Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Aug 25, 2021

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A drug overdoes may cause a life insurance policy to be canceled. It depends on the way your life insurance policy is written. Generally speaking, death benefits are not paid in the event of a suicide or drug overdose. A possible exception would be if the drug overdose was a suicide and there is a suicide clause in the policy. If the drug overdose was accidental and it happened more than 2 years after the policy was signed, your policy would generally still be active unless there was something written into the policy.

However, within these two circumstances there can be factors that affect how, when, and if the policy is paid. Even if the policy is paid, it’s often after an investigation by the insurance company. The following article provides more information about how a drug overdose can affect a life insurance policy payout.

After you have completing reading this drug overdose life insurance policy article then be sure that you enter your zip code in on the top of this page for free life insurance quotes!

How Does Suicide by Drug Overdose Affect A Life Insurance Policy Payout?

Most insurance policies have a suicide clause. This is a clause in the policy that says if a suicide happens less than two years after the policy is signed, no benefits will be paid. If the suicide occurs before the waiting period is up, some insurance companies will refund to the beneficiary the premiums paid minus processing fees. If the suicide occurs after the two year waiting period, some companies will pay the full amount while others will ask the family to show proof of mental illness or treatment for mental illness. While nobody ever wants to think about a loved one committing suicide, you should always read the clauses in your life insurance applications to make sure you know what you’re getting.

With a drug overdose, it can be tricky. Sometimes there is no way to prove whether or not a drug overdose was accidental or intentional. Unless other factors such as a suicide note or ongoing treatment for suicidal tendencies are found, the cause of death may be labeled as inconclusive. The only positive thing about this situation is that the burden of proof is on the insurance company to prove it was suicide and not just risky activity that ended in death.

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How Does An Accidental Drug Overdose Affect A Policy Payout?

An accidental drug overdose will not, in most cases, cancel a life insurance policy. However, it is important to note that there are some exceptions. The first exception is the two year waiting period. If the accidental drug overdose occurs before the two year waiting period, no benefits will be paid, but premium amounts may be refunded to the beneficiary named on the policy.

The second exception comes into play if an accidental death clause is part of the life insurance policy. This is very uncommon for individual policies but quite common for group policies through an employer or organization. If you have a policy with an accidental death clause, the life insurance policy will be canceled in the case of an accidental drug overdose. As with the suicide clause, an accidental death clause may have a time limit that affects the payout situation after an illicit drug-related death.

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The third exception applies not only to an accidental drug overdose, but to all life insurance policies. That exception is called material misrepresentation. Material misrepresentation is when you knowingly misrepresent the information on your life insurance policy application. Be very careful when filling out your application because the insurance company will go through it with a fine tooth comb before paying out any death benefits.

For a drug overdose, the insurance company may look back over the application and review the answers to the questions about drug use. If it seems as if the applicant lied about drug habits and usage, they can refuse to pay because of material misrepresentation. This is not only outright lying, but also leaving out pertinent information referred to as willful omission. Types of death that involve this willful omission (whether it be related to a type of drug, cancer, heart disease, or other material facts) can be refused after the fact.

Any of these situations, clauses, or determinations by a life insurance company can be disputed. Again, the burden of proof is on the life insurance company. If you are disputing a denied claim, you may have to hire a lawyer in order to go toe to toe with the insurance company. The insurance industry has some of the toughest lawyers of any industry. At this point, you have to weigh the cost of a lawyer against the payout amount from the life insurance policy to see if the legal fight is worth it. The legal fees and time you put into it are just two of many factors to consider. You’ll also need to file within the contestability period.

How do I find the best life insurance company?

To ensure that you are treated fairly and all the important details of a life insurance policy are taken care of, you need to choose a trustworthy insurance company that will work with you. Talk about the terms of your policy with an experienced insurance agent and find the right fit for your needs.

You can use our free online insurance comparison tool to compare what different life insurance companies have to offer so that you can find a company that fits your needs. Enter your zip to start now!