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Old 12-30-2009, 10:28 AM   #1
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NHB_MMA on Suicide and Death Benefit Question - Insurance Forum
 
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Suicide and Death Benefit Question Suicide and Death Benefit Question
When I was a NYL agent in 2006-2007, the company policy was suicide claims were return of premium within the first 2 years...but paid like any other claim after the policy had been in force for 2 years.

Been out of the industry for a while now, so is that something that is done on a company basis or is that a universal standard? I had always been under the impression that suicide was always only a return of premium in most cases. Is there a rule that governs all policies?
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Old 12-30-2009, 10:35 AM   #2
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Suicide and Death Benefit Question Re: Suicide and Death Benefit Question
Originally Posted by NHB_MMA View Post
When I was a NYL agent in 2006-2007, the company policy was suicide claims were return of premium within the first 2 years...but paid like any other claim after the policy had been in force for 2 years.

Been out of the industry for a while now, so is that something that is done on a company basis or is that a universal standard? I had always been under the impression that suicide was always only a return of premium in most cases. Is there a rule that governs all policies?
In my state it is a state law. I assume the same thing in all other states, but I don't know for sure.
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Old 12-30-2009, 11:40 AM   #3
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Suicide and Death Benefit Question Re: Suicide and Death Benefit Question
The 2+ yr suicide claims we have done have been paid just like any other claim. Any under 2 yrs have been ROP.

The issues have been the time to get the DC. That can be complicated, due to the investigation.
We had a Sheriff Deputy that ate his gun, in his patrol car, parked in the cop shop parking lot. That took a while.

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Old 12-30-2009, 12:00 PM   #4
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Old 12-30-2009, 12:21 PM   #5
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Suicide and Death Benefit Question Re: Suicide and Death Benefit Question
Check your state law. In Missouri suicide pays full face from Day 1, Missouri courts have ruled insane people do not buy insurance, and that sane people do not commit suicide, therefore the insurance company cannot have a 1 or 2 year suicide clause.

Question used to be on the state test here in MO
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Old 12-30-2009, 07:48 PM   #6
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Suicide and Death Benefit Question Re: Suicide and Death Benefit Question
Note to self, if every one wants to commit suicide and leave money behind to the family, move to missouri first and then buy your life insurance, that way you won't need to live in misery for the next two years.





With respect to the OP's question, usually there is some period of time where suicide isn't covered, typically two years. Return of premium is the requirement insurance companies face when they offer coverage, take premiums, but refuse to pay a death claim. To be clear, they can't willy nilly refuse to pay death claims, they must have cause.

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Old 12-31-2009, 01:11 AM   #7
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Suicide and Death Benefit Question Re: Suicide and Death Benefit Question
Originally Posted by ergammill View Post
Check your state law. In Missouri suicide pays full face from Day 1, Missouri courts have ruled insane people do not buy insurance, and that sane people do not commit suicide, therefore the insurance company cannot have a 1 or 2 year suicide clause.

Question used to be on the state test here in MO
Would you post the docket number or the case name? Thank you
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Old 12-31-2009, 08:57 AM   #8
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Suicide and Death Benefit Question Re: Suicide and Death Benefit Question
Originally Posted by insuranceexec View Post
Would you post the docket number or the case name? Thank you
Check your Missouri Pre-Course Study Guide for more cases. Missouri status say an insurance company may not use suicide as a defense for not paying a claim.
RSMo 1939 § 5851, A.L. 2007 S.B. 66)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 5740; 1919 § 6150; 1909 § 6945
(1953) Presumption of sanity disappears upon proof by substantial evidence of suicide. Such presumption in a civil case cannot be weighed against evidence. Sturm v. Washington Nat. Ins. Co., 208 F.2d 97.
(1961) Suicide statute may not be availed of to extend coverage to accidents not covered by policy, namely, to a case where death resulted "directly or indirectly * * * from any bodily or mental disease or infirmity". Ieppert v. John Hancock Mutual Life Ins. Co. (A.), 347 S.W.2d 436. (1970) Kaskowitz v. Aetna Life Insurance Co. (A.), 316 S.W.2d 132, and Ieppert v. John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co. (A.), overruled. Mentally ill insured's death from self-inflicted gunshot wounds was not excluded from coverage of accidental death provision in policies by clause which stated that death resulting from or by the contribution of disease or bodily or mental infirmity was excluded from coverage. Sommer v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. (Mo.), 449 S.W.2d 644.

On Aug 31, 2009 the following was added to Missouri Law, it has yet to be tested in court. However at this time the carrier I write for will still pay suicide claims, they say this may change after the new law had been in effect one year, if it's not challenged in Missouri Courts

August 31, 2009 Chapter 376
Life, Health and Accident Insurance
Section 376.620 Suicide, effect on liability--refund of premiums, when.

376.620. 1. Any life insurance or certificate issued or delivered in this state may exclude or restrict liability of death as the result of suicide in the event the insured, while sane or insane, dies as a result of suicide within one year from the date of the issue of the policy or certificate. Any such exclusion or restriction shall be clearly stated in the policy or certificate. 2. Any life insurance policy or certificate which contains any exclusion or restriction under subsection 1 of this section shall also provide that in the event the insured dies as a result of suicide within one year from the date of issue of the policy that the insurer shall promptly refund all premiums paid for coverage on such insured.

Also in Missouri the case would go before a jury, and they decide if the family gets any money from the big insurance company, so you can guess how that would go.

Even with the Aug 2009 law, in Missouri nsurance companies have to be able to prove that when you purchased the policy, you were planing to commit suicide. You should see some of the attorney ads on getting your money after a loved one has commited suicide.
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Last edited by ergammill; 12-31-2009 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 12-31-2009, 01:37 PM   #9
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Suicide and Death Benefit Question Re: Suicide and Death Benefit Question
It may vary from state to state, but in every contract I've seen it's a 2-year exclusion.

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Old 12-31-2009, 02:32 PM   #10
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Suicide and Death Benefit Question Re: Suicide and Death Benefit Question
Originally Posted by ergammill View Post
Check your Missouri Pre-Course Study Guide for more cases. Missouri status say an insurance company may not use suicide as a defense for not paying a claim.
RSMo 1939 § 5851, A.L. 2007 S.B. 66)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 5740; 1919 § 6150; 1909 § 6945
(1953) Presumption of sanity disappears upon proof by substantial evidence of suicide. Such presumption in a civil case cannot be weighed against evidence. Sturm v. Washington Nat. Ins. Co., 208 F.2d 97.
(1961) Suicide statute may not be availed of to extend coverage to accidents not covered by policy, namely, to a case where death resulted "directly or indirectly * * * from any bodily or mental disease or infirmity". Ieppert v. John Hancock Mutual Life Ins. Co. (A.), 347 S.W.2d 436. (1970) Kaskowitz v. Aetna Life Insurance Co. (A.), 316 S.W.2d 132, and Ieppert v. John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co. (A.), overruled. Mentally ill insured's death from self-inflicted gunshot wounds was not excluded from coverage of accidental death provision in policies by clause which stated that death resulting from or by the contribution of disease or bodily or mental infirmity was excluded from coverage. Sommer v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. (Mo.), 449 S.W.2d 644.

On Aug 31, 2009 the following was added to Missouri Law, it has yet to be tested in court. However at this time the carrier I write for will still pay suicide claims, they say this may change after the new law had been in effect one year, if it's not challenged in Missouri Courts

August 31, 2009 Chapter 376
Life, Health and Accident Insurance
Section 376.620 Suicide, effect on liability--refund of premiums, when.

376.620. 1. Any life insurance or certificate issued or delivered in this state may exclude or restrict liability of death as the result of suicide in the event the insured, while sane or insane, dies as a result of suicide within one year from the date of the issue of the policy or certificate. Any such exclusion or restriction shall be clearly stated in the policy or certificate. 2. Any life insurance policy or certificate which contains any exclusion or restriction under subsection 1 of this section shall also provide that in the event the insured dies as a result of suicide within one year from the date of issue of the policy that the insurer shall promptly refund all premiums paid for coverage on such insured.

Also in Missouri the case would go before a jury, and they decide if the family gets any money from the big insurance company, so you can guess how that would go.

Even with the Aug 2009 law, in Missouri nsurance companies have to be able to prove that when you purchased the policy, you were planing to commit suicide. You should see some of the attorney ads on getting your money after a loved one has commited suicide.

Thank you. I will do some studying; amazing the things you can learn.
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