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How to Claim Term Insurance After Death?

A policyholder buys a term insurance plan to get life cover and ensure his/her family is financially protected in the unfortunate event of the policyholder’s death during the policy tenure. Proper knowledge of the claim process is required to ensure the nominee takes the right steps to claim term insurance after the policyholder's death. Let’s understand the term insurance claim settlement process here.

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How To Claim Term Insurance After Death?

The claim process follows the death of the policyholder, upon which the nominee/claimant can go ahead and claim the death benefit. Below are the steps that determine the processing of the claim:

  1. Intimation of Claim

    After the policyholder passes away, the nominee can intimate the term insurance claim settlement process by filling out the Death Claim Form. This form can be submitted directly to the head office, bank branches, or nearest offices or sent via email to the insurer. Along with the form, the nominee needs to provide attested proof of identification and address. The Death Claim Form is available both online on the company’s website and offline at branch offices.

  2. Document Submission 

    The nominee or claimant must submit the necessary documents along with the form to confirm the details provided to the insurance company about the policyholder's death. These documents should be provided within the given timeframe. You can understand the list of documents required to be submitted to the insurer from the below table:

    Death Types Documents Required
    Mandatory Documents 
    • Original documents of the policy
    • Death Claim Form
    • Cancelled Cheque with NEFT details
    • Nominee/Claimant’s ID and Address Proof
    Additional Documents Required: 
    In case of Medical//Natural deaths
    • Consulted Doctor’s Statement 
    • Certificate of the hospital treating the deceased policyholder
    • Employer Certificate or Educational Institute Certificate of Policyholder
    • Additional treatment/hospital/ records
    In case of accidental/unnatural deaths
    • Police Reports (Panchnama, FIR, Police Investigation Report, Charge sheet)
    • Autopsy/Post Mortem report (PMR) and Viscera Report
  3. Settlement of Claim

    When the company receives all required documents and forms, the claim process starts getting processed. The company checks and verifies the documents in accordance with the requirements, makes a decision (subject to T&C), and finally, communicates the same to the nominee/claimant. 

    The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India, aka the IRDAI, requires all insurers to pay death claims within 30 calendar days. The duration begins from the date that the nominee of the policyholder submits all required documents and clarification.
    The insurer can conduct an additional investigation if there is a need to do so within 60-90 days after receiving the claim notification. If the claim cannot be settled within 30 days, the Insurer will have to pay penal interest.
    *Note: You can also go to their website and download the term insurance claim form.

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What Are Some Factors To Consider Before Claiming Death Benefit?

You must know all the details about claiming the death benefit and make sure you understand the below-mentioned factors before filing the claim:

  • Reason for Policyholder’s death is covered under the plan: Check that the reason for the policyholder's passing was not exempted from the term policy before you file a claim. An exclusion could include death from a pre-existing condition, death from alcohol or drug abuse, and any hazardous activities.

  • Policy is still active at the time of death: A term insurance claim may be denied if the policyholder is not aware of its expiry or if he/she forgot to pay the premiums on time, leading to a policy lapse.

  • All information/details provided match the documents submitted: You must ensure that your claim form and the information in the term policy documents are accurate. You should carefully check these details as if they do not match your claim, you may be charged with fraud, and the claim will be denied.

*Note: You should firstly understand what is term insurance and then buy the right term plan to avoid rejection of your claims.

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What Are Some Important Conditions In Term Insurance Claim Process?

The nominees must understand the inclusions and exclusions of insurance policies before they can begin the claim process. 

  • The term plan covers death benefits for both natural and unnatural causes. Depending on the cause, certain clauses may be applicable. 

  • For instance, only a few insurance companies pay the suicide death benefit or return the premium for deaths that occur within one year of the policy's initiation. The majority of insurers only return a small percentage of the premium.

  • The Insurance industry operates on risk assessment. The policyholder's risk level determines the death benefit. High-risk policyholders, such as those who smoke or drink alcohol, receive different benefits than those who don't have such a habit. Each insurance company has its own rules, and they differ from other insurers. You can calculate the premiums applicable for the suitable term plan cover using the term insurance calculator available online. 

  • Checking the policy document is the best way to find out about specific exclusions and inclusions for the policyholder's term plan. To obtain the information, the nominee can also contact the insurer's customer service line. Once the nominee has the information, he/she can proceed towards claiming the amount accordingly.

How To Ensure Smooth Term Insurance Claim Process?

Online term plans allow you to easily manage your policy and submit a claim in a couple of minutes. To ensure your claim is approved, you need to take certain steps. If you are the policyholder, educating your family and yourself about the claims process is important. 

Unfortunately, you won't be there when the insurance claim is filed. You should inform your nominees about all information regarding the policy. This includes details about the policy, including the claim process, sum assured terms and conditions, and any other aspects.

It is also crucial to mention any add-on riders with the nominee and educate them of the same. The last thing you would want is your family denied any benefits because they didn't know it existed in the first place.

Wrapping it Up!

Filing a term insurance claim after the policyholder's unfortunate demise requires the nominee to have full information about the process. Improperly filled applications or missing steps can lead to claim rejection and cause the nominee to be booked for fraud. So, ensure you properly understand how to claim term Insurance after death and take the right steps to claim their policyholder's sum assured.


  • Q: How do I claim term insurance after the policyholder's death?

    As a nominee, you can initiate the claim process by filling out the Death Claim Form and submitting it to the insurer along with necessary documents such as proof of identification and address.
  • Q: What documents are required to claim term insurance after death?

    Necessary documents include the Death Claim Form, original policy documents, medical records (if applicable), death certificate, and nominee's ID and address proof.
  • Q: What factors should I consider before claiming the death benefit?

    Ensure the cause of death is covered by the policy, the policy is active at the time of death, and all information provided matches the documents submitted to avoid claim rejection.
  • Q: What are some important conditions in the term insurance claim process?

    Understand the inclusions and exclusions of the policy, including clauses for natural and unnatural causes of death, and assess any additional benefits or exclusions specific to the policy.
  • Q: How can I ensure a smooth term insurance claim process?

    Educate yourself and your family about the claims process, inform nominees about policy details and add-on riders, and ensure all necessary steps are followed to prevent claim rejection.

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