How to Claim a Life Insurance Settlement

Claiming a life insurance settlement is an important process to be aware of in the case of an unforeseen death or an accident. Dealing with the death of a loved one is challenging enough without having to talk to an insurance company. Being prepared for the process, helps to lower stress in tough times. It is important to be aware that there are some things needed prior to claiming a settlement. Each insurance company may have different terms surrounding the payout of a claim and requirements, so make sure to have this information readily available.

Contacting the Life Insurance Company

The first step necessary is to contact the life insurance company or broker with whom the policy is held. This is essential in helping you find the necessary paperwork to file the claim. Someone other than the beneficiary can call to gather information around the settlement; however the only person able to validate the claim and receive payment is the designated beneficiary of the policy. If for some reason you are unable to determine who holds the life insurance policy, there are places where you can research different resources to get the answer. Unfortunately, this will slow the process of receiving payment.

Required Documentation

In order to submit a claim, there is required documentation in order to validate someone’s death. You will need to collect the death certificate, which can be found at the coroner’s office or the funeral home. You may also need to submit a copy of the certificate verifying the life insurance policy of which you are submitting the claim. Don't ever hand in your original certificate as it may be requested by different parties. Take note that more often than not a copy of the certificate is enough, but in some circumstances the copy may require the signature of a notary.

It is also critical to know that different types of death may require different documentation. If someone dies from an unnatural death then the survivor may be required to provide the first information report, post mortem report and the police inquest report. If someone dies from accidental dismemberment it may require different documentation such as a questionnaire by the life ensured claiming dismemberment benefit, questionnaire to be completed by the hospital that treated the insured in addition to the above listed documents.

Payout Arrangements

When speaking with the insurance company, ask them to explain how the settlement and payout work. Different insurance companies have different policies. Where some companies may pay longer periods of time, others will provide you with a lump sum payment. Depending on the need, these policies can be altered so it is recommended to discuss this as quickly as possible.

Once you have spoken with the insurance company, gathered all required documentation and there is a payout agreement, you should submit all of your required documentation along with a claim form (if required) to the insurance company. In most cases, the payout time frame is relatively quick as they realize the money is often needed for funeral arrangements and other necessities in a time of death.

How long does a settlement take after a claim on dismemberment insurance?

When you file a dismemberment insurance claim after an accident, the time that it will take to process your claim will vary depending on the company with which you have coverage. In most cases, once you file the claim and send the appropriate proof of the injury to the company, it takes about one to two weeks to actually process the claim. Some companies claim to process them in three to five days, but it could take longer. Then you will have to wait for the check to arrive in the mail.