Suicide and Life Insurance

During my life insurance licensing class, the instructor told a story of young man who wanting to know if the 2 year suicide clause was in effect on his policy. He told him not yet and he hung up. He called again after the probationary period and was told that it is now active. He subsequently killed himself and his beneficiary received the death benefit. I often thought about that story, and have been disturb that someone would allow a life insurance policy to be ones motivation for their existence. Is the policy to blame or the individual?

If someone is of the mind to commit suicide, then the life insurance certainly is not the sole emotional factor in ones determination to commit the ultimate act. As disturbing as the act of suicide is- the family suffers tremendously-, it is more disturbing that a legal document is the instigator in this debate. The statement, “Guns do not kill, people do”, would be my analysis of how I interpret this debate.

I personally have never known of an insurance company willingly giving anyone monies unless they legally have to. They are notorious for fighting the legality of the million
of claims that come into their claims department yearly. Not that this a solid reasoning to this debate, but it is comical and a twist when you think of insurance companies having to
pay out claims for suicide.

Moreover, this thinking has been the focus of much of our society’s woes, as I see it. When the legal system puts the blame on someone-or something- besides the individual, then you have the litigation crisis that we now have in our courts today. When a hot cup of coffee takes on a life of its own because it is too hot and causes burns on unsuspecting McDonalds’s customers, then when is personal responsibility accountable?

Life insurance is a policy that covers a person when they die. As far as I can see, suicide is a death and should be covered by the insurers, and not be the instigator behind suicide. Are bridges a pull for suicide because of their height? Is the Grand Canyon an irresistible
pull to the many suicide victims it claims yearly? Again, you can see how silly this reasoning can take one. Therefore, personal responsibility is the reasoning behind suicide not the life insurance policy.