death benefit


Definition of death benefit

: money payable to the beneficiary of a deceased

Examples of death benefit in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Hybrid policies have grown more popular in recent years, attracting consumers with the promise that if policyholders don’t end up needing long-term care, their beneficiary will receive a death benefit. Cheryl Winokur Munk, WSJ, "What You Need to Know About Hybrid Long-Term-Care Insurance," 20 Nov. 2018 Shooter insurance is considered gap coverage, handling expenses not typically covered under general liability, such as funeral costs and death benefits. Tawnell D. Hobbs, WSJ, "More Schools Are Buying ‘Active-Shooter’ Insurance Policies," 2 Aug. 2018 Liability coverage can cover medical bills, lost wages and death benefits. Ron Hurtibise,, "Do you have enough homeowner insurance? Here's how to find out," 13 July 2018 The issue over Hauber’s death benefit touches on a volatile debate happening among local, state and federal lawmakers over whether cancer found in firefighters is the result of their work in the line of duty. Karen Ann Cullotta,, "Buffalo Grove appeals 'unprecedented' pension award to family of firefighter who died from cancer," 20 June 2018 Chubb will underwrite Sure’s ride-sharing policies, which will pay up to $10,000 in medical costs per accident and include a $100,000 death benefit, the firms said. Leslie Scism, WSJ, "Grabbing an Uber? Now You Can Buy Your Own Insurance for the Ride," 14 June 2018 The policies pay for counseling services and victim death benefits. Washington Post,, "Insurers balk at calls for armed teachers to prevent mass shootings at schools," 27 May 2018 The policies pay for counseling services and victim death benefits. Anchorage Daily News, "Plans to arm teachers may face big roadblock - insurance companies," 27 May 2018 Lorraine contacted Thrivent recently and was put in touch with an agent who suggested that lowering the death benefit to $10,000 would buy her some time with the policy, but not beyond next year. Jim Stingl, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Stingl: Woman nearing age 98 is outliving the life insurance she bought to cover her burial," 29 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'death benefit.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of death benefit

1867, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about death benefit

Statistics for death benefit

Last Updated

26 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for death benefit

The first known use of death benefit was in 1867

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for death benefit

death benefit


Financial Definition of death benefit

What It Is

A death benefit is a payment to the beneficiary on an annuity, pension, or life insurance policy upon the death of the annuitant or policyholder.

How It Works

Also called a survivor benefit, a death benefit may come in the form of a one-time payment on a life insurance policy or in a series of income payments that are a percentage of those granted to the annuitant prior to death. For instance, as the beneficiary on a life insurance policy, a surviving spouse will be entitled to a one-time monetary payment upon the death of the other spouse as specified in the policy. Likewise, upon the death of an annuity holder, the beneficiary will receive ongoing annuity payments at a percentage of those received by the annuitant.

Why It Matters

Death benefits are the way in which annuities and life insurance policies compensate those close to or dependent upon the deceased policyholder for the costs associated with death (e.g. funeral expenses) and potential loss of income.

Source: Investing Answers

death benefit


English Language Learners Definition of death benefit

: money that an insurance company pays to the family of someone who has died because that person had life insurance

death benefit


Legal Definition of death benefit

: money payable to the beneficiary of a deceased as a benefit (as under a policy of life or accident insurance or a pension plan)

Note: The right to death benefits is generally terminated in cases of fraud, as when an insured commits suicide after purchasing a policy or when the beneficiary murders the insured.

More from Merriam-Webster on death benefit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with death benefit

Comments on death benefit

What made you want to look up death benefit? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to mark by some ceremony or observation

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!