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Things to Remember While Filing a Death Claim

While life insurance ensures that the policyholder’s family will not have to face financial troubles while coping with the death of a loved one, filing a death claim can be quite the task. It involves a number of steps and multiple levels of verification to avoid false claims. In this article, we will understand the process of filing and settling claims and things to remember while you are filing a death claim. 

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Types of Claims In Life Insurance

Below mentioned are the three types of claims that are available in life insurance:

  1. Death Claim

    Death claims are the most common claims in life insurance. It happens to be the prime objective of buying life insurance, i.e. financially securing the policyholder’s loved ones. The claim process begins after the death of the policyholder and the amount is received once the verification of all the required documents is completed.

  2. Maturity Claim

    Maturity claim can be filed once the policyholder survives throughout the policy term, i.e. outliving the total policy period, without any lapsation of the plan. In this case, he/she receives all the premiums paid upon completion of the policy term.

  3. Rider Claim

    Rider claim can be made if the policyholder had purchased a rider along with the life insurance plan to avail the benefits in case any risk arises. Some commonly availed riders include Critical Illness Rider, Accidental Death Benefit Rider, Waiver of Premium Rider, etc.

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What Are The Steps For Filing A Death Claim?

Death Claim can be initiated only when the policyholder is not alive, and at that point, the nominee/beneficiary can claim the sum assured. The below mentioned processes are involved in filing a death claim:

  1. Intimation of Claim

    The claimant/nominee can intimate the death claim process after the policyholder dies by firstly submitting the death claim form to the nearest office of the insurer, or their bank branch or head office. The nominee can also submit the death claim form by Email or on their website if the options are available. Moreover, the nominee has to submit his identity and address proofs together with the form.

  2. Documentation 

    Along with the forms and Address/ID proofs, the claimant/nominee also needs to provide relevant documents to the insurance company which are required for verification purposes. Below mentioned are the documents required for claiming death benefit:

    Death Types Documents Required
    Compulsory Documents 
    • Death Claim Form
    • Original documents of the policy
    • Death Certificate of the policyholder
    • ID Proof and Address Proof of the Claimant/Nominee 
    • Canceled Cheque and NEFT details
    Additional Documents Required: 
    In case of Medical//Natural deaths
    • Hospital Certificate that treated the dead policyholder
    • Statement from the Consulted Doctor
    • Employer Certificate or Educational Institute Certificate of the Policyholder 
    • Additional records of hospital receipts or further treatment
    In case of Accidental/Unnatural deaths
    • Police Reports (FIR, Police Investigation Report, Panchnama, Charge sheet)
    • Post Mortem report (PMR)/Autopsy and Viscera Report
  3. Settlement of Claim

    Claim processing starts as soon as the insurer receives all the required documents necessary for verification. The insurer then does an examination and verification of the forms and documents and eventually, makes a decision, which is subject to T&C, and then informs the nominee about the same.

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Things to Remember While Filing a Death Claim

Below mentioned are a few points that you should remember while filing a death claim:

  • You must not delay the claim intimation process and do it as soon as possible, after the death of the policyholder.

  • You must be able to provide the original and correct documents for verification, and failing to do so will result in delay of claim settlement.

  • You must have knowledge of the location of the original policy documents so that there is no hassle when you initiate the death claim process.

  • You should provide the correct date of death of the policyholder along with the original death certificate. In case of unnatural death, you should provide the correct FIR, Autopsy report and Panchnama.

*Note: There are different payout rules provided by different insurers in case of suicide committed by Policyholder. For more information, check their terms and conditions or contact their customer care service.

Who Are The Beneficiaries/Nominees Of A Death Claim?

The term beneficiary is used to describe a person or entity who is designated to receive a death benefit from a life insurance policy, after the death of the policyholder.

*All savings are provided by the insurer as per the IRDAI approved insurance plan. Standard T&C Apply

There are three different types of beneficiaries in life insurance policies who are eligible to receive death benefits.

  • Preferred Beneficiary: This can either be a spouse, parent, child or grandchild

  • Primary Beneficiary: This is the first choice life insurance beneficiary to receive the benefit. You can designate more than one primary beneficiary depending on the provisions of your insurance policy

  • Contingent/Secondary Beneficiary: This is the person who will receive the death benefits if the primary beneficiary dies before or at the same time as the insured. In case there is no contingent beneficiary, the proceeds are passed to the estate.

The following are Beneficiaries/ Nominees unless otherwise specified by the insured:

  • The insured member's spouse, if not legally separated.

  • Failing the spouse, the insured member's surviving children including step-children, adopted or foster children and children born less than 300 days from the date of the insured member's death, in equal shares among them.

  • Failing the children, the insured member's father and mother, in equal shares between them, or to the survivor of them.

  • Otherwise, the insured member's estate.

The bottom line is to simplify life by getting prepared for everything whether its death or death claim. Knowing about death claims will not make the sadness go away but it will help you to make the process more convenient.

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