Determining the Exclusions in Your Policy

Life insurance is an important component of many well-rounded financial plans. Unless you have enough money saved away for your family to be taken care of in case something happens to you, you should have coverage. When you sign up, you want to carefully examine your policy. Many policies have exclusions, or instances when your plan will not pay. Before signing up, be sure to find out what conditions apply to your policy. Some of the more common exclusions are listed below.


Your agreement might not pay your family any money if your death is deemed to be a suicide. Often this condition is in place for the first two years that you hold your plan, but you will have to read your terms and conditions carefully to make sure. Hopefully you will not have thoughts of suicide, so this will not be a big deal.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Do you have problems with drug or alcohol abuse? If you do, your best bet would be to get help, but also be aware that some policies will not pay out if your death comes as a result of alcohol or drugs. You don’t have to abuse drugs or alcohol for this exclusion to affect you. If you drink on occasion, you could end up in an alcohol related accident. If your plan has something set in place for alcohol or drug related incidents, you may want to think twice about how much you drink.

Risky Activities

If you like skydiving, race car driving, or flying your own private plane, you may discover that your life policy has an exclusion for your favorite activity. If you die while engaged in your hobby, your family might not receive any death benefit. Not all providers have this condition, but they may choose to cover you at a higher rate if you like to regularly participate in dangerous activities.


An incontestability clause is a provision that your policyholder will often put into your agreement. For a period of time (usually about two years), the provider can change your benefits or premiums if they discover that you misled or lied on your application. After this period of incontestability, your provider cannot increase your premiums or change your benefits. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be honest on your insurance application, but it is possible to forget a minor illness that you had as a child when you fill out your application. When reviewing your agreement, be sure to find out what the period of incontestability is.

Expiring Exclusions

Many plan conditions will only be in effect for a certain time after the agreement goes into effect. While nobody wants to actually have to collect on their plan, you certainly don’t want to die and leave your family unable to collect any of their life insurance money. Not all companies will have the same terms and conditions, so if the plan that you are looking at has an exclusion that is unacceptable to you, you may wish to purchase another plan, even if the premiums are a little higher. After all, isn’t having peace of mind that your family will be financially secure if something happens to you what coverage is all about?