How to Claim Life Insurance

It’s a good idea to understand how to claim life insurance in the unpleasant event that it may need to be done one day. There are so many things that need to be done when a loved one passes and the tasks can seem so much more difficult when clouded by grief.  Fortunately, the process of claiming benefits can be made easier by an understanding life insurance agent who can walk you through the process.  Knowing who to contact is important, as is getting the proper paperwork together, and finding out what the settlement options are.

Contact the Life Insurance Company

When the time comes to claim life insurance benefits, the first thing that should be done is to contact the insurance agent.  The agent can gather the necessary paperwork that will need to be completed.  He or she can also help the beneficiary to complete all the necessary steps to file the claim.  If the insurance was provided as a part of an employment benefits package, contact the employer to get the necessary paperwork and learn the steps that need to be completed in order to file the claim.

Obtain the Death Certificate

It will be necessary to submit a death certificate before a claim can be filed.  The certificate can be obtained either from the coroner’s office or the funeral director.  It’s a good idea to make copies of the original certificate as this makes it easy to submit it to different companies if needed without having to request a new one every time.  Find out from the insurance agent if the copies need to be notarized in order to claim life insurance benefits; they usually don´t, but in some rare circumstances it is required.

Determine Settlement Options

The life insurance company can explain the different settlement options.  Some policies have options to receive monthly benefits, while others are paid in a lump sum.  Decide which option will be the best and make arrangements to receive the settlement in the preferred method.  It’s a good idea to discuss these options in detail with the insurance agent before attempting to claim life insurance benefit as the agent may have ideas on how to invest the money for a better return.

How long does it take?

The life insurance agent can help set appropriate expectations on the time frame.  In most cases, when the beneficiary decides to claim life insurance benefits, the processing time takes about a week.  This is after all paperwork has been submitted, so try to get everything together as quickly as possible.  It’s best to turn everything in at once.  So, complete the forms and submit them with the death certificate and any other requested documentation for processing. This is also something to consider when initially looking for an insurance policy as terms may differ by company as well as by state.

Claiming life insurance benefits can seem overwhelming.  However, by following these simple steps, it can be a quick and easy process. Just remember that the first step will be to call the life insurance agent who will be able calmly discuss the required steps in more detail.

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