Life Insurance Payouts & Murder

Many causes of death are excluded from coverage in life insurance. Is murder one of them?

Acclaimed national life insurance attorney Chad G. Boonswang discusses what happens to the death benefit if the policyholder is murdered. Murder is not an exclusion, and what happens to the death benefit depends upon whether the beneficiaries have any involvement in the policyholder’s death.

If your life insurance claim gets denied or your payout is delayed because the policyholder was murdered, call Boonswang Law for help. We have helped life insurance beneficiaries across the nation get their payout after their claim got denied or delayed by filing a life insurance claim denial appeal, an interpleader action, or by suing the life insurance company.

Does Life Insurance Pay If the Policyholder is Murdered?

Yes, as long as the person who murdered the policyholder is not the beneficiary. This is called the “Slayer Rule.” Under the Slayer Rule, no beneficiary can have anything to do with the policyholder’s death, such as hiring someone to murder the policyholder or murdering the policyholder when their beneficiary is their spouse or someone else close to them.

The Slayer Rule is in place to keep beneficiaries from benefiting from having a hand in the policyholder’s death.

Accidental Death & Murder in Life Insurance

Accidental Death life insurance coverage, called an AD&D policy or an AD&D rider, covers the policyholder if they die for any reason other than natural causes such as disease or old age. Murder qualifies as accidental death for the purposes of AD&D coverage, and the beneficiaries should get the death benefit if the policyholder is murdered.

If your AD&D claim was denied because the policyholder was murdered, call us for help getting your Accidental Death & Dismemberment payout. We take life insurance cases on a contingency basis, meaning we do not get paid unless and until you do. Call us today for your free case review.

Reasons Life Insurance Benefits Get Denied for Murder Victims

Beneficiary or Beneficiaries Are Found Guilty of the Murder

If the beneficiary murdered the policyholder, they will not receive a payout under the Slayer Rule. This will likely be the case even if the death is ruled manslaughter instead of homicide, or the policyholder died due to the beneficiary’s self-defense.

Policyholder is Murdered While Involved in Criminal Activity

If the policyholder is murdered while doing something illegal, their beneficiaries’ claims get denied. You may think of illegal acts as breaking and entering or assault, but life insurance companies also exclude deaths during minor infractions of the law from coverage.

For example, if the policyholder was trespassing and is murdered, their beneficiaries’ claims get denied. If the policyholder was driving the wrong way down a one way street and murdered in a carjacking, their beneficiaries’ claims get denied. If the policyholder was high on an illicit drug and murdered, their beneficiaries’ claims get denied.

Life Insurance Fraud & Murder

If the beneficiary participated in a plot to kill the policyholder, even if they are not the person committing the act, they will not get a payout. If the policyholder conspires with their family to plot their own death, that is insurance fraud and their beneficiaries will not get a payout.

Reasons Life Insurance Benefits are Delayed if the Policyholder is Murdered

When a life insurance policyholder is murdered, the life insurance company waits until the police investigation is complete and exonerates the beneficiary or beneficiaries before paying death benefits. This can take months or even years.

Life insurance companies must pay claims within a reasonable time. If the homicide investigation concludes, the life insurance company may owe you interest if they delay your payout further.

Talk with a Life Insurance Lawyer if Your Claim is Denied Due to Murder

If your claim gets denied due to the policyholder’s murder, you have a right to know why. The life insurance company must give you the basis for claim denial. You then have the right to appeal, file an interpleader action, or sue the insurance company.

If your claim is delayed by a murder investigation or if the life insurance company delays your payout unreasonably, you may be entitled to interest on the death benefit.

In either case, our life insurance lawyers help you get your payout. Call today for your free, no-obligation consultation.

Written By: Chad Boonswang
Chad G. Boonswang, Esquire is a litigation lawyer based in Philadelphia, PA. Selected as an ASLA 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Top 100 Litigation Lawyer, Mr. Boonswang plays to win. As a lawyer, athlete, and scholar, he has always put in the energy, time, and commitment to be the best. After working for several prominent law firms in Philadelphia, including Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads LLP, he founded his own practice in 2002.  Since then Chad has recovered tens of millions of dollars on behalf of his clients from life insurance claims and catastrophic injury cases.  Year after year, he has earned a 10.00 Superb rating on Avvo.

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