How to Collect Life Insurance Annuity Payments

If someone close to you has died and listed you as a beneficiary to his or her life insurance policy, you might be paid in an annuity. Annuities are annual payments made to you for the rest of your life. Most of the time you will deal with the insurance company directly and by yourself, though sometimes people hire lawyers to ensure that they get the amount that they feel that they deserve. You should file the policy as soon as possible after the policy holder’s death.

Find All Necessary Documents

First you have to find the insurance policy papers. These might be located in a safety deposit box, or in safe located in the house. If you can not find the papers, then ask the deceased’s automobile and property agent. Sometimes these agents have client’s life insurance policies on file. If you do not already know who these  agents are, you can look through canceled checks or old bank statements to find out. If that does not work, then obtain a list of all the life insurance companies in your state, through your state’s insurance department, and ask them one by one if they have a policy on file for the deceased. Make sure you query them with as many details as possible, such as the deceased’s name, previous addresses, telephone number, and social security number.

Dealing with the Life Insurance Company

After you have found out where the decease held his or her life insurance policy, call the insurance company to inform them of the policy holder’s death. Send them copy of the death certificate to the insurance company. The death certificate can be obtained from the funeral home director, or even from the internet from a website such as Vitalcheck. Then educate yourself on the policies that the specific insurance company has on payouts. Policies differ from company to company.  Always answer the company’s  questions honestly and in detail. This will allow your policy to go through quicker. Designate a bank account, or use another method, so that the insurance company can pay you easily. This is also usually where you decide whether you want to be paid in a lump sum, fixed payments over a set period of time,  or an annuity. Getting  paid from a life insurance policy might take some time because it might investigate the cause of the policy holder’s death. If the policy holder committed suicide, the policy might be voided.

Annuity or Lump Sum?

If you have a choice, you should decide carefully whether you want to be paid in an annuity, fixed payments, or a lump sum. An annuity can either be fixed or variable rate. Your decision might effect hoe much money you get out of the policy greatly. Annuities make sense as an option if you want a steady income for the rest of your life, and do not want to worry too much about where to invest your money.