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The Basics of Life Insurance Benefits

Four easy steps to identifying and obtaining all of the life insurance purchased by your deceased family member

Life Insurance Benefits

When a loved one dies, the thought of filing a claim for life insurance may seem like a daunting task. Fortunately, it's a relatively simple process and there are qualified people who can help you if you need it.

The 4 Easy Steps to Obtain Life Insurance Benefits

  1. Find the Policy or Proof of its existence

    The first step you need to take is to find the actual life insurance policy. If you can't find the policy itself, look for any records that provide the name of the life insurance company or agent.

    Look for proof of a life insurance policy by reviewing:

    • receipts for payment,
    • correspondence from an insurance company,
    • insurance company statements,
    • entries of a life insurance company in your loved one's check book or credit card payments
    • your loved one's safe deposit box
  2. Call The Company or Agent

    Once you've located or identified the policy, or the appropriate insurance company, contact either the agent who sold your loved one the policy, if known, or the company itself, and notify them of your loved ones death. If you don't have the policy, but know the name of the company, the life insurance company should be able to locate the policy in their records for you.

  3. Fill Out the Forms

    The life insurance company will want you to fill out some claim forms in order to pay out the proceeds of the life insurance policy. If you need help with this process, either your life insurance agent or company should provide you with all the assistance you need.

  4. Send in the Claim Forms

    Once you've properly completed the necessary paperwork, you will send it back to the life insurance company with a copy of the death certificate and any other documentation they may require. From there it should only take a relatively short time frame before the named beneficiary on the life insurance policy will receive the funds.

Legal Concerns- Are you receiving everything you are entitled to from the life insurance company?

If you have any concern that you are not receiving all of the life insurance benefits that you are entitled to, contact an attorney promptly, and before accepting any benefits, to review your life insurance contracts and related documents and to advise you as to your entitlement.

Also, some life insurance provides for additional benefits if your loved one's death was due to an accident. You would be wise to have an attorney review your life insurance contracts for this type of "accidental death" provision.

Types of Distribution Option For Life Insurance Proceeds

In some cases, you may have a choice on how you desire to receive life insurance proceeds.

Conclusion

Filing a claim for life insurance death benefits is not a difficult or lengthy process in most cases. If you are unsure how to file your claim, or you can't locate a life insurance policy, or you are concerned about whether you are receiving all of the benefits you are entitled to, you may want to contact a qualified attorney to advise you.

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