First of all, if you have a life insurance policy, we would like to take this opportunity to invite you to put your papers in order now for your loved ones. By taking the time to get your paperwork in order, you will be making the claims process easier on your beneficiaries when it comes time for them to submit a claim. But most families often don’t even know if there is a life insurance plan in place when they need it most.
If you don't know if your loved one had life insurance, some institutions can help you. The best way is to go through all the documents to find policy references: both in paper and electronic form. But what happens once you find the policy? How do you go about making a claim?
First, call the insurer to confirm the coverage and follow their process to receive the benefit. There is no need for a notary or a professional. Here are the 3 things to consider when it is time to claim a life insurance death benefit. And please be sure to share this article if you know someone it would help.
Payment doesn't happen automatically. Your insurer does not necessarily know that the insured is deceased. And even if the withdrawals stop, it is still not a sign of death. To obtain the payment, you must complete a death declaration to claim the life insurance death benefit.
Completing the death declaration can be done:
- By paper form
The insurance company will ask you for certain supporting documents. Here are the documents that are typically needed to claim the life insurance death benefit:
- Death certificate
- Insurance policy number
- If applicable, a copy of the policy mentioning you as the beneficiary
- A copy of your identification document proving that you are the life insurance beneficiary.
- A bank statement for the transfer of the death benefit.
- A family record book to prove your relationship with the person if applicable.
Please read the insurance policy carefully, as it will also list the exclusion clauses for the payment of the death benefit.
Most insurers have exclusion clauses like these:
- In case of death during the first two years of the policy, the insurer can delay the benefit's payment until the end of the two years.
- In the event of premature death, the insurance company may investigate to determine if there was any false declaration at the purchase time.
- Two standard clauses of exclusion in life insurance policies are the suicide and death during a crime or terrorist act clause.
In the last two cases, the insurance company has the right not to pay the death benefit. Keep an eye on these exclusion clauses, and be sure to review them before submitting a claim to avoid any problems.
Also, be careful not to confuse life insurance and disability insurance: they are two different products. Death will not trigger the payment of the sum provided for in case of disability. So, take the time to read all the documents.
We spoke to you earlier about the policy's expiry: you want to avoid receiving this mail because then, the policy will no longer be valid. Indeed, when you no longer pay your life insurance policy, you are no longer covered, and you lose the benefit of your previously paid premiums.
Even if these moments are particularly emotionally draining and there is a lot of paperwork, it is essential to react quickly. Get a paper copy of the death certificate as soon as possible. Depending on the services you contact, you may be asked to provide for the original each time. So, plan on asking for several original copies from the hospital to easily claim a life insurance benefit.
You will need them to claim services and money from:
- The government for funeral assistance,
- Social security,
- And the life insurance company.
If everything is in order, you can receive the funds between 2 weeks and 45 days.
To conclude on how to claim a life insurance death benefit
Be aware that the life insurance product is not taxable. That's why it's a wise choice of a financial product. Life insurance, depending on the amount you choose, can cover your debts and funeral costs. The best way to obtain a plan adapted to your profile is to talk to one of our advisors. To receive your free, no-obligation quote, you can fill out the short application form, and our friendly advisor will get back to you.
Written by Diane Taes