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How do beneficiaries handle a life insurance claim?

Shawn E. McDermott

Life insurance policies serve a vital purpose. When the policyholder passes away, the beneficiaries could immediately file a claim and use the funds to cover numerous financial obligations ranging from funeral and household expenses to a child’s educational costs. Colorado residents might find the claims process straightforward, provided they understand the various steps necessary to file a claim.

Beneficiary duties and life insurance policy claims

The insurance company will require proof of the policyholder’s passing, which comes in the form of a death certificate. Often, funeral home directors provide families with copies of these documents.

Insurance companies typically have a special form that beneficiaries must fill out and submit. The form requests information related to the claim, including the policyholder’s name, the policy number, beneficiary address, and, possibly, the option to receive a check or a direct deposit payment.

Reviewing the policy could be helpful since the corresponding document has the policy number and other vital information available. Those with any questions might need to contact the insurance company directly.

Concerns about filing a claim

Reviewing the claim may provide information about filing life insurance claims that the beneficiary might not know. For example, the policy may include exclusions, such as deaths caused by the policyholder’s engagement in risky activities. Disputes over exclusions could cause legal challenges in some cases.

Although there might not be a statute of limitations on how long beneficiaries have to file claims, moving quickly may seem advisable. It takes time to process the claim, and the longer a beneficiary waits to file, the longer it takes to receive the settlement.

Some policies might offer the option between a lump sum and an annuity. Beneficiaries could review their situation to determine what option is best. Reviewing the policy long before the policyholder passes away might prevent delays when the beneficiaries weigh their decisions.

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