Accidental Death Claim: Denied Because Insured was Drinking and Driving

An accidental death insurance policy will pay benefits when the insured dies as a result of an accident.  But when the insured dies in an auto accident with a high blood alcohol rate – is that an accident?  That was the issue in a recent case we handled in which our client’s husband died in a single car accident while driving home from his brother’s house after having a few beers.  The insurance company argued that since the husband had intentionally consumed alcohol and intentionally driven home knowing he was drunk and knowing the dangers of drinking and driving, that his resulting accident was not accidental.

Only an insurance company could argue that an accident was not an accident under their policy.  Though everyone knows what an accident is, it becomes mysterious when it comes up in court.  Unfortunately there are cases on both sides of this question.  However, we were able to argue common sense, the evidence of the case and the law to prevail for our client.


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