We all are more or less familiar with life insurance. However, it is less likely that an individual is acquainted with the necessary steps to be taken in terms of making a life insurance claim. In this context, it is important to note that, in order to get the returns from a life insurance plan, you will have to file a claim before the beneficiary receives the benefits.
When we buy a life insurance policy, we consider several factors like the price, the sum assured of the plan, policy coverage, exclusions and so on. It is equally important to know how to make a life insurance claim in case the worst event happens.
In addition to that, the nominee or family members should also be conscious of the process of filing a claim. Note that there could be two scenarios for filing a claim:
Scenario #1: In the event of death
Scenario #2: At the end of the maturity term of the life insurance policy
Have a look at the general process and documents required for filing insurance claims under both scenarios.
So without further ado, here's how you can file a death claim or a maturity claim on a life insurance policy:
How to File a Death Claim?
When a person with a life insurance policy called "life assured" – dies, a claim intimation should be sent to the insurance company as early as possible. The nominee or the assignee under the policy can do this. Any close relative of the insured or the agent who oversees the policy may also do the needful.
The claim intimation should comprise of some important information like the date, place, and cause of death. The insurance agent must help the life assured’s family or assignee to deal with the insurance company to fulfill the formalities for a claim.
After this, the insurance provider will respond to this intimation and will inquire for the following documents:
- Certificate of death
- Policy document
- Filled-up claim form (provided by the insurance company)
- Deeds of assignments/ re-assignments (if any)
- Legal evidence of title (if the policy is not assigned or nominated)
- Form of discharge executed and witnessed
Other documents such as the following could be called for, as applicable:
- Medical attendant's certificate
- Police inquest report
- Hospital certificate
- Employer's certificate
- Post mortem report, etc.
However, the requirement of these documents depends on the cause of death.
How to File a Maturity Claim?
When a life insurance policy is reaching its maturity, the insurance company will generally send intimation to the policyholder along with a discharge voucher at least two to three months in advance of the date of maturity giving details such as the maturity amount payable.
In this case what the policyholder has to do is to sign the discharge voucher, which is like a receipt, get his signature witnessed and send it back to the insurance company along with the original policy bond to enable it to make the payment.
If the policy has been assigned in favour of any other person or entity, such as a housing loan company, the claim amount will be paid only to the assignee who will give the clearance.