BUSINESS

Doctor-assisted suicide ruling won't affect life insurance industry: association

02/06/2015 04:39 EST | Updated 04/08/2015 05:59 EDT
TORONTO - An insurance industry association says a Canadian court ruling that overturns the ban on doctor-assisted suicide will not have a significant impact on the life insurance industry.

On Friday, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously struck down a ban preventing physicians from helping mentally competent — but suffering and "irremediable" patients — to end their lives.

Most life insurance policies contain a suicide exclusion clause that says the insurer does not have to pay benefits if the insured person kills themselves within two years of purchasing the policy.

The purpose of the clause is to prevent someone from purchasing a policy with the intent of committing suicide.

The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association says that, in most cases, patients who are pursuing doctor-assisted suicide will have purchased their life insurance policy more than two years prior.

Spokeswoman Wendy Hope says the association will wait until the government introduces legislation before it determines whether changes are required for insurance policies.