Does Life Insurance Cover Suicide in Canada?

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Picture of By <span>Matthew Roberts</span>
By Matthew Roberts

Updated on November 9, 2023

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Picture of By <span>Matthew Roberts</span>
By Matthew Roberts

Updated November 9, 2023

Visit author page

2 minute read

Article Contents
Does Life Insurance Cover Suicide in Canada?

In today’s world, where mental health awareness is on the rise, understanding the intricacies of life insurance policies, especially in cases of suicide, becomes paramount. This topic, often shrouded in misconceptions and stigma, demands our attention. So, let’s dive deep into the question: Does life insurance cover suicide in Canada?

Understanding the Suicide Landscape in Canada

In Canada, suicide affects individuals from various walks of life and age groups. Annually, around 4,500 Canadians tragically end their lives, translating to 12 individuals daily. Beyond these heart-wrenching numbers, countless others grapple with suicidal thoughts or even make attempts. On a daily basis, over 200 Canadians try to take their own lives. Furthermore, for each suicide, between 7 to 10 people are deeply impacted by the grief of their loss. These sobering figures highlight the critical need to comprehend the stance of life insurance policies on such a somber issue. 

Does Life Insurance Cover Suicide in Canada?

The answer isn’t straightforward. Typically, life insurance policies do not cover deaths by suicide during the initial two years. This period is often referred to as the “suicide clause.” However, after this period, many policies may cover deaths resulting from suicide. It’s crucial to thoroughly read your policy’s terms and conditions to understand the specifics. To understand more about the topic of life insurance, read our guide about the differences between the whole and universal life insurance policies. 

The Suicide Clause Explained

A suicide clause is a provision in life insurance policies that determines if the policy will cover deaths by suicide. Most policies exclude suicides during the first two years. If a policyholder were to commit suicide within this timeframe, the insurance company might only reimburse the premiums paid rather than the full death benefit.

Implications of Suicide on Life Insurance Claims

If a policyholder dies by suicide within the initial two years, beneficiaries might not receive the death benefit. After this period, if the policy covers suicides, beneficiaries could still claim the death benefit, though the process might be more intricate. In some instances, insurance companies might only return the premiums paid instead of the full payout.

Does Life Insurance Cover Suicide in Canada?

Life Insurance and Mental Illness

Yes, individuals with a mental illness can obtain life insurance. However, the presence of a mental health condition might influence the policy’s cost and terms. Some insurance providers might charge higher premiums or modify the coverage terms. It’s essential to be transparent about any mental health conditions during the application process.

How Mental Illness Influences Life Insurance

Your mental health diagnosis can impact your life insurance application. Insurance companies might classify your condition as a mental health condition or illness based on its severity. This classification can lead to extended application processes and potentially higher premiums. It’s vital to provide accurate information about your mental health to ensure you receive the most appropriate coverage.

Group Policy and Suicide

Group life insurance policies, often provided by employers, might have different terms regarding suicide. While some might offer full payouts, others might only return the premiums paid or exclude suicide altogether.


Navigating the world of life insurance, especially concerning suicide, can be complex. It’s essential to understand the terms of your policy and the implications of the suicide clause. Life insurance is more than just a financial tool; it’s about ensuring the well-being of our loved ones. By comprehending its intricacies, we can make informed decisions that best serve our families and provide peace of mind. Visit our article to learn more about the importance of life insurance

Remember, life insurance should never be viewed as an incentive for suicide. It’s a protective measure for families, ensuring financial stability in unforeseen circumstances. If you or someone you know is struggling, seek professional help. There are numerous resources available, such as Talk Suicide Canada and the Veterans Affairs Canada Assistance Service.

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