Murder She Wrote: Will a carrier pay a claim if an insured is murdered?
The topic for this post reminded me of the television crime drama series from the 1980-90s “Murder, She Wrote,” which revolved around the daily life of Jessica Fletcher, a successful mystery writer, who proves to be better at solving murders by carefully piecing together clues. Researching this issue provided some fascinating reading – as interesting as trying to solve the murder before Ms. Fletcher.
Situation: Does a policy pay where the insured is murdered? Solution: In many cases life insurance benefits are paid if an insured is murdered, but the circumstances must be examined as well as the provisions of the specific insurance contract. Following are some situations:
Death During the Contestability Period: One of the most common life insurance provisions permits an insurance carrier to investigate an insured’s death for any reason during the contestability period. The objective of this provision is to catch fraud and suicide to avoid payment of the death benefit claim. The suicide of the insured automatically voids the policy when the suicide occurs during the contestability period. However, if suicide occurs after the period the insurance company is obligated to pay the claim. It’s not always easy to prove suicide so when its questionable carriers typically pay the benefit.READ MORE