How To File A Claim For Your Life Insurance Benefits

Beneficiaries must submit three documents before they can file a claim for life insurance, which must include a death certificate, directly to the insurance carrier. Once the insurance company receives and processes the claim, they will pay out the death benefit.

Collecting your life insurance benefits

Benefits of life insurance

One of the most unfortunate events that can happen to anyone is to lose a loved one. However, if you are going through this hardship, it is good to know that there are simple ways to immediately get your hands on your deceased loved one’s life insurance benefits. For first time beneficiaries, you may have a lot of questions in mind. Read on and have your questions answered.

The following are the most commonly asked questions concerning how to collect life insurance benefits to help you get through this trying time. 

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How Would I Contact The Insurer And How Long Do You Have To Claim Life Insurance

The very first thing that you need to know is how you can contact your life insurance provider.

  • The easiest way is to contact your insurance agent.
  • If you cannot contact your agent, you can search online to look for the company customer service hotline.
  • You can find a direct contact number from your policy or within the provider’s website.

How Can I Get A Death Certificate If I Am Beneficiary Of A Life Insurance Policy 

what is a life insurance beneficiaryThe funeral service usually prepared the death certificate, but you need to prepare the documents and process you need to prepare to depend on where you are located. You can quickly check it online. Processing the death certificate is the most tedious process because it takes 10 to 12 days or even six weeks. 

What Documents Are Required To Claim Life Insurance?

Before you try to contact the insurer, it is better to prepare the following documents to avoid delay. 

  1. One of the most important things you need to do is secure a death certificate to prove the insured’s death. This is a safety net for insurers to stay away from insurance fraud. One should secure more than one copy of the document for future reference.
  2. It is crucial to find out the social security number of your deceased relative.
  3. Get the policy number of the deceased person for easy processing.
  4. People who want to get the benefits should prove that they are an authorized beneficiary through: 
  • Preparation of documents that will prove your beneficiary status
  • Social security number
  • Prepare your income tax return.

How To Find Life Insurance Policies Of Deceased Parent

Another common question of claimants is how to get the benefits. There are many ways your insurer can give you the money, and the following are possible methods.

  • The payout can be acquired through a lump sum, which is a method of a one-time payment. This is the most convenient way to get your needed money, especially if you need it to cover the funeral expenses. The quickest timeframe to get it is after two weeks.
  • You can choose specific income provisions to get the principal and the interest rate according to a specified schedule. 
  •  You may also opt for life income options that can give you a steady income for a lifetime. However, the amount may vary according to the gender of the beneficiary, the amount of the policy, age of the insured, and the time of death.
  • You can consider the interest income option. The beneficiary may choose only to get the interest gained, and then the principal benefit is given to the second beneficiary if the first one passed away. 

You can get the money through your preferred bank account or any electronic fund transfer. The good thing about the benefits is that it usually is non-taxable; only in a few outside circumstances are the life insurance benefits taxable.

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How Long Does It Take To Receive Life Insurance Death Benefits

Top 3 benefits of life insuranceIf the policy is two years or more, then the entire process may take 10 to 14 days. No matter what type of payout you choose, you are sure to receive it in no time. However, if the insured died without surpassing the two years, you need to wait a little longer, from 1 to 2 months. The insurance provider needs enough time to check and investigate for probable insurance fraud. 

It is vital to note that insurance providers are under the state law that requires them to process the claim within a specific time. They must release the benefits within one month after filing. In case they failed to do so, then the beneficiary has the liberty to file for “statutory interest”.

What Are The Causes Of Delay or Possible Life Insurance Claim Denial?

Although most claims are straightforward to get, there are instances when a beneficiary may get denied. The following are possible reasons:

  • Passing away within the period of contestability of two years. 
  • Death is due to homicide. 
  • Death due to suicide.
  • Death due to risky activity stated on the application.
  • Death is linked to any illegal activity like drunk driving. 

All of these situations will trigger the insurer to investigate and find out if there are possible violations. For accidental death, then you need to communicate with the underwriter. Also, take note that the underwriter is finding all means to deny the claim. They may even trace back the history of the insured to look for possible violations. The investigation may include the insured’s autopsy report. Also, they will ask for toxicology and medical records. 

In case you fall into one of these situations, you may ask for legal help to avoid losing your benefits. A reference guide that might help: The Centers for Life Insurance Disputes.

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What Happens If One of the Primary Beneficiaries Dies?

Medicare supplement insuranceThere are instances when the original beneficiary may pass away, but there are considerations to help you get the benefits. 

  • They will investigate to find out if there are qualified co-beneficiaries. 
  • If the primary beneficiary is deceased, then other eligible beneficiaries may file for the benefits.
  • The benefit is subjected to probate status if there is no qualified person to get the claim. This is true, especially if there is no specific instruction from the insured. The state court will decide on the policy. 

Other Important Considerations Regarding The Life Insurance Claims Process

It is important to note that most of the complaints regarding life insurance benefits are delays and a complication in the process of claims. You need to carefully look for a reputable insurance provider to avoid future hassle and remember always to make all possible beneficiaries aware of the policy. 

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About Coach B.

After starting his financial career with Phoenix Home Life Insurance Company back in 1992, Scott decided he wanted to provide people with an easier and more enjoyable way to buy life insurance. That was the start of Coach B. Life Insurance, whose mission is to be transparent, honest, and helpful to customers — without ever bugging or pushing them.

In the years since then, he has worked tirelessly to improve the process of shopping for insurance. His goal is to make sure that everyone who comes to Coach B. — whether they end up buying a policy or not — has the best possible experience.

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