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How To Claim Term Insurance of Missing Person

Claiming term insurance of a missing person is as difficult as the uncertainty of finding whether that person is dead or alive.  If the missing person is the breadwinner of the family and has a term insurance policy, then his/her family can get financial support by claiming the insurance. However, if you are thinking how do you initiate to declare a missing person dead for claiming the term insurance? We have an answer for you.

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How to Initiate Term Insurance Claim of a Missing Person?

In the normal course, when a person with term insurance is dead, we submit his/her death certificate with other documents to the insurance provider. This is the usual process to initiate the claim. However, things become different when a person goes missing. You do not have a death certificate in this case. However, there is a law wherein a missing person can be presumed dead.

As per section 108 of the Indian Evidence Act, death presumption can be filed only after seven years of filing the missing First Information Report (FIR) of a person. So, as a family member of a missing person, you have to wait for seven years before filing the claim against his/her term insurance policy.

Moreover, once a person goes missing, his/her family has to pay the premium and should have to continue the term insurance policy.

The family has to get the death certificate first and then approach the court. The court then only will release the orders for the insurance provider. The legal heirs will also have to submit a copy of the non-traceable report and FIR by the police along with the court orders to the insurer for getting the insurance money.

Steps To Claim Term Insurance of Missing Person 

Follow the below steps to claim term insurance in case of a missing person:

  1. Register an FIR

    The first step involves filing a First Information Report (FIR). This needs to be done by either a beneficiary or any other family member of the policyholder.

  2. Obtain The Court's Verification

    If the person is not found after seven years, a non-traceable police report can be collected. To obtain a court order, this report is submitted to the court, assuming the missing insured is dead.

  3. Approach The Insurer

    The court will need to issue the death certificate, and the beneficiary must contact the insurance company with this declaration. The insurance company must pay the assured death benefit proceeds under the rebuttable presumption of death clause.

What is the Rebuttable Presumption of Death?

This rule implies that the insurance company can reclaim the interest and proceed if there is evidence of the missing insured's existence (meaning he/she is alive).

If the beneficiary and the insurer have earlier reached an agreement on a settlement that is less than the total amount, the insurance company cannot take any amount back.

Final Word

Whether dead or missing, the income is still lost.

The harsh truth is you need financial help to meet your family's needs. So, if it has not been seven years since the policyholder is missing, you still can try to get the claim.

If seven years have passed since the FIR was lodged, consider following the steps discussed above to claim the missing person's term insurance amount.

FAQ's

  • Q. Can I Continue the Policy?

    Ans. If the insurers are willing to accept payments, family members can pay the premium and continue the insurance policy, otherwise the term insurance policy lapses.
  • Q. How Long Does it Take For The Insurance Company To Settle The Claim?

    Ans. In some cases, insurers may reduce the seven-year clause and pay the insurance claim amount to beneficiaries before that. These events could be natural disasters or terrorist attacks etc.
  • Q. When Can You Claim The Insurance If The Policyholder Goes Missing?

    Ans. As a beneficiary, you have to wait for seven years after the policyholder goes missing. To continue the term insurance for this tenure, you have to pay its premiums otherwise it lapses. You can initiate the claim process only after completing this tenure.
  • Q. What Are Your Options as a Beneficiary To Claim The Life Insurance of a Missing Person?

    Ans. The beneficiary can be a family member, spouse, or relative of the policyholder. If the policyholder is missing and there is no evidence that they might be alive, the beneficiary files a death claim with the insurer.
    The insurer may not be able to determine the missing person's life insurance status and can refuse to address the claim. In that case, the beneficiary can do either of these 2 things:
    • Ask or petition the court for the declaration of the policyholder (missing person) as deceased.
    • File a case on the insurer about the death benefits payment of the term insurance plan.
    If none of these options work, the beneficiary will have to wait for seven years before the court declares the missing insured person dead. It is recommended to keep your life insurance plan in effect during this tenure.

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