Does a drug overdose break a life insurance policy?
UPDATED: Jul 6, 2010
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Asked July 6, 2010
There is no simple yes or no answer to your question. Whether the drug was a prescribed medication, how it was administered, and the details of the overdose are all considerations, along with the question of whether the overdose was intentional or accidental. Most life insurance policies have an exclusionary period for self-inflicted death of any sort, and that could be factor as well if the policy was recently taken out. Read the policy carefully to find out what exclusions it may have, or clauses that modify the policy in the event of certain types of death.
Recreational drug overdoses are generally considered suicide for the purposes of a life insurance policy. The idea is that if the person had not been intentionally using illegal substances, the death would not have happened. Similarly, intentional overdose using prescribed medication may not be covered either, and the claim will not be settled until proof of accidental death has been established by the insurance company.
Not all life insurance policies cover death by suicide, but some do after a waiting period of between 3 and 5 years. The insurance company acknowledges that suicide could be a form of accidental death, as in the case of a mentally disturbed person, but they require a waiting period to prevent someone from taking out a policy just to allow a family member to file a claim in the near future. Where suicide is concerned, settling the claim may be a difficult process even in circumstances where the policy specifically states that a suicide related settlement is possible. Insurance companies are very suspicious of the circumstances surrounding such claims and will investigate them thoroughly before settlement is made.
Answered July 6, 2010 by Anonymous