The loss of a loved one causes unimaginable pain, and in these times of distress and grief, accurately applying for a life insurance policy claim might be a tough process to go through. But it is imperative to do so, as these policies help you decrease the financial burden that is instantly imposed on you.
While insurance companies do their best to help you in these difficult times by settling your claim as early as possible. However, sometimes a life insurance claim settlement process might get delayed.
A delay in life insurance claim settlements does not necessarily mean that your policy benefit is denied, this is usually the time taken by insurance companies to investigate your claim requests and check if there are any insurance frauds. Although this delay would probably cause an inconvenience to the beneficiary during such a tough time, which is why it is essential for all policy holders and the nominee’s to know how to apply for a life insurance policy claim accurately to avoid such delays.
7 Reasons Why Death Claim Policy Benefit Delayed & How to Avoid it
- Incorrect Information Provided while Filling Forms
- Not Updated Nominee/ Beneficiary Details
- Death occurs during the Contestability Period
- Inaccurate information about health conditions
- Cause of Death is "Exceptions" list of the Policy
- Other Insurance Policies are not Disclosed
- A Delay in filing for a Claim
1. Incorrect Information Provided While Filling Forms
This is one of the most common mistakes made by insureds and beneficiaries while filling out forms. If either of them fails to provide correct personal information, it would take more time for the insurance companies to process their claim.
Incorrect date of birth, income, occupation, qualification, and other information in the forms, etc could constitute as fraud and would lead to suspension and would delay your claim process.
To avoid such delays, make sure that all the information provided by you is accurate.
2. Not Updated Nominee/ Beneficiary Details
The nominee of a life insurance policy is the one who receives the insurance policy’s benefits. Therefore, it is important to provide correct information about them. Following are some reasons as to why a claim might get delayed with regards to the nominee/beneficiary.
A. Incorrect information (contact number, address, etc.) about the nominee.
B. Beneficiaries are not updated – for instance, your spouse is the nominee and sometime later you file for divorce, update your insurance company as your nominee will now change.Or for instance, if your parents are your nominee and they suddenly pass away, update your nominee even if that’s the last thing on your mind.
C. The beneficiary is a minor and the guardian is not listed.
Usually, nominees are those whose livelihoods are dependent on your existence. Choose them wisely while considering your relationship status too. (if your single, choose your parents and if your married choose your spouse or your children)
And to avoid such delays, make sure that you have chosen a nominee that the insurance company is updated about with all the relevant information required by them.
3. Death occurs during the Contestability Period
Every insurance company includes a contestability clause, which means if the death occurs shortly after purchasing a policy, the claim settlement process is generally delayed for an in-depth investigation to avoid any fraud. A contestability period is usually the first 2 years after the insured purchases his/her policy.
To avoid such delays that might occur in this period, make sure that all the relevant information is provided to the insurer and there is no misrepresentation of any data so that their investigation is conducted smoothly and it helps you speed up your claim process.
4. Inaccurate Information about Health Conditions
During the application of a life insurance plan or the claim settlement, if there is any data that is hidden or stated incorrectly on purpose, it would cause a thorough investigation by the insurers which would cause a delay in settlement of the claim.
Sometimes even when insureds have changed their lifestyle and have not updated their insurance company about it, either on purpose or simply just because they forgot to, this too will cause suspicions and a delay.
For example – if the insured was not a smoker while purchasing the policy but currently, they are and the insurer has not been updated about it, a delay in the settlement is bound to happen.
To avoid delays in your claim process, make sure that all the information you provide about your health conditions, past surgeries, lifestyle habits, etc are truthfully stated in your application and are also updated from time to time.
5. Discrepancies/ Not updated lifestyle habits/ Inaccurate information about health Conditions
Generally, every life insurance policy has a clause that consists of a list of exceptions that the policy does not cover.
To know where you stand, go thought your insurance policy thoroughly if the cause of death of your loved is one of the reasons mentioned in the exception list there would be a delay in your claim process and it would likely get rejected too.
6. Other Insurance Policies are not Disclosed
It is required for the insured to disclose all the other life insurance policies they own or any claim amount they have received earlier and If this has not been updated to the insurance companies, it would cause a delay in the settlement of your policy.
7. A Delay in Filing for a Claim
Filling a form might be the last thing a nominee would want to do in a state of grief, but the sooner it is done, the smoother the claim process is.
Some insurance companies may even find this delay a fraud.To avoid such accusations, file for a claim at the earliest.
However, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA) has directed insurance companies not to reject claim citing such delays, although in these difficult times we rather aim to ease the burden and not add to it.
How to Avoid Life insurance Claim settlement process Delays?
- Fill your policy application form yourself, to avoid any incorrect information provided.
- Double-check your application forms to see if there are any minor errors
- Choose your nominee and update your insurance company with adequate information about them.
- Update your nominee if it needs to be changed.
- If your nominee is a minor, provide their guardian’s details to your insurer.
- Provide all the relevant and truthful information needed by the insurance company to settle your claim or conduct any further investigation.
- Go through your policy thoroughly to know where you stand.
- Disclose all kinds of health conditions you have or any treatment you have gone through.
- Update the insurer about your lifestyle habits.
- Disclose all your life insurance policies or any claims that you have received earlier.
- Do not delay in filing for your claim.
Our team of experts at Insurance Samadhan is here to help you get through these difficult times by guiding you and your family members throughout the process of your life insurance claim settlement.
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