To claim life insurance after a loved one dies, you need to start by finding the policy document. Then you can look into speaking with the life insurance company. Life insurance often forms a substantial part of the deceased’s estate, and can release funds for the funeral and ease other concerns. Bear in mind that a life insurance payment is different to a funeral plan. A prepaid funeral plan is exactly what it sounds like, whereas the funds you receive from a life insurance claim don’t necessarily need to go on the funeral.

You may feel buried under paperwork with all the forms to fill in and letters to send, which can be exhausting. Read through the following advice for more information.


How to check if your loved one had a life insurance policy

Start by looking through the deceased’s documents. They may have kept a folder for everything important, or you could check their study, if they had one. This is a good place to start when looking for the policy document. Even if you can’t find the precise policy document, you might find a letter from their insurer, which will have the company name on. You can then approach the life insurance company you identify the individual policy.

If you can’t locate the insurance policy, you could look over old bank statements to see if any insurance premiums were paid. The insurance company name might be printed on the statement, or may be abbreviated to just a couple of letters. Again, if you can find the insurer’s name, you can then find the policy.

If you still can’t find the policy document, contact the Association of British Insurers (ABI). They will attempt to locate the policy document and insurance firm, and if this search is unsuccessful they can advise you on what steps to take next. They can also give impartial life insurance advice.


How to make a life insurance claim

First, alert the life insurance company to your intent to make a claim. Contact details will be on the insurer’s website and on the policy document. You can contact them by telephone, postal and, more frequently, using an online claim form.

To make the claim, make sure you have the following:

  1. The death certificate. Your funeral director can provide a certified copy of the death certificate for a fee. You will need to purchase several copies if you have more than one life insurance policy, and these documents are essential for other necessary administration. It is illegal to make your own copy of the death certificate and it will not be accepted as a valid document.
  2. Claim form. This is provided by the life insurance firm, and will require basic details including name, date of death, name of birth, and claimant details.
  3. The policy document itself. When the insurance policy was issued, the company will have sent through a policy certificate. This maybe in a file with other important documents in a desk or cupboard.

Send the documents to the insurer via recorded delivery, as it can be lengthy and difficult to replace these documents if they get lost in the mail.


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