Filing a life insurance claim can be a devastating process. While dealing with heartbreak, the last thing you'll want to do is deal with the paperwork and insurance agents. Because of this, life insurance companies have made it as simple as possible to help you file a claim, including guided help. To help familiarize you with the process, we're breaking down how to make a life insurance claim for your loved one's life insurance policy.
Get in Touch with the Insurer
The first step you'll want to do is reach out to the life insurance company. The reason you should check in with the insurance company before anything else is because they can help guide you through the process from the beginning. There will be fewer questions and a more streamlined process as you rely on the company to help you get all the necessary information in and file your claim.
Delaying this step can set the process back significantly. If you're reading this, chances are you already have the life insurance information necessary to make a claim. If not, be sure to contact your loved one's employer and go through mail or bank statements to locate a life insurance policy.
Organize the Paperwork
With the help of the life insurance company, you will need to gather and submit certain paperwork to receive the benefit amount.
This paperwork includes:
- Proof of your identity
- Relation to the deceased
- Certified death certificate
- Financial accounts for your payment
They may ask that you mail in the necessary information or submit the documents online to help speed up the process for your benefit.
Meet with a Financial Planner
At some point, whether it's during the process of working with the life insurance company to approve the policy payout or after receiving the funds, you will want to talk with a financial planner. The reason for this is that they can help you to allocate those funds best.
While you may have an immediate need for most of the funds, a financial planner may be able to guide you on how to invest the remaining amount and maximize tax savings. This isn't something you'll need to rush into but keep it in mind for when you have the capacity to do so.
Discuss Payment Options
Some insurance companies will allow beneficiaries to choose how they receive their benefit amounts. Others will permit only one payout type, which eliminates the decision stress on your part.
In the event that you can choose a lump sum payout or a payment plan over time, you'll want to consider the options carefully. Each has its potential benefits and drawbacks - something to discuss with the life insurance company and your financial advisor.
The Bottom Line
During a time of grieving, it can be challenging to focus on something like life insurance benefits. Working closely with all available resources, including the life insurance company, can help eliminate any hiccups and ensure a speedy payout to help you focus on the things that matter most.
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