Life insurance serves as a safety net for the beneficiaries in case the policyholder expires during the policy term. Losing a loved one can be emotionally challenging and dealing with insurance claims during this difficult period can be overwhelming. This article discusses the steps and requirements for claiming a policy after the tragic event. You can go fully equipped to the insurance company when you are putting forward a claim which can simplify the process. Understanding the documentation and other steps involved in the claim process can ease the burden and minimize hassles while claiming the death benefit.
Life Insurance Policy Claim Procedure
It is important to first understand the answer to ‘What is life insurance?‘ before we get into the claiming process. Life Insurance is a contract between the insurance company and the policyholder wherein the insurance company promises to pay an amount in exchange for a premium on the policyholder’s death or after the contract period.
A claim procedure is a mandatory process to get the death benefit, which can be overwhelming during a challenging time. Here is a step-by-step guide that will ease the process.
1. Notify the Insurance Company
Informing the insurance company is the first step towards claiming the death benefit. You can visit the insurance provider, send an email, or call the customer service helpline to inform them about the death of the policyholder.
Details like the name of the policyholder, the latest address, date of birth, policy number, and the reason for the death of the policyholder have to be provided. The name of the beneficiary, contact details, and relationship with the policyholder also have to be provided.
You will have to notify the insurance company within the set period. Though the period differs with the insurance provider, it is generally 30 days from the day of demise.
2. Gather The Required Documents
Keep the necessary documents like original policy documents, original death certificate, and identity proof of the beneficiary like Aadhar Card, PAN, Driving Licence, etc.
The following additional documents will be required depending on the nature of the death.
- A Doctor’s statement and proof of treatment taken at the hospital if the policyholder dies due to some illness.
- A registered copy of the FIR, post-mortem report, and police investigation report if the policyholder dies in an accident.
3. Fill Out The Claim Forms
On notifying the insurance company about the demise of the policyholder, they will guide you through the necessary steps and will provide you with the necessary forms.
You will have to fill out the claim forms accurately. All the mandatory fields have to be completed to avoid pushback. The claim form will typically require information about the policyholder, beneficiaries, and the reason for the death.
After completing the life insurance policy claim form you can submit it along with the required documents either by visiting the home branch of the insurance company or through online mode.
4. Evaluation By The Insurance Company
The insurance company will start the evaluation process once they receive the claim form along with all relevant documents. The evaluation depends on the type and circumstances of death. The company will verify all the submitted documents and review the information provided in the claim form for accuracy. The insurance company will investigate the circumstances of the policyholder’s death if the claim is filed within 3 years from the date of issuance of the policy
At this stage, the insurance company will decide whether to accept or reject the claim. If the claim is accepted the company will pay the death benefit to the beneficiary. If rejected the reason for the rejection will be stated.
5. Claim Settlement
If the claim is accepted the settlement will be done by the insurance company either in lumpsum or in instalments depending on the terms and conditions of the life insurance policy.
The death benefit will be credited to the beneficiary’s bank account.
As per the IRDA guidelines, the death claim has to be settled within 30 calendar days from the date of filing the claim. If additional investigation is required, the insurer should investigate within 60 to 90 days after receiving the claim notification. If the claim is not settled within 30 days, the insurer is liable to pay penal interest.
Filing a life insurance policy claim can seem challenging during a difficult time. However, with proper guidance, you can minimize hassles. By notifying the insurance company within the set time and following. the guidelines outlined above, the claim process can be seamless. Understanding the claim process and being equipped can alleviate stress during difficult times.