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How to Make Death Claims on Life Insurance?

An unfortunate death in the family can be emotionally stressful for your entire family. The family faces worries and grief about financial and legal concerns. Life insurance does not only offer emotional support but it also provides financial relief. 

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Upon the policyholder’s death, the nominee should inform the insurer immediately to initiate the claim. Understanding the death claim process is crucial to avoid errors and ensure the claim is accepted.

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How to Make Claim in Life Insurance After Death: Step wise Process

Following is a list of steps which are required in a life insurance to claim the death benefits after the policyholder’s death:

Step 1: Inform the Insurance Company: Notify the insurer about the death of the policyholder as soon as possible. This can be done by a nominee or a family member.

Step 2: Collect Required Documents: Gather all necessary documents including the death certificate, policy document, and any other documents requested by the insurance company.

Step 3: Fill the Claims Application Forms: Complete the claims form provided by the insurer. Make sure all information provided is complete and accurate.

Step 4: Submit the Claim: Submit the completed claim forms and required documents to the insurance company. This can often be done online, via mail, or in person.

Step 5: Verification Process: The insurer will review the submitted documents and may require additional information. They will verify the claim to ensure all details are correct.

Step 6: Claim Settlement: Once verified, the insurer will process the claim and disburse the benefits to the nominee. The time frame for this can vary depending on the company’s policies.

Step 7: Follow Up: Stay in touch with the insurance company to check the status of the claim and provide any additional information if needed.

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What are the Documents Required for Life Insurance Death Claim?

While making a life insurance death claim, the nominee is required to provide the documents requested by the insurer, The documents in term insurance depend on the insurer. These can be categorized into 2 categories: Supporting and Mandatory Documents.

Mandatory Documents

  • Insurance policy documents

  • Completely filled claim intimation forms

  • The address proof, photo ID, and photograph

Supporting Documents

  • Account details of bank with passbook

  • Medical certificate mentioning the death cause

  • Medical records that include admission documents, treatment records, death report, summary of discharge, and other information required for early life insurance death claim in case of unnatural death.

  • Copy of FIR (First Information Report)

  • Certified copy of post-mortem report

  • Driving license copy if the death of the policyholder is caused by an accident while driving a vehicle.

  • If the policyholder’s death is because of a medical reason, then the statement of a physician and other records of treatment are also required.

  • In case of accidental death, some of the documents such as Police Investigation Reports or FIR, and Post-Mortem Reports (PMR) are compulsory.

What are the reasons for life insurance claims to get rejected?

At the time of filing a life insurance claim, policyholders and nominees/beneficiaries should understand the common mistakes that might lead to a death claim being rejected. Following are the different reasons why an insurance death claim might not get approved:

  • False information

  • Lapsed policy

  • Contradicting details

  • Undisclosed existing/previous insurance plans

  • Undisclosed medical records

  • Delay in paying premiums

  • Nominee’s name is not mentioned

Let’s understand all these points in detail:

Providing false information: Providing falsifying information to an insurance company is a serious offense and can result in the rejection of a claim. This includes misrepresenting the policyholder's health status, the circumstances of death, or any other relevant details that could influence the insurer's decision to cover the risk or pay the claim.

Lapsed policy: A policy lapses when premiums are not paid within the specified time, resulting in the termination of the policy's benefits. A claim under a lapsed policy will only be considered if the policy is reinstated, typically requiring the payment of all overdue premiums and completing any additional underwriting procedures required by the insurer.

Contradicting details: This happens when the information in the claim form conflicts with the details provided when the policy was initially taken out or with other submitted documentation. For example, if the cause of death stated in the claim form contradicts medical records or an autopsy report, the insurer may reject the claim due to these inconsistencies.

Undisclosed existing/previous insurance plans: Failing to disclose other existing insurance policies can be perceived as an attempt to over-insure, which may raise fraud concerns. Insurers typically require information about other policies to accurately assess the policyholder's total coverage and evaluate the associated risk.

Undisclosed medical records: If a policyholder will not be able to disclose important medical conditions or previous health issues when buying the insurance plan, the company may consider it as misrepresentation or non-disclosure. This is mainly important if the undisclosed condition is associated with the cause of death that leads to rejecting claims.

Delay in Paying Premiums: Insurance policies require regular premium payments to remain active. If payments are missed and the policyholder does not arrange for a grace period or reinstatement, any claim filed under the lapsed policy is likely to be rejected.

Nominee’s name is not mentioned: If the policy lacks a nominated beneficiary or the nominee's details need to be updated, it can complicate the claims process. This oversight might delay or even lead to the rejection of the claim, as the insurer will need to verify who is legally entitled to receive the claim amount.

Note: It is suggested to calculate the term plan premium on the term plan calculator online tool by Policybazaar before buying.

FAQ's

  • Q: Are there any tax benefits for the premium paid by the policyholder for a term plan ?

    Ans: Yes, the life assured can avail of tax exemption up to Rs. 1.5 lakh as per applicable T&Cs.
  • Q: Can I get money back if I survive the policy term in term plan?

    Ans: In case you have opted for a Term Return of Premium rider, then you will be eligible to receive all your premium amount paid back.
  • Q: Is it possible to increase the sum assured during the policy term?

    Ans: Some insurance plans offer the flexibility to increase the life cover, generally after large life events such as child’s birth or marriage.

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