Topic 1: How to make a life insurance claim?

At the time of buying a life insurance policy, we look at several factors like cost, the sum assured, exclusions, policy coverage and so on. Here is the general process and documents required for filing insurance claims under both the scenarios.

How to file a death claim?

When a person with a life insurance policy called a life assured – dies, a claim intimation should be sent to the insurance company as early as possible. The assignee or nominee under the policy can do this. Any close relative or the agent who handles the policy may also do the needful.

The claim intimation should contain information like the date, place and cause of death. The insurance agent has the duty to help the life assured’s family or assignee to deal with the insurance company to fulfill the formalities for a claim.

The insurance company will respond to this intimation and will ask for the following documents:

> Filled-up claim form (provided by the insurance company)
> Certificate of death
> Policy document
> Deeds of assignments/ re-assignments if any
> Legal evidence of title, if the policy is not assigned or nominated
> Form of discharge executed and witnessed

Other documents such as medical attendant's certificate, hospital certificate, employer's certificate, police inquest report, post mortem report etc could be called for, as applicable. The requirement of these documents depend on the cause of death.

How to file a maturity claim?
Where a life insurance policy is maturing, the insurance company will usually send intimation to the policyholder along with a discharge voucher at least two to three months in advance of the date of maturity giving details like the maturity amount payable.

The policyholder has to sign the discharge voucher, which is like a receipt, get his signature witnessed and send it back to the insurance company along with the original policy bond to enable it to make the payment.

If the policy has been assigned in favour of any other person or entity, like a housing loan company, the claim amount will be paid only to the assignee who will give the discharge.
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