What is an “incontestability provision” in an insurance policy?
Florida Statute §627.455 states:
Every insurance contract shall provide that the policy shall be incontestable after it has been in force during the lifetime of the insured for a period of 2 years from its date of issue except for nonpayment of premiums and except, at the option of the insurer, as to provisions relative to benefits in event of disability and as to provisions which grant additional insurance specifically against death by accident or accidental means.
The incontestability provision is thus the clause included in Florida life insurance policies which limits the time during which the insurer can challenge the validity of the policy to 2 years. Whether the challenge to the policy is based on alleged application fraud or an inability to enforce the policy, all claims must be filed within the 2-year period – or else, the claim is barred.
This provision has its origins in the mid-19th century, when insurance companies began including incontestability provisions to combat the perception that insurance companies would refuse to honor their policies over minor mistakes in a person’s life insurance application. Florida required the inclusion of incontestability provisions by law in 1955.
There is a possible exception to incontestability provisions: imposter fraud. Imposter fraud refers to the impersonation of a life insurance application by someone else during the medical examination of the application process – this type of fraud can be exempt from the incontestability provision.
To review your end-of-life and estate plan documents with experienced and dedicated estate and elder law attorneys, schedule an appointment with Bach, Jacobs & Byrne, P.A. at (941) 906-1231 today.