You’ve lost a loved one. Your life is changing, and you may not know what your next step is. If your loved one left behind a life insurance policy, you may have some financial support available to help you to keep paying the bills and meeting life’s needs. However, to do this, you need to file the life insurance claim. There are several things to consider during this process.
Contacting and Working with Life Insurance Companies
After a loved one has died, the next of kin, such as a spouse or child, will need to obtain any information about a life insurance policy. Generally, these will be left behind with any documentation of a will or through an insurance company. It may be possible to learn of the existence of such a policy by looking at ongoing insurance statements to look for evidence of payments for such policies. Once you find the policy, the next step is to contact the insurer directly.
In general, you will need to provide evidence of death. This will include copies of the death certificate. You will also need to send these certified death certificates, which can be obtained through a county office or, in some cases, a funeral director, to the insurer. The insurance company will need to verify your information before moving forward.
Completing the Claim
The life insurance company will walk you through the process of filing the claim. In general, you will then be able to choose how you will receive the funds. A lump sum payment is the most common option and involves receiving all of the death benefits at one time. A specific income provision can also be established. In this case, you and the insurer will agree to an ongoing payment. Life income option is another option, which provides a guaranteed income for life for those covered. An interest income option is a yet another choice that allows for proceeds to come to you from interest.
If and when possible, talk to your loved one prior to death to establish the type of death benefit payable, the amount of coverage necessary and information on the life insurance agent. The goal should be to ensure you know what steps to take after a loved one has died.
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