and it is often a traumatic experience for loved ones for the rest of their lives. When accounting for a life insurance death benefit, one area that life insurance companies do not cover the death benefit is if the policyholder commits suicide. The concern is that the policyholder applied for the life insurance policy with the intent of wanting to commit suicide. Life insurance companies protect themselves by having a two-year or one-year clause where they will not pay for this type of death. Some companies will however reimburse the beneficiary with the paid policy premiums.

Homicide and Life Insurance

When discussing the horrific nature of a homicide, you have to stop to understand the true meaning of the act. The act of one human being killing another human being out of free will is the highest of all crimes. The cause of death may fall under use of reckless, negligent conduct, or accidental means that were all intended to cause harm. 

Any time there is a death of a policy holder that is a result from a homicide, the life insurance company will have to investigate its merit. A key factor in determining whether the life insurance policy is valid is to identify whether the beneficiary of the life insurance policy is not the suspect of being the murderer. If that is ultimately led to be true, then the life insurance policy is paid as agreed in the contract. If for whatever reason the beneficiary is a suspect, or believed to be involved somehow, then the funds will be kept by the life insurance policy until a judgement has been made by the courts. Once the judgement is shared, if the beneficiary is found guilty, then a back-up beneficiary will receive the funds. 

There are times when a beneficiary is found not guilty by the criminal courts and the life insurance company decides to take the beneficiary to civil court to make their case that evidence connects them to the murder. A number of life insurance companies do this for proving one’s case is lower in the civil courts than that of the criminal courts. 

The purpose of having a life insurance plan to begin with is to provide for your family in the future if you were to die and could not provide for them in the futu

re. It is a level of protection that you can offer your loved ones to assist throughout the hardship of losing a loved on. As long as you are honest on your application, then your life insurance policy will be in good standing and the death benefit will be paid if needed. 

You can absolutely explore your life insurance options today with us.  We’d love to help you determine what term life insurance or whole life insurance companies would work best for you.  Everyday we are helping the diabetes community with their life insurance needs.

From start to finish, an assigned agent will help you with customized life insurance quotes.  Then, they’ll help with the application process.  Life insurance with diabetes has never been easier to qualify for.  Diabetes Life Solutions was established to be an online resource to the diabetes community, and help them out with all things life insurance related.  Let us help with the process today!

Matt Schmidt is a nationally licensed diabetes insurance expert. Over this time frame he's helped out over 10,000 clients secure life insurance coverage with Diabetes. He's frequently authors content to Forbes, Entrepreneur, The Simple Dollar, GoBanking Rates, MSN,, and Yahoo Finance and many more.

Matt Schmidt is also the Co-Founder of Diabetes Life Solutions and Licensed Insurance agent. He’s been working with the Diabetes community for over 18 years to find consumers the best life insurance policies.  Since 2011, he has been a qualified non-member of MDRT, the most prestigious life insurance trade organization in the USA

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