Filing a Life Insurance Claim

It’s usually an after-thought following the passing away of a loved one, but at some point after the dust settles, the life insurance beneficiary needs to look at filing the life insurance policy claim. Let’s look at what’s involved and how we can help your licensed life insurance agent.

We hope you never have to file such a claim. You purchased the term life policy to address the probability but deep down, you hoped that was just being responsible. The only silver lining in the whole mess is that you actually did the right thing and you and/or your family will not have the financial hardship that results from the premature passing of a family member that you were dependent on financially. Term life insurance was the tool you used to protect from such a scenario. Now what?

First, contact us as you licensed life insurance agent. We can help guide you through the process just as we did when you were choosing your life policy to begin with. Most people underestimate the hit to the stomach they take when a loved one passes away. All of a sudden, simple tasks become overwhelming. Let us help! That’s what we’re here for. We are not the kind of agency that just sells policies and disappears. We’re here for the duration…the life of the policy and although we hope you never need to make the call, we are here to help if you do.

The initial step is to notify the life insurance company. This is required to initiate the life insurance claims process. We will need to provide the proof of the claims which is almost always the death certificate. It also makes sense to have the most recent copy of the life insurance policy handy to make sure beneficiaries are correctly listed or double-check how the settlement option will occur.

If the person passes away within 2 years of the policies effective date, the carrier may be able to rescind the life policy if there is fraud or misrepresentation involved during the application process. This is called the Contestability Clause. In our article on insurance rescission, we strongly recommend full and complete disclosure to avoid this from happening. There can also be a 2 year Suicide Clause so the cause of death may be pertinent during the first 2 years of the policy.

Most States have laws to protect the consumer against unfair claims practices such as delaying claims payment, not providing claims forms, attempting to settle claims for a lower amount than is expected, or in general, for practices that elicit a disproportionate number of complaints. We try to stay with strong carriers that have a good reputation on the claims side. Otherwise, why have the coverage to begin with. The last thing you want to deal with after losing a loved one is to fight a life insurance company to pay a valid claim.

Each carrier is a little different but the key is that we are here to help with the paperwork and process involved in submitting a claim for life insurance.
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