The death of a loved one brings a great deal of pain and grief to even the toughest people. The aspect of death that most people tend to overlook until it’s their turn to deal with it, is the mass of correspondence and administration that comes with losing someone close to you.

If you are the beneficiary of a loved one’s life insurance policy, it is your responsibility to make the arrangements to claim it. Here are the steps you need to take.

Contact the insurance provider
Your first step to claiming on a life insurance policy is to contact the insurance company and make them aware of your intent to claim. There will be contact details on the insurance policy, so ensure you have this in a safe place.

The insurer will need certain details from you before you can claim anything from the policy. These will include but not be limited to:

  • The full name of the policyholder and your relationship to them
  • The policy number
  • The date and cause of death, as stated on the death certificate
  • Your name and contact details

What you will need
In order to make a claim on life insurance, you will need to provide the insurer with several documents to prove the death and that you are the deceased’s beneficiary. These are:

  1. Death certificate: This document proves the policyholder has died. A copy can be obtained from the funeral director; if there are several policies, you may need more than one copy.
  2. The policy document: When the policy was taken out, your insurance provider will have supplied a certificate to make it official. They will need these back when you go to claim on the policy.
  3. Claim form: These can be submitted online and will be supplied by your life insurance provider.

If you are unable to find the life insurance certificate, you should contact the Association of British Insurers, who should be able to assist you in locating it or at least advise you on what you should do if they aren’t able to find the certificate.

When to claim

A life insurance company is unlikely to provide a timescale for being able to claim on a policy. If you are too grief-stricken to consider the admin side of a loved one’s death straight away, you will still be able to claim on their life insurance policy a couple of months down the line.

If your claim is rejected

There are a few reasons why your claim may be rejected, but these are only in very rare cases:

  1. The policy has already ended: If the person took out a fixed term policy, this may have expired by the time they die. You will not be eligible to claim if this is the case.
  2. Non-disclosure: This could happen if the policyholder failed to provide accurate information of theirs or their family’s medical history.
  3. Withheld documents: If you have not given the insurer everything they asked for, they can reject your claim; however, they should provide you with a list of all they require.

This should not be construed as legal advice and is for guidance only.