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Life Insurance Glossary: Terms To Know

Suicide Exclusion

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A suicide exclusion provision helps prevent people from purchasing a life insurance policy with the intention of committing suicide and leaving their heirs a batch of money.

The suicide exclusion allows the insurance company to refuse to pay the death benefit if the insured commits suicide during a specified period of time -- generally for two years beginning on the date of the issue of the policy (the same time period that the contestable periods run.)

After the specified period, death by suicide is covered.

For example, if the insured commits suicide one day before the two year period ends, the beneficiary will only receive a return of premiums paid instead of the death benefit. If the suicide occurs one day after the end of the suicide exclusion period, the beneficiary would be paid the full death benefit.

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