Life insurance is designed to protect your loved ones financially after you pass away. You might be wondering how your insurance company will know that you’ve died, so they can make payments to your beneficiaries. Life insurance companies won’t automatically be notified if someone dies. The beneficiaries of the life insurance policy will need to file a claim in order to receive the payout.
The Life Insurance Claims Process
Insurance companies won’t automatically assume someone has died just because they are no longer paying their monthly insurance premiums. This is because it’s more likely that the person has simply decided to let the policy lapse because they no longer want to spend money on it. The government doesn’t notify insurance companies when someone has died either. Because of this, the only way life insurance companies find out about deaths is when someone files a claim.
After someone passes away, they are issued a death certificate from the local government. In order to file a claim, beneficiaries will need to obtain a copy of the death certificate to give to the insurance company. They’ll also need to prove their own identity as a beneficiary, usually by using a government-issued ID, and they’ll need access to the deceased’s policy information. Filing a life insurance claim is relatively easy, particularly when compared to filing auto or property insurance claims. Beneficiaries will need to fill out a claims form and submit it to the insurance company.
Once the claim is approved, they will receive the death benefit soon afterward. Insurance companies can pay the death benefit in one lump sum or in multiple payments, depending on your preferences. There are some circumstances where an insurance company may deny a claim. Most policies have a clause that states that they will not pay out a life insurance claim if the policyholder dies within two years of it being issued. The insurance company may also deny claims if the policyholder died during the course of illegal or highly risky activity.
Steps to Take After a Loved One Dies
The period after a loved one dies can be very difficult and stressful, and you may not even know where to start when it comes to filing a life insurance claim. Luckily, the process is fairly simple, and you can always contact an insurance agent or other legal professional for assistance if you need further guidance. You should file the claim as soon as possible after a loved one passes, as this will streamline the payout process.
- The first step to take is to locate the deceased’s death certificate. There are some restrictions on who can access a death certificate, although laws differ from state to state. Death certificates are signed by the medical examiner and are submitted to your local government’s department of records. To access a death certificate, you’ll need to prove that you are a member of the deceased’s immediate family, an executor of their estate, or their funeral director. Once you have access to the death certificate, you’ll need to make several copies to submit to the insurance company.
- Next, you’ll need to find the deceased’s life insurance policy. The policy documents will have the insurer’s contact information as well as directions for filing a claim. It may take some time to find the life insurance policy – many people store them securely in safe deposit boxes. You’ll also want to check both their physical mail and their email, as insurance companies often send their customers bills and notifications this way.
- If you can’t find the deceased’s life insurance policy information in their documents, you may need to contact other family members, friends, or professional contacts for more information. They may be able to tell you which insurance company they used or where they might have kept their insurance documents. If you still can’t find their insurance information, consider contacting the Department of Insurance or the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. They have directories of unclaimed insurance policies that you can search.
- Next, you’ll need to gather all of the information you’ll need to file a claim. Make sure you have your ID, the insurance policy number, the deceased’s full name and information, and information about the cause of death. You’ll also need to decide how you would like to receive the insurance payout. You’ll have a number of options – you’ll be able to receive it as a lump sum, break it up into multiple payments, or even choose to continue the policy and leave the money to your chosen beneficiaries.
If you think you may be a beneficiary on someone’s life insurance policy, talk to them now about their life insurance arrangements. Having these difficult conversations now can save you time and stress in the future.
How to Ensure Your Beneficiaries Receive Your Insurance Policy
When setting up your life insurance policy, you’ll want to make sure that your beneficiaries can access it once you pass away. While it can be uncomfortable to talk about, it’s important that someone knows where to access your life insurance policy. Talk with your beneficiaries to make sure they know where your life insurance information is and how to contact them. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your beneficiaries, make sure that you tell another trusted friend or family member. If you have a will, you should make sure that your executor knows which company you’re insured with and where to find your policy information.
Make sure to keep up with the payments on your life insurance policy so that it doesn’t expire at any point. You should also ensure that your life insurance documents are stored in a safe place where your beneficiaries can find them in the event of your death. You may even want to keep multiple copies of your life insurance policy in different secure storage spaces.
While it can be difficult to talk about end of life arrangements, it’s something that’s very important to discuss. Life insurance companies won’t process death benefit payments automatically, so you’ll need to file a claim to receive a death benefit.