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Ask the Life Insurance Expert

I'm looking to buy life insurance that will cover my funeral expenses and provide help towards my children’s college and life expenses should I pass away. What I would like to know is if I pay my premiums up two years and I die, will my policy pay out? I am in relatively good health but do not have control over when I die. My fear is that if I die during the contestability period, my children won't have the income needed to bury me or for their education.

Your life insurance policy should pay out if you die the moment after the policy is in effect.

The two-year contestability period primarily refers to:

  1. Suicide: Policies generally won't pay out if you commit suicide within the first two years.
  2. Fraud: The policy won't pay out if it's discovered that you lied about something on your application, such as your health.

So for most people the contestability period is nothing to worry about.

There are some policies with a "graded death benefit," meaning if you die within the first few years of the policy it won't pay out its full amount. If you have one of these policies, refer to your policy for the exact payout schedule.

Last updated: Feb. 21, 2013