All life insurance policies contain certain exclusions. This means there are certain circumstances in which they won’t pay out any benefits when the insured passes away. Some of these exclusions are activities that are the insured’s fault. For example, if a death occurs as a result of illegal activity, most policies won’t pay out any benefits. However, some of the other exclusions are completely out of the control of the insured, such as acts of war whether in Afghanistan or Iraq.
War Exclusion Clause and Life Insurance Claim
Most life insurance policies have an exclusion for acts of war. This means that in the event of certain war acts, such as an invasion, an act of terrorism, or a military coup, the insurance company won’t pay out any benefits to the beneficiaries of the insured. The war exclusion used to only appear only in policies of those contractually assuming liability, such as service members, rather than private citizens. The assumption was that only people in the military would die from events that were war or terror related. However, that all changed after September 11th, 2001. After the terrorist attack on the twin towers, life insurance companies began putting the war exclusion into all of their policies.
Why Do Life Insurance Policies Have An Act Of War Exclusion?
The answer to this question is the same answer to almost every other question about why a life insurance company would refuse to pay out benefits – money. If there were a major act of war or terrorism and the beneficiaries of everyone who died as a result could claim life insurance benefits, the companies probably wouldn’t be able to afford to pay all the benefits. Most life insurance companies make their money on the premise that they’ll never actually have to pay out any money. For example, sometimes this occurs because an insured can no longer afford their policy – so they spent years paying for a policy but no one ever actually receives a payout. If a life insurance company had to pay claims as a result of war or terrorism, it would likely bankrupt them.
Most Act Of War Exclusions Are Very Comprehensive
The act of war exclusions that most life insurance companies put into their policies are quite comprehensive. It doesn’t simply include acts of war, such as a country being bombed, or a terror attack similar to September 11th. The policies generally use language that considers a broad range of actions as terrorism or war activity in an attempt to avoid making payouts.
- Gulf War (1990-1991): The United States led a coalition of international forces to expel Iraqi forces from Kuwait. The conflict resulted in the deaths of approximately 25,000 Iraqi soldiers and an estimated 1,000 coalition soldiers.
- War in Afghanistan (2001-2021): Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the United States launched Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan to dismantle Al-Qaeda and remove the Taliban from power. The conflict continued for over two decades, with the United States gradually reducing its military presence. The conflict resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of Afghan civilians, over 2,400 U.S. military personnel, and thousands of coalition troops.
- Iraq War (2003-2011): The United States, along with a coalition of allies, invaded Iraq with the goal of removing Saddam Hussein from power and eliminating perceived weapons of mass destruction. The conflict resulted in the deaths of approximately 134,000 to 150,000 Iraqi civilians, as well as thousands of U.S. military personnel and coalition forces.
- War in Somalia (2006-present): The United States has been involved in an ongoing conflict in Somalia against Al-Shabaab, an Islamist militant group. The U.S. military has conducted airstrikes and provided support to Somali forces in their fight against the group. The exact number of deaths resulting from this conflict is difficult to ascertain.
- War in Libya (2011): The United States, along with NATO allies, intervened in Libya to protect civilians during the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi's regime. The conflict resulted in the deaths of an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 people, including both combatants and civilians.
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