• How To File Life Insurance Death Claim

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    In most cases, the primary reason why people avail a life insurance policy is to secure their family, dependents, or loved ones financially once they are gone. Based on the payout mode chosen by the policyholder, the death benefit will financially secure the dependents of the deceased policyholder for a certain period. That said, it’s quite common to come across instances where the beneficiaries have no clue how to make the death claim, or from where to start with the process. It’s even possible that the deceased policyholder has failed to share the details of the policy with his/her dependents, leaving them in a fix. If by chance the dependent of the policyholder does not know the policy document number, just the name and the date of birth of the policyholder will suffice. By approaching the insurance company or the agent, one can find out the details of the life insurance policy and can then proceed to make the death claim. For those in a similar situation, we’ve listed out the steps to be taken to file a life insurance death claim.

    Steps To File a Life Insurance Death Claim

    Dependents or beneficiaries of the policy should be well aware of the steps to file a life insurance death claim before getting started. While there could be slight differences, the death claim is mostly the same for all insurers.

    • Intimate the insurer

    Once the dependent has got all the details of the policy, he/she should inform the insurer about the death of the policyholder. This claim can be made either through the customer care toll-free number of the insurer or by sending an email to the claims customer support team of the insurer.

    • The claim process

    Once the insurer has been informed of the death of the policyholder, the insurer will request the dependent to submit all the relevant documents pertaining to the death claim. The dependent will have to state whether the death of the policyholder was natural or accidental and submit the death certificate as proof. In the case of accidental death, the dependent will have to submit an FIR. In addition, the dependent will have to submit the policy documents, his/her KYC documents and other relevant documents of the deceased policyholder. Lastly, the declaration of the nominee for the death claim will have to be made. All the relevant forms will be sent by the insurer to be filled in order to make the death claim.

    • Claim processing and death benefit

    The insurer will then verify all the documents submitted by the dependent and make a decision whether to approve or reject the claim. If the policyholder has failed to assign a nominee, the legal heir of the policyholder can make the claim by submitting documents proving their relationship. If there are any discrepancies in the documents that have been submitted, the insurer will reject the claim. If the claim by the dependent has been approved, the insurer will request the claimant to submit his/her bank account details, a copy of their bank account passbook and a cancelled cheque to make the death benefit payout. Depending on the death benefit payout mode chosen by the policyholder, the nominee will then receive the money directly in their account via Electronic Fund Transfer or by cheque.

    Documents required for a life insurance death claim

    Depending on whether the death of the policyholder was natural or accidental, the claimant will have to submit the below-listed documents:

    • In the case of natural death
      • The life insurance policy document
      • The claimant will have to fill and attest the death benefit claim form
      • The original and copy of death certificate of the policyholder
      • Relevant KYC documents of the claimant as requested by the insurer
      • In the case of legal heirs making a claim, the legal heir certificate will have to be submitted
    • In the case of accidental death
      • Death certificate attested by the attending doctor or medical practitioner
      • Hospital certificate
      • Medical report stating cause of death - attested by the doctor
      • Relevant test reports, death summary and discharge summary compiled by the medical practitioner
      • Postmortem report
      • Police FIR
      • Investigation report if requested by the insurer
      • Life insurance policy document
      • Duly-filled and attested death claim form
      • Relevant KYC documents of the claimant


    1. What if the nominee of the life insurance policy as well as the policyholder die together in an accident?

    In case both the nominee as well as the policyholder die together, then the legal heir of the policyholder can make the claim for the death benefit. For this, he/she will have to submit relevant documents proving their relationship.

    2. Will a death claim be rejected if submitted much after the death of the policyholder?

    Ideally, it’s best that the nominee or the beneficiary makes the death claim as early as possible to avoid any hurdles to receive the payout. That said, for death claims that have not been made for more than six months after the death of the policyholder, they can visit the unclaimed section on the insurer’s website to make the claim.

    3. What if the nominee dies before the policyholder?

    In case the nominee dies before the policyholder, then the policyholder will have to assign another nominee.

    4. How long will it take for a nominee to receive the death benefit from the point of making the claim?

    This varies between insurers, but the whole claim process usually takes about 30 days or a month approximately provided that the nominee submits all the necessary documents in a timely manner. Once the claim has been approved, the payout will be made to the claimant in a few days.

    5. Is suicide considered accidental death?

    No, suicide is not considered accidental death. For most policies, no payout will be granted in the first 12 months from the start of the policy. After 12 months, the premiums paid will be refunded. Since death due to suicide in most policies is on the exclusion list, in most cases the nominee will not receive a death benefit.

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