A couple weeks ago I shared a news report from Peter Mansbridge on Suicide attempts and insurance: Why you might not be covered. I would like to create a conversation on each of the benefits that are included in your Employee Benefit Program and the suicide clauses or lack thereof. I always recommend that you contact your Insurance Provider to confirm your contract wording.
Under the Group Long Term Disability contract the following exclusion exists:
“Exclusions and Reduction of Coverage
a) Subject to any applicable law the benefits of this provision will not apply if the Insured Employee’s Total Disability results directly or indirectly from any one or more of the following:
- suicide, attempted suicide, or intentional self-inflicted injury;
- the voluntary or intentional inhalation or administration of drugs, poison, poisonous substance, gas or fumes”
I am using the understanding of insurance from the Industry’s governing body, Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA).
As an overall premise, it is important to note that the general purpose of life and health insurance is to provide people with financial and other types of security in the event of unanticipated death, accident or illness.
Most policies contain exclusions under the accidental death or accidental death and dismemberment benefit section for suicide and intentional self-inflicted injuries as these would be deliberate acts by an insured person and not accidents. I referred to this in an earlier blog.
Exclusions for intentional self-inflicted injuries will also be found in group and individual polices which provide benefits in addition to life insurance, such as long term disability. This is because the general purpose of insurance is to protect people in the event of an unexpected injury or illness, and not for losses which result from the insured person’s deliberate actions.
These exclusions have been common for many years. While the specific language used will vary from company to company the effect would generally be the same. The industry is not aware of any companies removing such clauses from their policies.
Understanding your Insurance Contract is important, contact me with any question you might have.