New Delhi: Arup, aged 50 years, died of a sudden cardiac arrest, and is survived by his wife and son. Arup’s wife, Vidya is an educated homemaker, and the trauma caused by the sudden loss of her husband and family’s breadwinner was unbearable for her since she was staring at an uncertain future with their kid. Ten years ago, Arup had purchased a 15-year term life insurance cover of Rs.50,00,000 and had made Vidya as its nominee. Within a month of Arup’s demise, Vidya received a death benefit of Rs.50,00,000 from the insurer that gave her some financial hope to sustain their son’s future. Arup had always kept Vidya informed of his financial investments, and also the processes to redeem their benefits. As Vidya was well-informed, she could easily intimate the insurer about the policy claim and get it settled quickly.
The loss of a loved one can be emotionally stressful and traumatic. It can destabilize a family financially too. The emotional trauma that one goes through in such situations can make it impossible to think of anything else. The demise of the breadwinner in the family may further push it into legal tangles arising out of financial complexities and resolving these issues can be very taxing. Having the right term insurance policy can ease the financial burden of a family when the insured is no more. Knowing how to claim term life insurance is crucial to minimize the financial burden of the insured’s family in his absence. Here is a step by step guide on how to claim term life insurance:
Claim Intimation: After the insured’s, the nominee of the term policy can send a claim intimation to the insurer without much delay, since delays can lead to complication in the claim process. The claim intimation stage involves furnishing critical details such as date, place, and cause of death and submission of following basic documents by the nominee to the insurer:
- Duly filled and signed Claim Form
- Original Policy Document
- Original Death Certificate
- Policy Deeds of assignment/reassignment, if any
- Legal evidence of title, if the policy is not assigned or nominated
- Form of Discharge executed and witnessed
Claim Review Process
On submission of the claim request along with valid and supporting documents to the insurer by the nominee, the Claims Assistance team may ask the nominee for submission of following additional documents, as applicable from case to case:
- Last Medical Attendant’s certificate
- Hospital Certificate on the cause of death
- Employer’s certificate
- Police Inquest Report
- Post Mortem/Autopsy report (for a death occurring within 3 years of the policy purchase)
The Claims Assistance team shall further assess the claim based on the submitted documents and verify the details along with the nominee’s declaration.
Claim Acceptance and Payout
Further to the verification of the claim documents and nominee’s declaration, the insurer shall accept the claim and settle the claim if everything is in order. Most insurers prefer to pay the claim amount to the beneficiary through the ECS. The company shall henceforth ask the nominee for submission of their bank account details – cancelled cheque /photocopy of bank account passbook for crediting the claim electronically.
Maturity Claims Process
The above-mentioned process is usually followed for death claims on a term life insurance policy. Few term policies also pay a maturity amount. Here’s a guide on how to claim a term life insurance for policies with maturity claims: The insurer shall send an intimation along with a discharge voucher giving details of the maturity amount payable to the policy-holder or nominee, two or three months ahead of the policy maturity date.
The policyholder or nominee has to then sign and send it back to the insurer along with the original policy document to initiate the payment process. It is important to note that the claim amount shall be paid to the nominee.
In case of term policies with a return of premium (TROP), the insured is entitled to get a 100 per cent return on premium (ROP) on maturity, if he outlives the policy term.
More often than not, claim settlement is an uphill battle if an individual does not follow the prescribed claim process. A small mistake on nominee’s or policyholder’s part can trigger the rejection of the claim. There are so many clauses, conditions, inclusions and exclusions in the policy document that one overlooks these fine details in a rush to purchase a term policy. So, it is important to educate the family members or nominee about the policy purchased by the insured to avoid the risk of claim rejection, and also since the insured may not be around during the claim settlement process. Informing them about the policy’s terms and conditions, a sum assured, and the steps on how to claim the term life insurance death benefit in insured’s absence is a wise idea to save the family members from the hassles of claim settlement while they can mourn in peace.