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How to make a life insurance claim

September 11, 2014 19:44 IST
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Filing a life insurance claim can be an emotionally draining task, especially if it is in the aftermath of loss of a loved one. Insurance companies have worked over the years to simplify their claim settlement process so that life insurance policy nominee and family members do not face any delays in getting the insurance claim.

The nominee of the life insurance policy needs to inform the life insurance company about the loss or death of the insurer in order to file for an insurance claim. There are some documents that must be submitted to the insurance company to streamline the claim process. Let us take a look at the steps involved in filling for a life insurance claim.

Types of Insurance Claims: Before getting into the process of life insurance claim, it is important to understand the difference between the two types of claims. Life insurance claims are classified as maturity claim and death claim. Steps involved in filing claim for both insurance claim types are as discussed below.

Maturity Claim: Maturity claim is one which is filled by the original policy holder at the time of the maturity of the life insurance policy. The policy holder is required to fill up a maturity claim form available at the local branch of the insurance company as well as on their official website. The duly filled maturity claim form must be filled and submitted along with the copy of the life insurance policy before the date of maturity. Once the form is submitted, it is scrutinised by the life insurance company. The insurance company thereby releases either a post dated cheque or transfer the maturity amount in the bank account of the policy holder on maturity date.

Death Claim: Death insurance claims are those which are filed by a nominee in case the original policy holder expires. The nominee or the assignee needs to submit the relevant documents and inform the insurance company about the demise of the policy holder with the relevant death certificate and other documents in writing. The details can be submitted to the nearest branch office of the concerned insurance company.

Steps Involved for Filling a Death Claim:  The first step for filling a claim notification is to fill in the requisite claim form. The claim form must be duly filled clearly mentioning the name of the policy holder and the nominee, policy number, the date and place of death of the original policy holder and the cause of demise.

The nominee can also send the detailed information using the claim form online. The insurance company checks the submitted claim form and can ask for various documents as per the individual case. The nominee will need to thereby submit the death certificate issued by the municipal corporation, copy of the postmortem report if any depending on the case along with original policy documentation.

Claim Processing Timeline and Settlement Process: Once the submission has been done by the nominee, the insurance company appoints an investigator to look into the submitted documents. If the claims are found to be genuine and valid, the amount is paid to the nominee through cheque. If the investigator finds some grievances in the validity of the claim of the nominee, the insurance company sends a repudiation letter to the claimant listing the reasons behind rejection of the claim.

In case the original policy holder expires without assigning any nominee for the life insurance policy, the benefit is paid out to claimants only after they submit documentary proof of entitlement with the insurance company. As per the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority or IRDA, the insurance watchdog, all claims must be settled by the insurance provider within 30 days of receiving all the necessary documents.

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