In recent years insurance companies have introduced yet another “get out” clause into their death benefit policies which are often the policies applied or found in superannuation funds.
This clause gives the insurance company the discretion or choice to decline to pay a claim on a policy if the death was a result of the wilful taking of a lawful drug.
This exclusion differs from suicide where death is the intention, and essentially looks to cover accidental death.
In a recent matter McLaughlins was involved in, one of the major insurance companies chose not to use this “get out” clause and instead opted for the right moral decision. They paid out the full policy proceeds which meant the surviving family could now look at paying the bills and moving on with their lives. This also enabled them to allow their grief to be processed as everything had been put on hold while they stressed about whether the insurance claim would be paid out.
Accidental deaths often devastate survivors. It was such a rewarding experience to see one of the large insurance companies demonstrates they had a heart and a moral compass and to make a decision that is the right decision rather than a decision that simply benefits shareholders.
If you or someone you know has any questions about Estate Administration or negotiating with Insurance Companies contact one of the Wills and Estates team or Litigation team at Mclaughlins Lawyers, your Gold Coast Lawyers.
Author: Kristy Collins
Legal Director: Ian Kennedy