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

Answers:

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. 


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