The death of a loved one is one of the most stressful events a person can face in their lifetime. One of the biggest administrative burdens one must cope with upon the death of a relative is the claiming of life insurance. This short guide is designed to explain the steps you need to take to make a claim and what to do if your insurer will not pay out.
What should I tell my insurer?
Following the death of the insured, you will need to inform the company that provided the life insurance policy that the insured party has died, and you wish to make a claim.
You will need to provide the following documents:
- the death certificate
- the life insurance policy form
- a claim form (provided by the insurer)
What if I cannot find the life insurance policy?
If you cannot find the life insurance policy form but you know the name of the insurer, give them a call, and they should be able to track down a copy of the policy for you.
If you do not know the name of the company where the policy is held, then contact the Association of British Insurers who will find the documents for you.
How can I speed up the payment?
The first step to ensuring the life insurance policy is paid out quickly is to ensure the forms are filled in correctly.
Usually, the life insurance becomes part of the deceased’s estate and is paid out upon execution of the will.
What do I do if the insurer refuses to pay out on the claim?
Most insurance companies do not refuse to pay out on life insurance claims lightly as they know what a devastating effect their actions can have on surviving relatives.
However, if the forms were not filled in correctly, or the deceased committed suicide, insurers may decline to pay out on the policy.
If your claim is refused, then the first thing to do is complain to the insurance company and use their disputes resolution process to try and sort out the issue.
If the dispute is not resolved satisfactorily using the insurance companies disputes procedure, you can take your case to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).
The FOS is an independent body that will look into the claim and decide which party is in the right.
If the Ombudsman decides your claim was wrongly rejected then it can force the insurer to pay you compensation or take steps to change the outcome.