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In This Article I’m Going To Discuss Life Insurance And Answer An Important Question You May Be Asking: Does A Life Insurance Plan Pay For Death By Natural Causes?
Most likely the reason you’re looking at this article is twofold. You may be in the market to buy a life insurance plan and have arrived at the conclusion that it’s pretty important to cover both accidental and natural death because we don’t know when or how we’re going to die.
Or perhaps you are in the situation where you’ve lost a loved one such as a spouse or a relative and the policy they had did not pay out as hoped. Whatever your reason for visiting this article, I hope to clear up any questions you might have about the different kinds of plans that don’t pay for natural causes.
Also, we’re going to discuss plans that do pay for natural causes and then we’re going to go over some of the possible problems that may arise with life insurance when the policy holder dies a natural death.
Here’s An Overview Of Today’s Topics:
What kind of life insurance doesn’t cover natural causes?
Generally speaking, there’s two different types of life insurance plans available to you right now that will insure you, but not for natural death. What follows is a short description of each of these kinds of plans, how they work, and who they would be most appropriate for.
Accidental Life Insurance Plan
As the description says, this is a life insurance plan that pays if you die from an accident, which means natural death is not covered.
Accidental coverage, generally speaking, only covers if you die from some sort of accident within a 90 day period. This is one of the common restrictions placed on an accidental plan.
If a loved one dies after that 90 day period, you will discover that the policy will not pay as you think it should. It has to happen within that period of time to receive a pay out.
I think accidental coverage is great, especially for people who are in high risk occupations or have high risk hobbies or endeavours. Take for example a truck driver or motorcycle rider, somebody who is in a position where they expose themselves to the hazards and risks associated with driving a vehicle.
If this individual is exposed to driving on the road for prolonged periods of time it would only make sense that that person is at greater risk of being involved in a car accident than someone who sits at a desk 9:00-5:00.
I like to ensure extra coverage for people who are in hazardous professions or engage in risky behaviours or risky hobbies because they are naturally at a greater risk of accidental death.
Now, as a side note, I don’t think accidental coverage ever replaces the need for natural death coverage. We all will die one day, and most people end up dying from natural causes. I don’t think it is a prudent decision to only cover for accidental death.
In fact, many of the people that complain to me that their coverage on their loved one never paid out had accidental death coverage but not natural death coverage. So don’t take this article as a promotion for accidental death coverage as a replacement for comprehensive life insurance, which would cover both natural and accidental death.
Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance Plan
A guaranteed acceptance life insurance plan will pay for accidental death from the first day, but is limited in terms of what it will pay for natural death.
When we say limited that simply means that a guaranteed acceptance life insurance plan will pay full coverage on the amount that you purchase only after two years have passed since the effective date of the policy.
These plans are what’s also known as modified plans or graded plans. They don’t become effective for natural death coverage until two years have passed and you are able to prove that you can live past the two year period.
Why would somebody buy a plan like this? Simply put, because their health is so poor that they just can’t get coverage any other way.
You may be suffering from terminal cancer, Alzheimer’s, a conglomeration of heart, diabetic, kidney, liver issues, or some other major health issue. It’s hard to say, but guaranteed acceptance insurance should be viewed as a last ditch option. I don’t recommend this type of policy to many people.
Important takeaway here is that this is something that will not cover natural death from the first day. If you’re generally healthy, there’s going to be a better option. So let’s transition and talk about life insurance that does pay for natural causes.
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance is the most popular and least expensive per dollar coverage life insurance available to you. Approximately 80 percent or more of the population who purchase life insurance choose a term insurance plan.
The main reason I believe this is true simply comes down to cost, despite some of the limitations term insurance presents with the length of time coverage is enforced. There is a high likelihood of outliving it, but the premium is much less expensive and therefore more accessible to more people.
I believe some insurance is better than no insurance. So if you find that term insurance is the only type of coverage you can afford at the moment, it is certainly better to get term insurance than nothing at all.
Most people who purchase term insurance need to cover temporary obligations. When I say temporary obligations, what I mean is concerns such as a mortgage, income replacement, or replacing what you would save for retirement. These are all aspects in which a term insurance plan ultimately can cover for a set period of time in addition to your financial planning.
As you reach retirement age, the ideal hope is that there won’t be a need for life insurance at that point. Obviously, that often is not the case, but that’s a different conversation for a different article.
The takeaway here is that term insurance is the most accessible, as well as the least expensive, insurance for natural and accidental death coverage, which is why it is the most commonly purchased type of insurance.
Term Life Insurance Coverage – 10 Year Term – $100,000 in Coverage
Term Life Insurance Coverage – 10 year Term – $250,000 in Coverage
Term Life Insurance Coverage – 10 year Term – $500,000 in Coverage
Term Life Insurance Coverage – 10 year Term – $1,000,000 in Coverage
Whole Life Insurance
Whole life insurance is the opposite of term insurance. Unlike the temporary nature of term insurance, whole life insurance lasts your whole life and premiums generally do not go up. Coverage never cancels due to age or health, and in most cases, if you medically qualify, you’re fully approved from the first day.
Most people who buy whole life insurance appreciate peace of mind. They need something that permanently covers them because they have permanent obligations.
The most common permanent obligation that whole life insurance covers would include:
- Final expense coverage for burial or cremation
- Estate planning for the very wealthy
- Income replacement for retirees that fear their pensions won’t transfer to their spouses upon their death
I like whole life insurance for many reasons and wish more people were able to buy it, but the reality is that most people have a strict budget and simply can’t afford whole life insurance. Unfortunately you do pay for the peace of mind in knowing you will always have coverage. Whole life tends to cost 5 to 10 times more than term insurance, ultimately leaving it for a minority of the population.
Rates For $10,000 In Burial Insurance
Rates For $25,000 In Burial Insurance
$150,000 Whole Life Insurance, Life Pay
$250,000 Whole Life Insurance, Life Pay
Guaranteed universal life insurance
This is a great product that has all of the same benefits as a whole life insurance plan, but with more death benefit coverage, it’s also more difficult to qualify for in some circumstances. You have to pay the same premium forever, unlike some universal plans that have some flexibility as far as the premium goes.
$50 a Month – Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance
$100 a Month – Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance
$150 a Month – Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance
Plans that don’t pay out
Even if you have a life insurance plan that protects you for natural death coverage and accidental coverage, there’s going to be circumstances, rare as they may be, where the plan may not pay out as expected due to existential reasons that may or may not be beyond your control.
What follows in this section is a brief description of what kind of circumstances could occur that would cause a natural death life insurance plan policy not to pay out. This section is useful for those who may have experienced this firsthand and want to understand why or how it could happen so that they can be better prepared when looking at their own insurance options.
Contestability refers to the right a state government gives to each and every life insurance carrier to contest a claim. In most states, if death occurs within the first two years from natural causes the company has the right to request an investigation.
This involves collecting as many medical records as they deem necessary from every doctor that you’ve ever visited to determine if said amount of coverage should actually have been approved and should be paid out.
If your coverage is contested and held up, then your premiums are refunded plus interest, but the full death benefit is not paid. If it is approved, then the full death benefit will be paid.
The important point to understand is that contestability is something that is there for every single type of life insurance policy that is taken out within the first two years. It’s not restricted to one particular carrier. Every company will do it. Therefore, it’s vital that when you apply for life insurance that you are as transparent about your health as possible.
You do not want something to be left out inadvertently or purposely because that could have an adverse effect on your pay out.
Fraud or an attempt at fraud may be contested by the life insurance company and cause the coverage to not be paid out.
It’s rare that this happens, but there have been some famous cases of people who have faked their own death in order to cash in on life insurance proceeds to pay out to a family member. In fact, there’s even reports of families whose loved ones mysteriously disappeared, but miraculously came back 15 to 20 years later and the insurance company wanted their money back because obviously the person wasn’t dead.
If you commit suicide within the first two years of your life insurance policy, the death benefit will not be paid out to your life insurance beneficiaries.
There’s no exclusions to this rule and no work arounds. All insurance companies abide by this rule.
Exclusionary factors and other circumstances
You may purchase a life insurance plan with what’s known as an exclusionary writer. It may state something along the lines that your life insurance plan will not pay out in case death occurs according to X, Y, Z condition.
Simply put, what this means is that there are restrictions on your life insurance plan. If you end up dying from a hazardous job or hazardous hobby or a health issue that you had when you took out the plan, then the company has every right not to pay in those circumstances.
Make sure during the process of applying that you understand if there’s any exclusions included.
If you’re researching this for a policy that didn’t pay out on a loved one that passed away, look into whether or not they had this exclusionary writer included, because sometimes it is included but family members don’t realize the power it has to lower the chances of having a policy that does not pay out in natural death.
Always be honest
The best advice I can give anybody who’s applying for life insurance is to be brutally and totally honest.
Life insurance companies have a lot of experience investigating claims and determining insurability. They know when they are being conned. So if you aren’t being honest, it’s very likely they will find out.
Honesty is the best policy and while you may not get approved or rated where you’d like with some companies, there’s a high chance that you may find it easier to get coverage elsewhere, even with the same conditions honestly listed.
Ultimately, your not the one you need to worry about when it comes to life insurance, right? It’s your family members that gain or lose based on your policy. So it’s important to make sure that coverage is issued and on the books with all transparency versus fraudulent information where your family suffers the consequences of not having the life insurance they were counting on.