La Papillion a fellow friend and blogger wrote about “Financial competition” and my impression is that one’s purpose in life is not to chase after wealth and that parents should play a part. However the comments soon digress into talking about suicide.

Suicide is a taboo topic especially in our society. I have to admit I do not usually give much thought to this insurance clause and I believe most would not too. Nevertheless it piqued my interest and decided to read up more.

I came across the article “3 Terms and Conditions That Will Void Your Life Insurance Claims” from moneysmart.sg and it states that suicide is will void my insurance claims if it is less than a year but if it is more than a year, it will be possible to file a claim. It ended the paragraph with “Believe it or not, insurance companies do have a heart.” I do not buy this. Insurance is a business and like all businesses, they need to be profitable. There might be some cases but it will be few and far between.

I do not want my claim to be dependent on the insurer’s “heart”. The surest way is to find black and white and where better than from my own policy’s contracts.


AIA – Prime Life

Type: Whole Life

Coverage: $50,000

Policy Year: 1994

General Provisions > Suicide:

Death from suicide within one year from the Issue Date or date of reinstatement, whichever is later, whether the Insured is sane or insane, shall limit the Company’s liability to the return of premiums paid without interest.

My Layman interpretation: Suicide is claimable after one year. It does not matter if you are not mentally sound. However, I am not sure what it is meant by “shall limit the Company’s liability to the return of premiums paid without interest“.

Base on my latest Policy Value Quotation, have about $18,000 Gross Policy Cash Value. Does that mean that this amount will be forfeited  and I can claim only $50,000?

Able to claim from death due to suicide?: Yes (After 1 year)

NTUC Income – Living Benefit

Type: Term

Coverage: $100,000

Policy Year: 2008

Definition of Dread Disease and Exclusions:

This Benefit shall not be payable if the disease is caused by any of the following:

(i) Self inflicted injury or illness

Exclusions:

This Benefit shall not be payable if the insured whether sane or insane, dies by his or her hands within one year from: …

My Layman interpretation: Suicide is a self inflicted injury. Although the clause “This Benefit shall not be payable if the insured whether sane or insane, dies by his or her hands within one year from” seems to introduce a possibility of allowing a claim from suicide, I would believe that I cannot claim from suicide.

Able to claim from death due to suicide?: No

Tokio Marine – Towards My Legacy

Type: Limited Pay Whole Life

Coverage: $60,000

Policy Year: 2008

General Provisions > Suicide:

Death of a Life Assured by his own act (whether or not he was sane at the time): –

(a) within one year from the Issue Date; or

(b) within one year from the date of last reinstatement,

will make the Policy void.

My Layman interpretation: Straight forward. Suicide is claimable.

Able to claim from death due to suicide?: Yes (after 1 year)

Aviva MINDEF Group Insurance

Type: Term

Coverage: $100,000

Policy Year: 2013

Exclusions:

  • No Benefit is payable under Daily Hospital Cash Benefit for hospitalisation directly or indirectly due to self-inflicted injuries (including due to suicide/attempted suicide) and/or pregnancy/maternity reason.

  • No Benefit is payable under Death, TPD and/or Advance Payment Benefit in respect of any death, loss, injury or disability caused directly or indirectly, wholly or partly, by suicide or any attempted suicide or self-inflicted injury or illness while sane or insane within the first 12 months from the date of inception or reinstatement of a lapsed policy.

Source: http://www.aviva.com.sg/pdf/MINDEF_MHA_GTL_Product_Summary.pdf

My Layman interpretation: Probably the surest proof that I am not making anything up. Death from suicide is claimable after 12 months. If suicide is not claimable at all, they would have simply state No Benefit is payable from suicide.

Able to claim from death due to suicide?: Yes (after 1 year)

AXA Direct Term Lite

Type: Term

Coverage: $200,000

Policy Year: 2016

Suicide

We will terminate this Policy and will not pay any Benefits if the Life Assured, whether sane or insane dies by suicide within one (1) year from the Date of Issue of this Policy or the most recent date of Reinstatement, or the effective date of any increase in Sum Assured, whichever is later.

My Layman interpretation: I purchased this policy this year and any myth that suicide is excluded for new policies is proven invalid.

Able to claim from death by suicide: Yes (after 1 year)


I have covered five different policies from five different insurers  purchased in different years. Except for NTUC Income, four of my policies will cover death from suicide. I will like to emphasis that I am not a qualified adviser and all the opinions here are my own. I may ask my agent about it when I meet her but I am in no hurry because I do not and will not want to make such a claim.

Let me open another can of worms. Did you realise that I specifically indicate death by suicide?

While reading my policies, I came across some of them with clauses stating that they will not accept claims for Total Permanent Disabilities from self inflicted injuries. In short, if you survive a suicide and is left paralysis, you will not be able to make a claim.


The intent of this post is to generate awareness to a insurance clause that is not often discussed, and it is not to encourage any negative thoughts or feelings.