Does life insurance cover suicidal death in Australia?
11 September 2023
When looking for life insurance, suicide coverage is available with certain extra conditions. Suncorp Life Insurance provides a lump sum payout as a death benefit or also following the diagnosis of terminal illnesses with a life expectancy of less than 12 months, but this does not include suicide or intentional self-injury in the first 13 months of cover.
This means that if you have Suncorp Life Insurance and you commit suicide within that 13-month exclusion period, the claim won’t be valid and no benefit will be paid.
Once you have held a life insurance policy for longer than the 13-month exclusion period, then a payout due to suicide is no longer excluded. With Suncorp Life Insurance, you can choose to cover yourself and one additional adult for up to $1.5m for death or terminal illness, and up to $250,000 for optional illness covers.
Life insurance cover for those who have attempted suicide
If you've attempted suicide in the past, it may be treated like a pre-existing condition when reviewing your application for life insurance. You may be asked questions like:
- When did you first experience symptoms and suicidal thoughts?
- Whether you’ve experienced any mental health issues, and your current treatments?
- And, if you currently still experience any of these symptoms?
The answers you provide may determine what, if any, level of cover will be offered, and on what terms it will be offered.
It’s important to be honest about your medical history including any diagnosis of mental illness or suicide attempts. You have a legal duty to take reasonable care not to make a misrepresentation to the insurer, so it is important to answer questions truthfully and accurately, including whether you have been asked about a history of injury, illness or attempted suicide. If you do not answer truthfully or accurately, Suncorp Insurance may avoid vary or avoid your policy or refuse to pay a claim.
When you compare life insurance from different insurances, you can check whether it includes certain benefits such as whether it will cover suicide in Australia, by reviewing the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). Some term life insurance policies expressly exclude death by suicide. At Suncorp Insurance, suicide cover is payable after the 13-month exclusion period has passed.
How to apply for Life Insurance if you have a previous suicide attempt
Step 1: When applying don't hesitate to ask about coverage options for applicants who have attempted suicide in the past.
Step 2: Gather as much information as possible to provide. This includes details about your medical history and copies of any treatment plans or medications you’re currently taking.
Step 3: Be honest and truthful on your application, declaring your medical history and information related to any family history of mental health issues or suicide. You will also be asked questions about your lifestyle, like if you smoke.
Step 4: Review the quote carefully and check that the policy suits your needs best. You can find more information about the policy’s feature in the Product Disclosure Statement.
When life insurance might not pay out
A life insurance benefit may not pay out in certain circumstances. This can happen for a few different reasons:
- Policy premiums have not been paid up to date and the policy has lapsed.
- If you didn’t comply with your legal duty to take reasonable care not to make a misrepresentation before the contract was entered into.
- The cause of death was excluded under the policy’s terms and conditions. For example, suicide may be excluded in the first 13 months of taking out a policy, or death as a result of certain extreme sports may not be covered.
- The life insurance policy has expired after a specified "term" has been reached. At Suncorp Insurance, the policy typically terminates upon the policyholder's death or upon reaching their 99th birthday, unless it is terminated beforehand for one of the reasons outlined in the PDS.
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Suncorp Life Insurance products, other than in some circumstances the Redundancy Benefit, are provided by TAL Life Limited ABN 70 050 109 450 AFSL 237848 (TAL Life) which is part of the TAL Dai-ichi Life Australia Pty Limited ABN 97 150 070 483 group of companies (TAL). TAL Life is part of the TAL Dai-ichi Life Australia Pty Limited ABN 97 150 070 483 group of companies (TAL). TAL companies are not part of the Suncorp Group. TAL companies use the Suncorp brand under license.
Redundancy Benefit issued on or before 31st March 2020 was offered by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807, AFSL 230859 (AAI) trading as Suncorp which is part of the Suncorp Group. New Redundancy Benefit policies and renewals offered from 1st April 2020 will be issued by TAL Life. The different entities of TAL and the Suncorp Group of companies are not responsible for, or liable in respect of, products and services provided by the other.
Any advice on this page in connection with the Life products is general in nature and is provided by Platform Ventures Pty Ltd ABN 35 626 745 177 AFS Representative Number 001266101 (PV). PV is part of the Suncorp Group and an authorised representative of TAL Direct Pty Limited ABN 39 084 666 017, AFSL 243260 (TAL Direct). General advice does not take into account your individual needs, objectives or financial situation. Before you decide to buy or to continue to hold a Life Products you must read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement.