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What Happens To My Life Insurance If I Am In A Coma?


A coma is a state of extended unconsciousness due to inefficient brain function. This unresponsive state can be caused by a traumatic blow to the head, oxygen deprivation from choking or drowning, severe infection, exposure to toxins, or extremely high blood sugar.

Under most circumstances, life insurance policies do not pay out as long as the policyholder remains alive. If you are in a coma or otherwise totally disabled, your life insurance coverage should remain in effect (provided your premiums are paid) until your death, or until the term of the policy expires with term life insurance.

Optional Life Insurance Riders In Case Of Disability

For most life insurance policies, optional riders can be added at the time of purchase, including the following options:

  • Accelerated death benefit rider: If you are diagnosed with a disabling, terminal, or chronic illness, this rider will allow you to use all or a portion of your death benefit in advance of your death. If you are in a coma or otherwise disabled, the life insurance company will pay out benefits to help replace lost income.
  • Waiver of premium rider: If you purchase a waiver of premium rider with your life insurance policy, it can keep your policy in effect if you are unable to pay your premiums after a disabling illness or injury. This rider can help you keep your life insurance policy in force until you recover and are able to return to work.
  • Long-term care rider: This provides coverage for in-home aid and other services if you become disabled and are unable to care for yourself.
  • Critical illness rider: This rider covers treatment for certain illnesses that are likely to limit life expectancy. Examples of such illnesses include cancer, stroke, kidney failure, heart attack, ALS, AIDS, and coma.

Extended Death Benefit

This benefit is available under some life insurance policies. If you become disabled before the age of 60 and die before the insurance company determines that you qualify for a waiver of premium, the company will pay your death benefits, provided you were disabled up until your death.

If the insurance company determines you are a suitable candidate for rehabilitation, it may require that you undergo an assessment and participate in a rehabilitation plan, not to exceed a specified period. This plan may consist of physical, vocational, or educational rehabilitation. It may involve modified or part-time work. Refusal to participate in the plan without a valid medical reason could terminate your insurance coverage.

Consult With An Experienced Agent

If you are concerned about what happens to your life insurance if you are in a coma or become otherwise disabled, our friendly agent is happy to help. Riders are available to help ensure your life insurance remains in effect if the unexpected should happen. We can review your life insurance policy and help you purchase the coverage you need to keep your death benefit protections in place in case of a disabling illness or injury.

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