Does Life Insurance Cover Suicide?

Suicide is a serious health problem in Australia. In the 2016 World Health Organisation’s report, the dominant cause of death for Australians between the ages of 15 and 44, was suicide. The shocking statistic has led to many queries regarding life insurance and suicide and if companies do in fact cover death by suicide.

We have written this guide to answer your life insurance suicide questions, particularly when is suicide covered and when it will not be covered by your life insurance, in the hope that this will assist you in making informed decisions when choosing life insurance cover.

Do life insurance companies cover suicide in Australia?

With the raising awareness of mental illness in Australia, you are now able to buy policies that cover suicide. Having suicide covered by life insurance policies in Australia is common however generally the policy needs to be in place for longer than 13 months from the date of issue. It’s important that you review your PDS to confirm this.

Life Insurance Can Cover Suicide

It is a common myth that suicide is not covered by Australian life insurance policies however this is not true, as many do cover suicide after the policy has been in place for longer than 13 months. There are exceptions; certain Direct or Group policies may exclude suicide for a longer period or entirely.

It’s important that you check your Policy Disclosure Statement (PDS) for exclusions. For example, NMRA will not pay out life cover for their Fast Track Cover product during the first five years following the cover Commencement Date if death or terminal illness is directly and indirectly due to suicide or intentional self-injury.

On the other hand, MLC Insurance only excludes suicide during the first 13 months of your policy commencement. AIA similarly excludes death caused by suicide only during the first 13 months of policy commencement or reinstatement of the benefit. However, AIA’s Accidental Death Policies, like most accidental death policies, permanently exclude suicide and intentional self-inflicted injury.

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When does suicide void a life insurance payout?

Suicide will void a claim payout when suicide or intentional self-injury is listed as an exclusion in the policy, or when you have committed suicide within the exclusion period in the policy which could be within 13 months of commencement however this will depend on the product disclosure statement of the life insurance policy.

It is essential that you confirm with your insurance company exactly what your life insurance policy excludes and when the period of exclusion may or may not be removed.

If you need help finding a policy that offers comprehensive cover contact us and our expert consultants will provide you with all the essential information for you to make an informed decision.

Let us be clear. If you are reading this because you are contemplating taking your own life so your loved ones can claim on your death benefit, you are making the wrong decision. You are infinitely worth more alive, than dead. Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 if you are experiencing personal crises. Asking for help is a sign of courage, not weakness.

Published: March 24, 2017
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Ask an Expert?


  • Sarah |

    Hi, I have life insurance at the moment that I’m paying $70 a fortnight to cover $400,000. As a 34yr old non smoker female, I’m trying to see if there’s anything else out there that may be cheaper.

      Russell |

      Hi Sarah

      Wow, sounds pricey are you sure you are currently just insured for life insurance only, or is it a level premium policy? I have just reviewed our Quote index – Were we have 32 Brands listed, while we don’t specifically have 34yr old’s in the data set for $400,000 worth of cover we do however have data for non smoker females 30, 35, 40, 45, 50 …and the price range for a 35 year old female non smoker for $500,000 worth of cover ranges from $20.12 – $68.16 / month on a stepped premium.

      I would suggest you call us on 1300 135 205 to see if we can find you a policy that is more affordable or alternatively you can request a life insurance comparison quote.

  • tracey kuchel |

    Hi, my son committed suicide in April 2017 :(

    His super / insurance was with TasPlan starting in 2005. He suffered with mental illness. He told me on the night that he had voices in his head, next afternoon I identified my sons body.

    Would he be covered?
    Thank you

      Russell |

      Hi Tracey

      I am sorry to hear about the tragic loss of your son. Our thoughts go out to you and your family.

      As far as your question whether your son is covered for suicide would be detailed in the relevant PDS and policy documents for the TasPlan policy. Therefore I am not sure which policy he had and I wouldn’t be able to answer without this information.

      Even though you are not one of our clients we feel for your situation and know that the claims process can be difficult to navigate. Therefore I would be happy to have our claims team help you pro bono (for free). We can help you with the potential claim with TasPlan and help you understand what is covered under the policy he had.

      Please call me directly on 1300 135 205 and ask for me, Russell Cain.

  • Steve G. |

    I would like to know if I am – or am not covered for suicide? Do you have an email address that I can send my PDS to please?

      Russell |

      Hi Steve

      Please call us on 1300 135 205 so we can discuss what details we will need to help answer your enquiry.

  • Arya |

    Is suicide covered by life insurane

      Russell |

      Hi Arya

      A life insurance policy can cover suicide however it depends on the policy as select policies do cover suicide after the policy has been in-force for longer than 13 months, where others may exclude death by suicide therefore it is really important to read product disclosure statement (terms and conditions) of the relevant policy.

  • Gabrielle |

    Hello, Expert! I hope you’re having a tolerable day. I was just wondering if you could recommend a particular life insurance company for someone who has no clue. I have no idea what to look for or ask. Thanks in advance.

      Anneke |

      Hi, Gabrielle.

      I’m loving your enthusiasm and it’s wonderful to see you prioritising your life insurance needs.

      Because I do not know your unique circumstances and requirements I’m not able to recommend a company to you. However, we have hand-selected 10 of the leading life insurance companies for you to compare quotes side-by-side when filling in the above quote form.

      It’s our obligation-free way of helping you find the right cover from the right company so you can feel confident with your decision.

      You might also find our guide to buying life insurance a good starting point to your journey. If you prefer to speak to someone from Life Insurance Direct immediately please contact us on 1300 135 205.

      We look forward to assisting you in your life insurance journey.

  • mary sultana |

    It has been said that if one dies before being eligible for old age pension, the spouse gets one hundred thousand dollars. What or where does this apply?

      Anneke |

      Hello Mary.

      Thank you for your question.

      According to, the Bereavement Allowance is the way the government assist with funeral costs when you meet the eligibility criteria. The amount paid and for how long depends on your specific situation.

      If your partner passes away you may be eligible for a Bereavement Payment. Eligibility depends on whether you:
      • Are married, in a registered relationship or living together as a couple and haven’t re-partnered.
      • Meet the income and asset test, as well as the residency rules.
      • Claim within 4 weeks of your partner’s death.

      This is by no means a completed list and I encourage you to visit the Australian Government Department of Human Services website for more information.

      If you would like us to assist you in finding the right funeral insurance cover or life insurance policy, kindly fill in the form above or contact us directly on 1300 135 205.

  • Aprilsomerandom |

    Does funeral insurance cover suicide? Also how old would you have to be to get it?

      Anneke |

      This question is very much dependent on the company you’ve chosen to provide funeral insurance. However, generally, only death due to an accident will be covered during the first 12 months of your policy commencing, after that all causes of death are usually covered.

      So, depending on your insurer, you will likely not be covered if you pass away within the first 12 to 24 months of the policy from illness, suicide, or any intentional or self-inflicted act.

      Generally, any Australian aged between 17 and 80 years old can apply for funeral cover. However, entry age is also dependent on the funeral insurance company you’ve chosen. You might want to start by first comparing funeral insurance quotes.

  • Art |

    I’ve downloaded “Core IBR 13 November 2017 complete document.pdf” from HostPlus, which purports to be the full product disclosure for superannuation and insurance.

    The only reference to suicide in the entire document is in the section “8.19.5 Salary Continuance Cover Exclusions”–nothing in the sections on death benefits. Can I conclude that suicide is covered by their policies?

    It seems odd though that if it is, there is no mention of the thirteen-month exclusion period that your article refers to.

      Anneke |

      Hi Art,
      Thank you for your detailed question. I have downloaded their PDS, as well reviewed the ‘insurance in your super’ section of their website.

      While you are correct in that only the salary continuance section refers to suicide as an exclusion, their website stipulates that this is only a summary of their insurance products and that you need to call them and request their full terms and conditions for a copy of the relevant insurance policies.

      A suicide exclusion on your death benefit may still be applicable.

  • Glen |

    I am with LGIA super and have downloaded their Accumulation Account PDS and the Insurance guide. In the insurance guide, there is a section titled ‘Are there exclusions on my insurance’? This lists war and suicide for cover commenced after 2015 as exclusions. Have I missed any other relevant clauses?

    This appears fairly straightforward. Given the frequency of suicide in Australia, I am surprised there is not more detail in the PDS.

    My concern comes from terminal illness, which was not present when I joined in 2007 and looking for peace of mind about the future for my family.

    I have read that they are able to access my medical records, does this include breaking into doctor-patient confidentiality? I.e. what I may have discussed with my doctor and is that relevant anyway? I really don’t want those discussions aired.

    Thanks, heaps for your page and non-judgmental advice. Thanks, and regards, Glen

      Anneke |

      Hi Glen.
      Thank you for your question.

      Under the Australian Privacy Principles, medical practitioners must handle health records and sensitive health records in accordance with their privacy policy. In regard to third enquiries, access should only be allowed with the patient’s consent.

      However, generally, when you take up insurance coverage, you consent to the provider requesting access to your health information for the purpose of underwriting, assessing your application or assessing your claim. See page 41 of LGIAsuper Insurance Guide PDS.

      Usually, the client must be advised in advance that the prepared report will be disclosed to the third party requesting the report.

  • Anonymous |

    Good day.
    Regarding suicide particularly, and other circumstances in general, after the exclusion period, are there other clauses that could warrant non-payment?

    Would the insurance company look for a way to not pay? I don’t have much trust or faith in insurance companies.

    Thank you kindly for your time.

      Anneke |

      We understand your concern and there are generally specific instances that may warrant a life insurance company not paying a claim. Including:
      • Failing to comply with your duty of disclosure.
      • The event you’re claiming for does not meet the definition of a claimable event as referenced in your product disclosure statement (PDS).
      • Your premiums not being up to date.
      • Suicide within the first 13 or 24 months of your policy commencing.
      • Claiming for events that are listed as exclusions in your PDS.

      Please note, that if you’re a customer of ours, our dedicated claims team will support you and your beneficiaries in getting your claim paid as adequately as possible.

  • Jacqueline Barzan |

    My husband just committed suicide his super is with LG, will I be entitled to any life insurance

      Anneke |

      Hi Jacqueline. My condolences to you and your family.

      Every insurer’s product disclosure statement (PDS) is different, so terms and conditions regarding suicide vary. It’s best to contact the insurer directly.

      All the best.

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