Claiming a death claim can be painful and confusing when you lose a relative / friend, but Life Insurance goes a long way in helping the affected family's financial burdens. Fortunately, the process of death claims is not as difficult as it is assumed by the common person.
Filing a death claim will be a lot more easier with any life insurance company, be it a private or public sector company, provided the following points are kept in mind.
Step 1: Claim Notification Form:
The claimant can get a claim intimation / notification form from the nearest local branch office of the insurance company or their insurance advisor / agent.
There is also a facility of downloading the form from the insurance companies' web site. Written intimation must be submitted by the claimant as soon as possible to enable the insurance company to initiate the claim processing. The claim intimation should consist of the basic information such as policy number, name of the insured, date of death, cause of death, place of death, name of the claimant. Step 2: Documents Required for Claim Processing:
Complete submission of documents is the key to faster claim settlement. The claimant will be required to provide claimant's statement, original policy document, death certificate, police FIR and post-mortem exam report (for accidental death), certificate and records from the treating doctor / hospital (for death due to illness) and advance discharge form for claim processing. Based on the sum at risk, cause of death and policy duration, insurance companies may also request some additional documents. Step 3: Settlement of Claim:
As per the 'Insurance Regulatory Development Authority' (IRDA) guidelines, the claim is to be settled within 30 days by the insurance company, on receipt of all documents.
However, the insurance company can settle the claim even earlier. Further, as per the IRDA, if the claim requires further verification, the insurance company has to complete its procedures within 6 months from receiving the written intimation of claim.
Usually the claimant is the nominee as appointed by the insured at the time of taking policy or subsequently but before the occurrence of death claim. At times, the proposer of the policy is different than the life assured. In such cases, the proposer receives the claim settlement proceeds.
In case, there is no nomination or the nominee is not alive, it becomes an "Open Title" situation. The life insurance company would then require the proof of title / succession certificate issued by the competent court.
The claim would be paid to the person specified in the proof. It is very important for the policy holder to provide nomination. This saves the heirs, the inconvenience of time-consuming court procedures at a claim stage.