Title and Claims
A claim is the payment made by the insurer to the insured or claimant on the occurrence of the event specified in the contract, in return for the premiums paid for the insured. Claiming a life insurance settlement is an important process to be aware of in the case of an unforeseen death or an accident. Dealing with the death of a loved one is challenging enough without having to talk to an insurance company. It is important to be aware that there are some things needed prior to claiming a settlement. Bach insurance company may have different terms surrounding the payout of a claim and requirements In the case of life insurance policy, the policy amount becomes payable either on the assureds death during the term of insurance or on this surviving till the end of maturity date.
In order to submit a claim, documents are required in order to validate someone’s death. In case of death claims, proof of death, proof of title and age proof is to be submitted. For this purpose the death certificate will be collected. In case of maturity proof of title and age proof are required. Original certificate should not be handed over as it may be requested by different parties. Almost in all cases, a copy of the certificate is not enough. A notary public should sign in the certificate and it is handed over to the insurance company.
Different types of death may require different documentation. If someone dies from an unnatural death then the survivor may be required to provide the first information report, post mortem report and the police inquest report. If someone dies from accidental dismemberment it may require different documentation such as a questionnaire by the life ensured claiming dismemberment benefit, questionnaire to be completed by the hospital that treated the insured in addition to the above listed documents.
In case of assignment and nomination no proof of title is required. In other cases of the proof of title is essential. The probate of will or succession certificate or administration general’s certificate may be used as a proof of title. Insurance companies have an obligation to settle claims promptly. A claim form is to be filled and the financial advisor from whom the insured bought the policy is to be contacted. All relevant documents such as original death certificate and policy bond should be submitted to the insurer to support the claim. Most claims are settled by issuing a cheque within 7 days from the time they receive the documents. On the date of maturity life insured is required to send maturity claim/ discharge form and original policy bond well before maturity date to enable timely settlement. As per the regulation 8 of the IRDA (Policy holder’s Interest) Regulations, 2002, the insurer is required to settle a claim within 30 days of receipt of all documents including clarification sought by the insurer. However, the insurance company can set a practice of settling the claim even earlier. If the claim requires further investigation, the insurer has to complete its procedures within six months from receiving the written intimation of claim.