By all accounts she wasn’t a well liked employee—even after her death. Her husband even less so.

She died by suicide.

The owner and advisor at the time determined no life insurance would be payable. No claim submitted…done.

Not so fast.

Employee benefit plans have no “suicide” clause as individual policies have. Even individual policies only stipulate (for the most part) a two-year caveat for death due to suicide. Not only was her beneficiary entitled to life insurance, but the plan also included a 24-month survivor benefit for the health and dental portion of the plan.

Insurance doesn’t have a personality. Insurance doesn’t care whether a person was liked at the office. The insurance carrier pays claims because a premium was paid for certain coverage. This woman had worked at this company for many years and paid her premium via a payroll deduction all of those years. For that reason, her beneficiary was entitled to the insurance money and the benefits provided under the health and dental portion of the plan.

Though this grievous error was not caught until more than 14-months after the woman died, the insurance provider paid the claim in accordance to the policy and upheld the survivor benefits as well.

When in doubt, don’t assume, ask.

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