lhia logo bar
Summer 2019  Volume 12, Number 2        

When Euthanasia and Life Insurance Intersect

If a terminally ill person decides on euthanasia, will their life insurance deny their beneficiaries the life insurance money?

It depends on state laws and the policy.

First, it's helpful to know the differences between euthanasia, assisted suicide and suicide. Euthanasia occurs when a physician ends a patient’s life because the patient is suffering severe, persistent and untreatable pain. Assisted suicide is when someone provides the person who is suffering with the means to end their life. Suicide is when someone takes their own life.

While life insurance provides a death benefit to beneficiaries, there are some situations where the policy might not pay the benefit. Only Oregon, Washington, Vermont, California and Colorado have laws protecting the right to assisted suicide. In these states, doctor-assisted suicide doesn't equal suicide for insurance purposes.

Many insurance companies require a medical exam to see if the individual is insurable. During the underwriting process, a life insurance company will look at an applicant’s health and health history to learn how risky he or she will be to insure. This includes not only physical health but mental health.

Euthanasia or suicide is sometimes covered after the first two years of the policy — although the policy's suicide clause sometimes is effective longer than two years.

If an individual contracts a terminal disease after buying the policy and then legally ended his or her life in a right-to-die state, the policy would payout.

A death benefit either is paid to the beneficiaries as a tax-free, lump-sum or a series of payments. However, if the death results from a self-inflicted injury, the insurer can refuse to pay. This rule is to prevent people from taking out a policy and taking their own life so their beneficiaries can receive the benefit.


[return to top]






In this issue:

This Just In...

The Likelihood of Medicare for All

How to be a Caregiver Without Taking a Major Financial Hit

The Importance of Life Insurance at Any Age

When Euthanasia and Life Insurance Intersect


The information presented and conclusions within are based upon our best judgment and analysis. It is not guaranteed information and does not necessarily reflect all available data. Web addresses are current at time of publication but subject to change. SmartsPro Marketing and The Insurance 411 do not engage in the solicitation, sale or management of securities or investments, nor does it make any recommendations on securities or investments. This material may not be quoted or reproduced in any form without publisher’s permission. All rights reserved. ©2019 The Insurance 411. www.theinsurance411.com Tel. 877-762-7877.