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Double Indemnity Laws

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What is “Double Indemnity”?

Double indemnity refers to a type of agreement often found in some life insurance policies.  In a double indemnity agreement, the life insurance company promises to pay double the amount stated in the contract in the case of wrongful or accidental death. 

As such, double indemnity policy agreements are often a central part of some wrongful death lawsuits and legal claims.  The existence of a double indemnity claim may sometimes affect the way a damages award is issued to survivors in a wrongful death claim. 

What Does Double Indemnity Cover?

Double indemnity provisions usually DON’T cover instances of death involving:

  • Suicide
  • Murder or conspiracy by any beneficiaries of the policy
  • Deaths resulting from the insured party’s own grossly negligent actions
  • Deaths from natural causes, including heart disease and cancers

Thus, double indemnity usually only covers wrongful or accidental deaths.  These specifications may of course vary depending on the individual’s plan, as well as the laws in each state.

What Types of Legal Issues are Involved in Double Indemnity Plans?

While they can be helpful, double indemnity plans can often lead to lawsuits over various legal issues.  These can include:

  • Breach of insurance contract terms
  • Failure to pay out the stated amounts to beneficiaries and survivors
  • Attempting to change contract terms without the other party’s consent or notification

In addition, many wrongful death claims can lead to disputes over inheritance rights, especially if the person died suddenly and without a valid will document in place.  Double indemnity plans can complicate cases involving accidental disinheritance of a beneficiary from their rights. 

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With Double Indemnity Laws?

Double indemnity laws can sometimes be difficult to understand.  It may be to your advantage to hire a personal inury lawyer if you have any legal issues involving double indemnity plans.  Your attorney can provide you with expert legal advice and representation in the event that you need to file a lawsuit over a claim.  Also, your attorney can identify other legal issues that might apply to your situation, such as those involving inheritance rights for beneficiaries.

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 04-18-2018 08:07 PM PDT

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