When and Why Life Insurance Doesn’t Payout

This article will explain why a life insurance company might not pay on a claim. Keep in mind, this does not happen often. Life insurance is a binding contract between the insurance company and the insured.



Reasons Why Life Insurance Claims are Denied

After a loved one passes away, the family should be able to obtain the loved one’s life insurance; however, sometimes insurance companies make this hard and will prevent the family from getting the claim that they deserve.

A life insurance policy is a contract between a policyholder and an insurance company that states that that the insurer promises to pay a beneficiary stated on the contract a certain amount of money when the insurance holder passes away.

An insurance holder pays a premium every month in order to ensure that the insurance company holds up its end of the contract; unfortunately, this is not always the case. It’s common for insurance companies to avoid paying beneficiaries the money that they may be entitled to.

Insurance companies may avoid paying out claims for a number of reasons. A life insurance lawyer pointed out that some of these reasons may be fought in court because they [insruance companies] are notorious for employing unfair tactics in order to hold onto the insurance.

It’s important to know some of the most common reasons that life insurance companies will not pay out the designated sum of money to beneficiaries.  


The Different Reasons Life Insurance May Not Pay Out

If you have just lost a loved one and are having a hard time getting the benefits you are supposed to, it may be worth your while to find out why. Here are some of the most common reasons that life insurance companies will avoid paying out beneficiaries:

In the Case of Suicide

This is perhaps the most common reason that insurance companies will not pay out beneficiaries. If an insurance policyholder takes his or her own life, it’s likely that the beneficiary will not receive the benefits that he or she has been left.

Most insurance companies will not pay out a beneficiary in the case of suicide, however, the rules are different state by state. Depending on the state, there may be a time in which a suicide clause can come into play; usually, this clause is one to two years. The suicide clause protects life insurance companies from people taking their own life so that their family can receive their death benefits.

If the Policy Holder was a Smoker

If the insurance holder was a smoker and the insurance company is made aware of this within two years of death, the insurance company will likely cancel any form of payment. Insurance companies will ask insurance holders if they are a smoker when they buy the policy, even if the person was 5 years ago and has since quit, the insurance company may still hold it against him or her when the beneficiaries attempt to get the benefits that he or she has been left.

Due to Certain Activities

Certain activities can impact whether or not an insurance company will pay the death benefits to the beneficiaries. These stipulations may be found in the insurance policy upon purchasing it; it’s important to read the fine print that details the sort of activities and lifestyles that will impact the insurance company’s payout.

Dangerous Activities

The point of life insurance is to take care of risk management, and to insurance companies, partaking in dangerous activities or lifestyles will make a life insurance policy unnecessary. If a person is a high-risk, perhaps a person that partakes in dangerous activities such as skydiving or driving a motorcycle, he or she will be expected to pay for that with the monthly premium. 

If a person does not detail his or her risky lifestyle on the life insurance policy and ends up passing away while partaking in a dangerous activity, it’s likely that the insurance company will not pay out the beneficiary.

Illegal Activities

If a person dies while committing an illegal action, it’s likely that the insurance company will withhold money. An insurance company has the right to refuse to pay out a beneficiary, this is true even if the person was unintentionally doing something illegal. 

Fraudulent Cases

No matter the cause of death, an insurance company is going to investigate the cause of death. If a beneficiary claims the cause of death is one thing when it is was, in fact, another, the insurance company has the right to claim insurance fraud and refuse to pay.

Similarly, if a policy claims that the insurance holder lived a risk-free lifestyle, and then he or she passes away parking in a risky activity, the insurance holder will likely not pay. This is true for certain health conditions and smokers as well. If the policy does not describe that the policyholder has a certain underlying health condition or that he or she was a smoker and then he or she passes away due to complications from this condition, the insurance company is likely to not pay.

If the Policy Holder was an Expatriate

Some life insurance policies state that they will not pay if the insurance holder moves out of the country. This clause may be written in the fine print and is worth looking for if the insurance holder plans on ever relocating out of the United States.


Make Sure Your Life Insurance Policy Will Actually Pay

In order to make sure that your life insurance policy will actually pay, keep these points in mind and try to avoid them the best that you can. It’s important to do proper research before purchasing a life insurance policy in order to best avoid any complications having to do with your insurance company neglecting to pay out your beneficiaries.


Veronica Baxter Is the Author of this Article!

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