Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Benjamin Carr was a licensed insurance agent in Georgia and has two years' experience in life, health, property and casualty coverage. He has worked with State Farm and other risk management firms. He is also a strategic writer and editor with a background in branding, marketing, and quality assurance. He has been in military newsrooms — literally on the frontline of journalism.

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Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Nov 3, 2021

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The Facts of Life

  • Life insurance companies will typically pay for suicide after the suicide and contestability clauses in your policy expire
  • Suicide clauses expire after two or three years, but this will vary per state insurance laws
  • The best life insurance companies that cover suicide are Nationwide Life Insurance and State Farm

Suicide is one of the top ten leading causes of death in the United States, but will life insurance pay for suicidal death? The answer depends on where you live and the life insurance company you choose.

In general, the best life insurance companies that cover suicide will do so once the limit on your policy’s suicide clause has passed. The limitation typically lasts for two or three years after you purchase a policy.

Once the limit passes, your life insurance company will cover suicide. However, if your life insurance policy includes a contestability clause, the provider may still have the right to contest the suicidal death based on the limitations of that clause.

Your state insurance laws may also determine whether or not a life insurance company has the right to contest suicidal death. Keep reading to learn more about suicide clauses in life insurance and the best life insurance company that covers suicide.

If you’re ready to buy life insurance now, enter your ZIP code above to start comparing life insurance rates from providers near you.

What are the best life insurance companies that cover suicide?

The top two life insurance companies that cover suicide are State Farm and Nationwide Life Insurance.

Both providers underwrite permanent life insurance policies that contain suicide clauses, but each company will still honor your beneficiaries if you die two years or more after you purchase your policy.

Take a look at the table below to determine which is the best life insurance company that covers suicide based on customer satisfaction:

Customer Satisfaction Ratings for Life Insurance Companies The Cover Suicide
Life Insurance CompanyJ.D. Power Customer Satisfaction RatingA.M. Best Financial RatingNAIC Complaint Ratio
Nationwide Life Insurance802A+0.07
State Farm838A++1.44
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Both State Farm and Nationwide Life Insurance ranked in the top three best life insurance companies according to J.D. Power. State Farm also has a stronger financial rating with A.M. Best.

However, the NAIC complaint ratio shows that State Farm has slightly more customer complaints than average compared to other insurance providers of its size. Nationwide’s is exceptionally low, showing it is more likely to meet policyholder’s needs.

Customer satisfaction ratings are an important signifier for comparing life insurance companies that cover suicide.

You want a provider that is going to deliver on the terms of your policy and pay out the death benefits to your named beneficiaries promptly, which you are more likely to find with a provider that has high customer satisfaction like Nationwide.

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How do state insurance laws affect life insurance companies that cover suicide?

The reason most life insurance companies will pay for suicidal death is that state insurance laws often require them to do so.

Regardless of pre-existing health conditions, mental health conditions, or previous suicide attempts, life insurance companies that do not outright list suicidal death as an exclusion in a policy must pay out death benefits to your surviving beneficiaries provided the death occurred after the suicide clause expired.

For example, in the seven states that allow doctor-assisted suicide, insurance laws require providers to pay out death benefits if the contestability and suicide clauses have expired.

The states where life insurance companies cover doctor-assisted suicide are California, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, Oregon, Vermont, Washington State, and Washington D.C.

Does life insurance pay for suicidal death in California?

Yes, suicide is covered by life insurance in California if the policy has been in place for at least two years.

Doctor-assisted suicide, also known as death with dignity, is legal in California and covered by life insurance as long as a licensed doctor performed the procedure legally.

Does life insurance pay for suicidal death in Florida?

Yes, life insurance will pay for suicidal deaths in Florida.

Florida state insurance laws carry a two-year incontestability statute that prevents companies from denying benefits if a policy has been in effect for two years or more unless you failed to pay your premiums.

Does life insurance pay for suicidal death in Ohio?

Yes, life insurance will pay for suicidal deaths in Ohio as long as the policy has been in place for at least three years.

Does group life insurance pay for suicidal death?

Yes, in most states, employer-funded group life insurance programs will cover suicide without restrictions.

However, if you buy supplemental life insurance through your employer, that policy will likely come with a suicide clause or exclusion.

Does military life insurance pay for suicidal death?

Yes, for veterans and active service members who qualify for life insurance through Veterans Affairs, suicide is included under covered deaths.

Both VGLI and SGLI plans cover suicide without restrictions as there are no suicide clauses in these policies.

What is a suicide clause in life insurance?

Suicide clauses protect insurance companies and give them the power to investigate claims during the period of time listed in the clause. Typically, suicide clauses require a policy to be in place for at least two years before a life insurance company will pay for suicide.

The difference between suicide clauses vs. contestability clauses is that the latter can last for longer than two years and gives the insurance company the power to investigate any death they deem suspicious, including accidents caused by illegal activities.

Life insurance companies that don’t cover suicide will forego the suicide clause and list suicide specifically as an exclusion on your policy.

Most often, term life insurance will have suicide as an exclusion. For this reason, it’s important to shop for permanent policies from life insurance companies that cover suicide to get the coverage you need.

How can I find affordable life insurance companies that cover suicide?

The best life insurance companies that cover suicide will come with high customer satisfaction ratings that reflect a positive relationship with their policyholders and a history of handling complaints in a timely manner.

The best life insurance company that covers suicide is Nationwide Life Insurance, followed by State Farm.

If these providers aren’t available in your area, don’t worry. You may still find the right policy with smaller local life insurance companies that cover suicide.

To start comparing free life insurance quotes from local companies today, enter your ZIP code below.