Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insur...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Jan 27, 2022

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It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident life insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one life insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our life insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

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The Brief

  • Life insurance coverage varies depending on what type of policy you have
  • Most life insurance policies have a suicide clause and don’t cover suicidal deaths that occur within the first 2 years of purchasing the policy
  • Some life insurance companies may not cover your death if it occurs during a high-risk activity or during criminal activity

Life insurance allows you to be able to support your loved ones after your death.

In the event of your death, any beneficiaries you have named would receive a financial payout from your life insurance policy to help pay for things like funeral services and other end-of-life expenses. Although all life insurance policies offer a life insurance death benefit, coverage amounts will vary by policy and some policies may have certain restrictions on coverage.

So what does life insurance cover and what does life insurance not cover? And how does life insurance work?

In this article, we’ll go through everything life insurance covers and doesn’t cover so you can select a policy that best fits your needs.

Ready to buy life insurance? Enter your ZIP code above to get free life insurance quotes from the best companies near you.

What does life insurance do?

Buying life insurance is a way you can help to ensure that your loved ones will be able to support themselves after your death. This is particularly important if you are the breadwinner and have a spouse or children that rely on you for income.

In the event of your death, the death benefit from your life insurance policy would be paid out to any life insurance beneficiaries you have named.

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What does life insurance cover and what doesn’t it cover?

Life insurance covers your death under most circumstances including illness, accidental death, death by natural causes, homicide, and in some cases, suicide. However, your life insurance provider may not pay a death benefit if you die in a way that is not covered.

If your death occurs while you’re committing a crime or engaging in a high-risk activity such as scuba diving or mountain climbing, your insurance company may not cover your death. To find out what types of death your policy covers and doesn’t cover, you’ll need to check with your insurance provider.

Some other things that can void your coverage are lying on your application and expired policies. If you lie on a life insurance application or your policy has expired, your insurance company will likely deny you coverage and your beneficiaries will not receive a death benefit.

Does life insurance cover suicide?

Whether or not your life insurance company will cover suicide largely depends on what kind of policy you have. For example, most life insurance policies have a suicide clause and do not cover suicide if it occurs within the first 2 years of buying the policy.

However, group life insurance does not have a suicide clause. Group life insurance usually covers suicidal death that occurs within the first two years of coverage.

Does life insurance cover medical bills?

Life insurance usually covers medical bills, although you may need to add certain riders onto your policy to be covered. You will also likely need to take a medical exam to qualify for coverage.

Most life insurance companies will also cover you if you are taking any medication. However, your rates may be higher than average depending on what you’re taking the medication for and how many medications you’re currently on.

Looking around at different life insurance companies and comparing rates can help you find a policy that will cover you and give you the most affordable rates.

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Does life insurance cover drug overdoses?

Some life insurance companies offer coverage for accidental drug overdoses. However, drug overdoses that are a result of a suicide attempt may or may not be covered depending on when the suicide occurs since most life insurance policies have a suicide clause.

If you are taking any medication, it’s important to check with your life insurance provider to see the level of coverage you have.

What kinds of expenses are covered by life insurance?

When you leave a death benefit to your beneficiaries, your beneficiaries can use the death benefit for anything they want to without restrictions. The most common expenses that beneficiaries are usually faced with after a policyholder’s death are end-of-life expenses, such as the cost of funeral services.

However, the death benefit can also cover things like medical bills, debts, rent, groceries, childcare, and any other expenses your beneficiaries need covered.

The Bottom Line on What Life Insurance Covers

All life insurance companies cover death, but some insurance providers may not cover your death under some specific circumstances including during criminal activity or a high-risk activity. Most life insurance companies have a suicide clause which means that your suicidal death will not be covered if you die within the first 2 years of purchasing the policy.

Many life insurance companies cover medical bills, but you may need to add a special rider to your policy to qualify for coverage. Although many life insurance companies will cover you if you take medication, your rates will likely be higher than average.

To get the best rates, you should compare different life insurance companies before committing to a policy. Shopping around for affordable life insurance? Enter your ZIP code below to get free quotes from the top companies in your area.