Paragraph on suicide


Suicide means a willful and intentional act on the part of the self-destroyer. It includes every act of self-destruction. Policies of life insurance contain conditions by which the liability of the insurer is modified and limited in case of suicide by the assured. Where there is such a clause in a policy, the insurer can avoid the policy. The position in England and in India is different on this issue. In England suicide is a crime and hence no money is payable if a person commits suicide while in a sane state of mind. On the other hand if the assured was insane at the time of committing suicide, the sum due can be recovered by his legal representatives. Under the Indian law, suicide in itself is not an offence, and as such a policy cannot be avoided on the ground of suicide, unless the policy otherwise provides. Suicide will, however, not affect the rights of assignee, if the policy holder had assigned the policy for valuable consideration. The burden of proving suicide is upon the insurers and where the cause of death is not known, the presumption is against suicide and the policy cannot be avoided.

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