It’s no secret that there have been countless homicides that were committed in an attempt to receive a payout of the murdered person’s life insurance policy. Because of this, there are many questions about whether beneficiaries can receive a payout of a policy if the policyholder is murdered. Our life insurance attorneys can fight any homicide denial and win!
Does Life Insurance Cover Murder?
Most insurance policies will pay out if the policyholder was murdered. However, the death will need to have occurred outside of the contestability period. This period can be as long as two years after the policy was first taken out.
Of course, there are some exceptions to this rule. The slayer rule in many policies stops a payout from being given to anyone that is found to be involved in the murder. This means that a beneficiary who is found to have either committed the murder themselves or been involved in the planning in any way won’t receive any funds.
Common Murder-Related Denials
As mentioned previously, there are certain conditions that will cause a claim to be denied on a life insurance policy where murder is involved. Most of these denials fall into one of three categories.
The Policy’s Beneficiary Was Involved In the Murder
If a policyholder is murdered and their beneficiary is a suspect in the investigation, then the payout of the policy will be delayed until the investigation is complete or clears the beneficiary.
However, being found innocent in criminal court doesn’t always mean the payout will happen either. If the insurance company feels there is evidence to suggest guilt, they can take the beneficiary to civil court. Here, they don’t need as much evidence to determine guilt. If civil court rules that the beneficiary is guilty, the claim will be denied even if they were found not guilty in criminal court.
The Murder Occurred Due to a Criminal Offense
Some insurance companies will deny any claims that are related to criminal activity. This includes when the policyholder is murdered while taking part in illegal activity. If the investigation finds that the insured was doing something like partaking in drug dealing, breaking and entering, or other criminal offenses, they can deny the claim.
Life Insurance Fraud
Life insurance companies will often do their own investigations if they suspect any type of fraud in a claim. While they do their investigation, it will put the payout of your claim on hold. If they find that there was intended life insurance fraud, they will deny the claim.
Fraud with murder cases can look like someone being murdered so their family can receive a payout of the insured’s policy. This can include a murder-for-hire or other planned actions. If it’s found that this was a plan with attempted murder, but the “victim” didn’t pass away, the insurance company will most likely cancel the policy to prevent further payouts.
Having a loved one killed through homicide is a traumatizing experience. It’s important to know what to expect with life insurance claims in these situations. If you’re concerned that you aren’t receiving the payout you deserve after a loved one was murdered, consider contacting a life insurance lawyer about your next steps.