There are many reasons why people purchase life insurance. Some have high-risk jobs or lifestyles and they want to be sure that their family is protected should the worst happen. Others look at it as an investment, a way to prevent their families from being stuck with their debts should they die before those debts are paid. Most people initially purchase life insurance without any sort of indication that they are going to die, but there are always exceptions to the norm. That is why every life insurance contract indicates a clause dealing with what happens should the policy holder commit suicide.
This is what is known as the suicide clause, and it states that the insurance company will pay out no benefits in the event of a suicide for the first two years after the policy is opened. It is done to prevent the life insurance company from losing money to people who purchase policies solely so that their beneficiaries can gain the financial benefits of their suicide.
When a person decides to commit suicide, they will almost never wait more than a few weeks or months to actually go through with it. Life insurance companies know that by making the policy holder wait two years before suicide is covered, they will effectively eliminate just about anyone who is likely to actually commit suicide purely for the life insurance payout.
Some people may think that they can get around the suicide clause their high risk life insurance company has in place by faking their own murder or an accident when they actually go through with it. Insurance companies know this, so they will conduct their own investigation if there is any possibility at all that the death may have been a suicide. Until that investigation has concluded, they will not pay out any benefits.
Suicide is a tragedy, not just for the person who actually takes his or her own life, but for their friends and loved ones as well. Even if that life is taken with the best of intentions and with careful planning to ensure the financial freedom of the family, there are plenty of other options to be considered, from debt and credit counseling for financial worries to psychological counseling to help deal with the emotional pain.