Life insurance is designed to help those left behind pay for the costs associated with the passing of a loved one, a liked one, or just a kind of “meh”-ed one. But the last thing you, the beneficiary, want to do when someone moves on is stress about filing a claim and collecting on a life insurance policy.
That’s why we’ve put together a boatload of information that’ll help you easily file a claim. But hey, always feel free to reach out to your insurance agent for any additional help you may need throughout the filing process.
Steps for Filing a Life Insurance Claim
Our condolences if you’ve recently lost someone. To help you get through this time, we’ve put together the following steps to get you to the claim-filing finish line faster.
- Step 1: Contact your insurance agent.
- They can guide through the whole process.
- Step 2: Get a copy of the death certificate.
- Get a certified copy from the funeral director.
- Step 3: Contact your insurance company.
- Notify your insurance company of the death.
- Step 4: Submit the death certificate.
- Submit the death certificate to the life insurance company so the claim process can begin
How Are Life Insurance Claims Paid?
When you, the beneficiary, file a claim you’ll have the option to select how you want the life policy paid out. The options will depend on the life insurance policy, but some of the most common choices are:
- Lump-sum payout
- You receive the entire payout in one single amount.
- Specific income
- You choose a scheduled payout of a certain amount.
- Life income
- You receive a monthly payout based on the death benefit and your life expectancy.
- Life income with a specified period
- You receive a payout of a specific amount for a guaranteed period of time.
- Joint and last survivor income
- If a joint life insurance policy was purchased, and you are the surviving spouse, you will receive a fixed amount each month until you die. There is also an option where you can give a portion to a third-party beneficiary.
Can a Life Insurance Claim Be Denied?
Life insurance can only be denied during a two-year contestability period, though in some states that period is only one year. It starts as soon as the policy goes into effect. During this time, the life insurance company can investigate and deny a claim. A claim will usually be denied for one of two reasons:
- If the policy holder gave false information.
- For example: If the policy holder said they didn’t smoke during the underwriting phase and then they died of lung cancer within two years of starting the life insurance policy.
- If the policy holder took their own life.
- If this happens within the first two years of the life insurance policy, you, the beneficiary, will not receive a payout, but will get a return of the premiums paid.
Life insurance is the last claim anyone ever wants to have to file. Fortunately, it’s one of the easiest claims to file. If you follow these easy steps and use the knowledge and support of your insurance agent, you’ll have one less thing to worry about when it comes time to collect on a policy.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin
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