Ever wondered whether your life insurance proceeds are…
Making a life insurance claim allows the named beneficiaries to receive a pay out.
But is there a time limit on when a claim should be made and what information do you need to provide?
At Reassured we’re proud to work with insurers who pay out 98% of claims.
What's more, cover through us starts from as little as 20p-a-day † .
Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about life insurance claims…
As stated above, a life insurance claim typically happens after the passing of the policyholder.
The beneficiaries of the policyholder will need to contact the insurer to let them know of the passing.
When making a claim it’s likely you’ll need the following information:
Most insurers will send a claims form to be filled in and returned, but the process can vary between insurers.
If making a critical illness or terminal illness claim, you’ll need to provide medical information regarding your condition from a medical professional.
The claim will then be assessed by the insurer.
Once the claim has been assessed and is deemed valid, a pay out will be made to the policyholder or beneficiaries.
Anyone can make a claim on a life insurance policy.
When making a claim you’ll often be asked what your relationship to the deceased was.
Typically, it will be a family member, close friend or next of kin.
While anyone can make a claim, not everyone will receive the pay out from this claim.
The pay out will only be made to named beneficiaries.
If you haven’t nominated any beneficiaries in your policy, this will be your next of kin.
If you need to make an early claim on your policy due to critical or terminal illness, you can make the claim yourself, or a loved one can do this on your behalf.
Making a life insurance claim can be as simple as:
The process isn’t instant and may take around 30 days but this can be quicker or slower depending on the insurer.
In some rare occasions, a claim may be delayed by the insurer, reasons for this can be found below.
In the UK, insurers state no specific time limit on making a claim on a life insurance policy.
This means there’s no specific statutory limitation period.
Losing a loved one is a devastating event and searching through paperwork to make a claim may be the last thing on your mind.
Insurers have a responsibility to pay out after receipt of a valid claim.
The Enterprise Act 2016 gives policyholders (or beneficiaries) the legal right to enforce prompt payment following a valid claim.
On average it takes one month for insurers to make a pay out to beneficiaries after a valid claim has been made.
But this timeframe will vary depending on who you’re insured with as different life insurance providers will have different requirements.
However, certain factors may impact the length of the claims process:
Non-disclosure refers to not being truthful or not providing certain information on your application.
If insurers believe that not all information was provided at the point of application, they may delay the claim while they gather more information into the death to determine whether the claim is valid.
This can lead to the contestability clause being used (see below).
In some rare occasions, a life insurance pay out will be denied. This can be for a number of reasons.
Typically these include:
Failure to keep up with your premium payments will lead to your policy lapsing and your cover becoming invalid.
If you pass away after you’ve stopped paying your premiums, a claim made on your policy won’t be valid and a pay out won’t be issued.
If you fall into financial difficulty and can no longer afford your cover, it can be tempting to just stop paying but this will lead to your selfless investment going to waste.
It’s important to let insurers know if you can no longer afford your premiums as they may be able to help.
The most common reason insurers won’t pay out is due to non-disclosure.
This involves being untruthful or not providing certain information at the point of application.
It can seem tempting to lie on your application in the hopes of obtaining more favourable premiums (for example, lying about being a smoker).
But this can be extremely detrimental.
If a claim is made and insurers believe there’s a case of non-disclosure, they can use the contestability clause, which could lead to a claim being declined.
The contestability clause
The contestability clause allows insurers to obtain more information about the death of the policyholder.
It refers to a period of time where insurers can further investigate the death.
This can apply to any death within the period stated by the policy (usually the first 2 years at the beginning of the policy).
For example, if a policyholder passes away due to a heart attack, the insurer has a right to request medical information and reports to determine whether or not the policyholder had underlying conditions or was a smoker but didn’t disclose this information.
If it’s found that information was withheld at the point of application, the insurer can deny the pay out.
You can read our full guide as to why insurers might not pay out.
After your passing, your policy will form part of your estate (unless written in trust).
If the value of your estate is over £325,000 it will be subject to 40% inheritance tax.
To reduce inheritance tax it’s wise to write your policy in trust.
Writing your policy in trust detaches your life insurance from your estate, meaning your loved ones receive 100% of your pay out.
At Reassured not only can our award-winning team guide you through the entire life insurance application process, but our customer service team can also help you write your policy in trust for the majority of the policies we arrange.
Critical illness cover allows you to make an early claim on your life insurance policy in the event you’re diagnosed with a life-changing illness.
You can add critical illness cover to a term policy for an additional cost.
Typically there is a list of 30 illnesses you can claim for with critical illness cover but this can be more or less depending on the insurer.
To find out what you can (and can’t) make a claim for it’s best to check the terms and conditions of your policy.
If diagnosed with an illness listed within your policy (during the term) you’ll be able to make an early claim and receive an early pay out.
If you’re left unable to work due to your illness, a critical illness pay out can help to replace any lost income.
Terminal illness cover allows you to make an early claim on your life insurance should you be diagnosed with a life-threatening illness and given less than 12 months to live.
This pay out can be used to:
You may be asked to provide medical information and reports from medical professionals when making a terminal illness claim.
All term policies taken out through Reassured come with terminal illness cover at no extra cost.
Research from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) show that in 2019:
We hope this article has shown you that making a claim doesn’t have to be a daunting process.
At Reassured we can compare quotes from insurers who pay out 98% of claims.
Our team can help you find the best policy for the best price, saving you time and money.
And we don’t charge a fee for our award-winning service.
Simply get in touch for your free, no-obligation quotes.
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