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PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide has been campaigning to end the sale of life insurance that excludes death by suicide.
PAPYRUS approached the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) because of concerns that life insurance policies included outright exclusions for suicide. In July, the FCA organised a meeting with PAPYRUS and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) to discuss this issue.
There was agreement on all sides about the importance of mental health being regarded in the same way as physical health, and the ABI was able to offer strong reassurances about this being reflected in insurers’ practices.
The ABI explained that, when life insurance claims are made after a death due to suicide, industry data shows that the vast majority are paid. The ABI noted that industry data also shows that it is common for insurers to have initial exclusion periods of up to 12 months from the start of a policy, when a claim would not be met if someone ended their own life. PAPYRUS agreed that this is a reasonable measure.
The ABI explained that some insurers have no suicide exclusion at all and it is practically unheard of for insurers to exclude suicide for the entire duration of a policy; a practice not adopted by any member of the ABI.