Life Insurance payouts can net someone a hefty payday, depending on who the insured was. There is a reason why husbands have murdered wives and vice versa, when a large insurance payout is involved. Some of the largest payouts of life insurance have gone to the loved ones of celebrities such as Michael Jackson and Dale Earnhardt.
The world was transfixed to their televisions on June 25, 2009 when it was announced that legendary singer Michael Jackson had died. At the time of his death, Michael Jackson’s net worth was $600 million. Shortly after his death, AEG LIVE, the company in charge of promoting his concerts, was accused of failing to report the fact that he was on drugs and had a questionable medical history. Lloyd’s of London, the company that insured his concerts, brought these allegations against AEG. The insurance company then asked a Los Angeles court to dismiss the $17.5 million dollar life insurance policy AEG had in place for Michael Jackson’s concerts. Mere months after his death, when his O2 Arena Residency was cancelled, it was being reported that there was a clause in his insurance policy concerning the use of illegal drugs that may result in Lloyd’s not having to give a financial payout on his policy.
In the lawsuit that Lloyd’s filed against AEG, they claim it was never stated that Michael Jackson was using Propofol, the anesthetic drug that reportedly led to his untimely death at the age of 50. Due to the fact that this case could not be settled outside of court it was requested that the insurance policy be made obsolete.
When Dale Earnhardt was tragically killed in a NASCAR race gone wrong, his wife Teresa tried to claim his $3.7 million life insurance payout and was promptly denied. Richard Childress Racing had put in place a financial agreement that stated upon Dale Earnhardt’s death his wife would receive as much as $7 million from his life insurance policy issued by Omaha Insurance. Richard Childress Racing (RCR) brought a lawsuit against Omaha Insurance for denying the claim made by Teresa because RCR then became responsible for paying the benefits instead.
When Heath Ledger passed away in 2007, his life insurance policy was set to $10 million. However, the insurance company did not want to pay the policy because his death was ruled suspicious. He died of an accidental drug overdose and the insurance company suspected suicide. Another issue was that they suspected Ledger had lied when he filled out the application for his life insurance, not disclosing his use of prescription drugs.
The death of Don Cornelius resulted in his ex-wife receiving his life insurance payout from the two policies he had. The terms of their divorce agreement dictated that his ex wife receive the $300,000 his life insurance policies were worth. Even though his death was the result of a suicide, his ex wife still received full benefits because he had his policies for more than two years before death.
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