No matter what is said, but the grief of losing a loved one is undoubtedly one of the most painful experience that anyone can have in life. This personal loss can cause much emotional distress for a prolonged period. No matter what anyone says, the grief can affect the sufferer’s ability to think clearly and take decisions. However, in some cases, the emotional distress isn’t the only consequence arising from the loss of a loved one. Many times, the death of a close family member can also give rise to legal and financial issues, which can be quite a challenge to resolve at times.
The purpose of taking life insurance is primarily to provide financial protection to your loved ones in case something untoward were to happen to you. Life insurance ensures financial stability to your loved ones in a time when you cannot provide for them anymore. This is especially true if the primary income earner of the family happens to pass away, in which case, chances are high that the family may go into financial turmoil, given the lack of income to sustain their needs.
However, more often than not, the beneficiaries of a policyholder may not be fully aware of the process of making a death claim on the life insurance policy, which can further add to the general grief and distress of those mourning the loss. When it comes to insurance, the beneficiary appointed by a policyholder is entitled to receive the sum assured under a policy. However, if the beneficiary is not aware of the claim process, they can end up losing valuable time which can further prolong the financial distress that the family may be undergoing. This is one of the major reasons why it is important that all beneficiaries who have been nominated under a life insurance policy be aware of the claim settlement process in detail.
Steps For Filing A Life Insurance Policy Death Claim
The process of claim settlement will more or less be the same for most insurers, barring a few minor changes. To ensure that you lose no time in filing a death claim, it is important to be familiar with the complete claim settlement process. Mentioned here are the basic steps involved in filing a life insurance death claim.
Step 1 – Inform the Insurance Company
The first step of the claim settlement process is to inform the insurer about the claim having occurred. The nominee or claimant must immediately inform the insurance company about the policyholder’s death. This is the first step in the clam settlement process following which the claimant must register a claim either by calling the insurer’s helpline number, or by sending an email to the designated email ID provided for this purpose.
Step 2 - Claim Processing
After the insurer has been duly informed about the policyholder’s death, the next step of the claim process involves submission of claim supporting documents. The claimant/nominee must provide documents which have been requested by the insurer in support of the death claim. This is required if the death has occurred due to natural or accidental reasons. After the insurer has received all the requested documents, the Claim Assistance team will begin assessing the claim. They will assess not only the claim, but also other things like the supporting documents, the nominee’s declaration and verify the same. In some cases, the nominee may be asked to provide additional documents to support the claim further.
Step 3 – Claim Processing & Payout
After the Claims Assistance team has reviewed the claim and related documents/evidence, they will make their decision to either approve or deny the claim. If the claim is approved, the insurer will proceed to settle the claim which means that the sum insured will be paid to the nominee in the mode chosen by the policyholder. Life insurance claim payouts are mostly paid via ECS. For this, the insurer will ask the beneficiary to submit their bank account details, a photocopy of the bank account passbook, and a cancelled cheque.
Documents Required To File A Death Claim
For registering a death claim, the insurer will require the nominee to provide multiple documents to support the claim being raised. Here is a list of the basic documents which an insurer is likely to request. The requirement may differ from insurer to insurer.
- The policy document
- Claim form that has been duly filled and signed by the nominee. This form is usually available on the insurer’s website and can easily be downloaded.
- Copy of the Death Certificate. Provide the original only if specified.
In case of death caused due to an accident, here are the documents to be provided for filing a claim.
- Statement of the attending doctor OR medical attendant.
- Certificate from the hospital.
- Deceased’s medical reports such as admission & discharge summary, death summary, and test reports
- Certificate from the employer
- Post mortem report
- Report of the FIR lodged by the police
- Report on the final investigation carried out by the police