Early Death Claim in LIC

Early death claims in LIC are those which are filed within just two to three years of the LIC policy is in force. LIC has laid strong emphasis on its death claim settlement process. Every year, thousands of death claims are settled by the company depending on the legitimacy of each claim.

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Introduction to Death Claims

A death claim is a form of request made by a claimant to the insurer to pay them the assured sum defined under the death benefit of a policy. Once a death claim is raised, the life insurance company is obligated to initiate the claims process against the deceased. Following documents submission and thorough verification, the insurer decides to either reject the claim or approve it. 

If a claim has been rejected, claimants can pursue Review Committees established by LIC at zonal and central levels. If approved, it transfers the death benefit amount defined as the sum assured on death along with additional benefits (if any) directly to the claimant’s bank account.

Note that the death benefit amount is only paid if the death of the policyholder occurs within the policy term and if all the due premiums have been paid in full. 

Now, death claims primarily come in two variants, viz. Early Death Claims and Non-Early Death Claims. The following sections discuss early death claims in more detail. 

What are Early Death Claims in LIC?

Early death claims are those that are raised if the demise of the life assured occurs within two to three years from the date of risk commencement. Such types of claims are required to be filed by the assigned beneficiaries of the policy within a maximum of 120 days from the date of death. 

Any other death claims filed after a period of three policy years are referred to as non-early death claims in LIC. 

The process of early death claim settlement is similar to any other claim settlement, except for the need for a more rigorous investigation after documents submission. 

  • As a first step, intimate LIC about the death of the policyholder. Collate all the documents listed below and submit them. 

  • LIC verifies every piece of information and conducts inquiries to identify a genuine claim.

  • Following approval, the death benefit sum is transferred to the beneficiary bank account, subject to the total premiums paid till death. 

Documents Required to File an Early Death Claim in LIC

To successfully verify if a death claim is genuine, LIC requests several important documents. It is advised that claimants make a note of this list so that the death claim settlement process is faster and smoother. Note that filing for an early death claim in LIC requires you to submit additional documents along with the standard prerequisites as detailed below. 

Standard Documents Required for Every Death Claim:

  • Claimant's official statement with details about the deceased policyholder and the claimant. 

  • Certified proof of death from the Death Registry

  • Proof of age of the claimant and the deceased (including copies)

  • Original policy document

  • In case no nominee was assigned, claimants are needed to submit proof of title to the life assured’s estate

Additional Documents Required for An Early Death Claim:

  • Claim form B, which is the certificate from the Medical Attendant who attended to the deceased at the time of his/her last treatment 

  • Claim form B1, which indicates if the deceased policyholder had received treatment in a hospital 

  • Claim form B2, which is required to be filled by the medical attendant who had previously treated the deceased policyholder 

  • Claim Form C includes the identity certificate and proof of cremation/burial 

  • If the insured was an employee, the employer has to complete Claim form E 

  • In the case of death of the life assured due to an accident or unnatural causes, that claimant shall be required to produce the following:

  • Certified copies of the First Information Report

  • Post-mortem report 

  • Police Investigation Report 

LIC may also conduct their inquiry and spot investigations before settling an early death claim. Considering the need for thorough background checks and investigations, LIC early death claim settlement time can extend beyond the IRDAI mandate of 30 days. However, LIC has to offer a decision within 6 months of receiving all the documents. Moreover, LIC cannot take more than 15 days from the date of filing the claim to intimate the claimants about all the documents required.  

Can Early Death Claims in LIC be Repudiated?

These two types are different in the sense that the former can be questioned on the grounds of its legitimacy by the insurer and can be rejected. As stated in Section 45 of the Insurance Act, insurers can call for the rejection of an early death claim, quoting misrepresentation and suppression of material fact by the claimant or the deceased. In the case of non-early death claims, it is much harder for insurers to reject a claim. 

Note that you can contest their decision to reject an early death claim by approaching the Review Committees established by LIC. If you still find yourself dissatisfied with the decision, you can reach out to LIC’s Insurance Ombudsman. 

Summing Up!

Early death claims in LIC may be associated with certain risks when it comes to the background and medical investigations required. However, a legitimate death claim can never be rejected by LIC or any other insurer. The only thing to ensure a smooth, hassle-free experience is to keep all the documents handy with multiple photocopies.

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