Suicide and Life Insurance

In Michigan, is it legal to deny a beneficiary of life insurance if the covered person commits suicide due to mental issues? Does it matter if in a suicide note, the covered person mentions wanting his/her family to receive life insurance (i.e. intent)?

Asked on May 21, 2009 under Insurance Law, Michigan


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Insurance policies generally have what is known as a suicide period,  a certain time frame that is triggered by a date specified either in the policy or by law, where if the covered person commits suicide, the insurance company does not have to pay the death benefit.  Computing the time frame can be difficult and best left to a legal professional.  Your question also raises some additional legal issues that are best addressed by a legal professional:  the issue of the mental condition of the covered person, when it arose, was it disclosed when the policy was taken out.  Also, was there a designated beneficiary under the policy? A suicide note does not really take the place of a designation of beneficiary form that companies use with most policies.  Seek legal help with this matter. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.