Importance of Beneficiary Nominee in a Life Insurance Policy

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In InsuranceSamadhan.com’s A-Z Blog series on Insurance topics, we try to provide all vital information related to the Insurance sector and demystify certain myths related to the sector. In today’s blog, we are sharing detailed information regarding – Nomination – and everything that one needs to know.

As per Section 39 of the Indian Insurance Act, 1938, all life insurance contracts are governed by Nomination. This means that nominee will receive all benefits in case of death of life insured. Nomination is applicable in cases where proposer and life insured is same. In case where proposer and insured is different, proposer becomes automatic nominee.

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What is Nomination?

Nomination is part of the process by which the Policyholder can nominate anyone to whom the policyholder wants the financial benefits to accrue, in case of his/her death during policy tenure. So in case of an eventuality, the insurance company pays the policy proceeds to the appointed person – called Nominee.

Mostly, we appoint spouse, children or parents as the nominee. In case a nominee is a minor then an appointee is designated who will remain a care taker of money till majority age of minor.

There has always been confusion on rights of nominee. Nominee is considered to be a trustee of money received for the beneficiaries of policy. This means that nominee and beneficiaries can be different, For example. Ashok nominated his brother Arun as Nominee prior to Ashok marriage. Ashok did not change nomination in policy and died. Insurance company discharged responsibility by paying claim amount to Arun. However, Ashok wife challenged and all claim amount was passed to wife of Ashok. These are common problem in nomination and legal heirs. However, this problem has been resolved now with the introduction of concept pf Beneficiary Nominee. This change was brought in 2015 and Insurance Samadhan recommends all Policy Holders to change nominee to beneficiary nominee as per provisions of 2015.

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Beneficial Nominees

Insurance norms keep getting updated and as per the current guidelines, if the nominee is from the immediate family member (like spouse, children or parents), then as per the provision, the declared individual will automatically become the one to claim benefits and will hence be referred to as the ‘Beneficial Nominee’.

This new guideline completely clarifies that in case of the insurance holder’s death, the death benefit will be paid to the ‘Beneficial Nominee’ only and not to any other legal heirs, whatever the case be.

Since, only the immediate family members can be appointed as the ‘Beneficial Nominees’ against any policy holder, so it’s always advisable to nominate an immediate family member (like spouse, children or parents) as the nominee in the insurance policy to avoid any dispute in the future between the nominee and the legal heir, if any.

This change would ensure smooth transfer of money else it was leading to litigations and deposit of claim amount in the court.

Beneficial Nomination also help assignment where nomination rights are protected eg if policy is assigned to a bank then insurer will first clear the bank liability then pay the balance to nominee.

Life Insurance Nominee Rules

Read all the important key points of Nomination are given below:

  1. If nominee is minor then appointee is required.
  2. Though form has a provision of one name only but multiple percentage nomination can be done through endorsement in Policy Document.
  3. Although non family members can be made nominee but insurance companies are expected do due diligence and it is difficult to prove insurable interest.
  4. Nominees can be changed and should be changed without delay.
  5. If nomination is not done then claim is paid under succession act which is time consuming and has cost.
  6. Nomination can be superseded with assignment when all policy rights are revoked and given to assignee.
  7. Nomination can also be superseded by will where claim amount distribution can be specified. However, will has to be submitted to Insurer before discharge of claim.
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Insurance Samadhan

Insurance Samadhan receive many cases of Insurance mis-selling, fraud, claim rejection, insurance claim delay, etc. We use technology filters as well as manual audit of the case details and accept a case if we find violation on any contract conditions and work on behalf of the insurance holder.

At InsuranceSamadhan.com, we have helped resolve over 14,500 customer grievance cases in the past related to all types of Insurance products. If you are facing any insurance grievance related to policy nomination, nominee claim delay, etc. do reach out to use –

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Shailesh Kumar


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